Why you underestimate the power of talent platforms

Talent – it’s a hotly debated topic right now.

CEOs are talking about reasons for the perceived worker shortage: is it due to benefits, people not wanting to work, health concerns? I’m researching that topic right now, so more on that later this month.

Chief Executive and SHRM published a new survey that shows a large discrepancy between the CEO and CHRO on the talent topic (see Tweet of the Week for the chart) which is a problem in itself:

55% of CEOs would like more focus on talent availability and recruiting, while only 28% of CHROs think that’s necessary.

The study explains that difference by the fact that CEO’s might not be well informed about all the talent efforts – I doubt that is true. Boards worry about the talent shortage. They talk about it a lot. Think about it:

  • before the pandemic many countries had a tight labor market with low unemployment numbers
  • the pandemic made people stay longer and they are now ready to go, as I discussed in last week’s newsletter
  • computer-literate people can work from anywhere for anyone or for themselves

If your company doesn’t yet have a well thought out labor market & talent strategy, one that the CEO is fully briefed on, you’re behind and have work to do.

But do it differently. In my HRTechFest Connect keynote I talked about “Talent Marketplaces” and that these play a vital role in any future talent strategy. Why?

When you think about marketplaces, your first thought might be gig worker platforms like Fiverr, Uber and so on. However, talent marketplaces have matured. They are available for every kind of talent you’d want to source: from local help to global support for every kind of profession.

There is plenty of talent to be found – when you change the way you look and adjust your requirements. Don’t run a recruitment strategy focused on posting jobs, expecting full-time employees to permanently join your organization.

You need to identify talent outside the organization, meet them where they are and redefine jobs into assignments they want to take on. The talent marketplaces act as clearing house to match people – seeking gigs or project work – with companies that need their skills.

In a survey, Harvard found that 90% of the C-suite viewed marketplaces for premium talent as important to future competitive advantage. Business leaders are fully aware of the talent challenges and know that CHROs can’t solve them without exploring new avenues.

You could engage with these platforms as an ad hoc response to an urgent problem. But you’ll find greater success when you develop an integrated workforce strategy, a cohesive approach that incorporates marketplaces into your hiring strategy.

This will also bring along internal benefits: If you want to hire flexible talent, you have to be able to describe what you need in terms of skills, objectives and outcomes.

By redefining jobs into assignments based on skills, you can identify underutilized talent within your organization – you’re not posting a job, you’re posting a work request that anyone can respond to.

I recommend that you develop a strategic relationship with a few selected marketplaces. Consider them as sources of value and avenues for growth of talent that you otherwise wouldn’t have access to.

Have a great week, Anita

PS: Last week I asked when you’d prefer to receive this newsletter, and the majority voted Sunday. I hear you!

You also enjoy the text more than the links to weekend reads – I am working through that too! Keep sending your comments – I want to write a newsletter that is helpful to you!