Although we may have more optimism with respect to Covid-19 in 2021, organisations are still struggling to manage the business impact of the pandemic’s omnipresent uncertainty.
The way we work has evolved – that much is clear. Some even say it has changed forever.
If there’s one thing we learned in 2020, it’s that agility holds the key to the future of work. Agility in technology, organisational structure and, most importantly, the workforce.
Agility drives mobility
It has never been more crucial for HR departments to retain and develop talent.
For businesses to prosper in our “new normal”, HR departments must refocus their attention on employee mobility. And yet, in today’s environment, mobility does not refer to the rigid and siloed approaches of years past.
Today, mobility depends on an organisation’s ability to rapidly redeploy talent in the face of economic and market uncertainty. One of the easiest ways for organisations to do this is to focus their mobility efforts on internal project-based sourcing (“side gigs”, for example).
In three simple steps you can upskill your workforce, cut overheads on sourcing activities and implement an agile take on talent mobility.
Step one – build an internal talent marketplace
The first step you need to take when looking to improve talent mobility is to establish a talent marketplace from which to develop talent.
Talent marketplaces act as an internal digital platform where employees can find the growth opportunities most relevant to their goals, skillset and position. Far beyond an internal career site, talent marketplaces represent an important (and AI-driven) evolution with respect to talent management and our collective understanding of career development.
Not only do they position employees to break free from predetermined and rigid vertical career paths, but they allow them to take more responsibility for their ideal professional pathway. Rather than merely shifting employees between departments and teams, talent marketplaces drive organisational agility via skills matching, horizontal mobility and project-based growth opportunities.
Step two – upskill employees with internal “side gigs”
Once you have successfully implemented your internal talent marketplace, the next step is to focus on filling project-based roles with permanent employees.
Project-based sourcing has traditionally resided in the hands of procurement. And yet, as we move away from the notion of linear career paths, applying a “contingent” approach to internal talent will prove invaluable.
Beyond cutting costs, project-based assignments clearly align the interests of both employer and employee in these times of unprecedented furloughs and hiring freezes.
It’s rather easy to imagine a scenario where your organisation has a client training specialist interested in account management. A short-term gig assignment would assist this employee in expanding their core competencies while providing organisations with a much-needed boost of talent agility.
In other words, it’s a win-win.
It is only when both procurement and HR have determined that expert knowledge is required and not available internally that you should look to source contingent talent.
Step three – if necessary, directly source your contingent talent
If you determine that the best way forwards with regards to your project-based sourcing is via external talent, a direct sourcing strategy will be key to your success.
Traditional contingent sourcing is a tall task given the financial realities of these trying times. In the pursuit of sourcing sustainability, organisations are increasingly building their own contingent talent networks. By cutting out the middleman, organisations can save money and directly engage with the market’s best contingent talent through a branded and digital solution.
Similar to talent marketplaces for your internal workforce, contingent talent networks provide external talent with a greater degree of control over their professional development. All applicants enjoy a modern “candidate” experience, with the best of the best being encouraged to return in the future and apply for open projects.
If properly implemented, organisations should expect to improve time to fill, streamline admin contingent tasks and significantly reduce their overhead for contingent sourcing.
Connecting the agility dots
As we move forward into this new year, organisations must strive for greater harmony between their internal and external sourcing activities. One of the best strategies for developing this harmony is to implement a holistic approach to mobility – one driven by agility.
Take an honest assessment of your organisation. If internal side gigs, talent marketplaces and non-linear upskilling remain nothing but a pipe dream, the time is now to bring in the technology, people and processes necessary to achieve HR success in what will eventually be our post-pandemic future.
To find out more about how you can leverage the power of an internal talent marketplace visit www.avature.net
by Ernie Kueffner, SVP Americas, Avature