Steps to Successful Talent Marketplace Rollout

Dorothy Mead

Rolling out Talent Marketplaces

Companies are increasing their use of external talent – Deloitte found that it’s not uncommon for contingent workers to make up 40% to 50% of an organization’s workforce.  Talent Marketplace adoption is also growing as marketplaces become a significant option to source that talent. But the real numbers, as reported by SIA, can often be distorted as a lot of the usage flies below the radar with hiring managers accessing directly to address their talent shortages.

This is changing.  The teams responsible for extended and contingent workforce programs recognise that the end user demand indicates a need for a wider adoption of marketplaces. Our experience shows that this responsibility is still mostly within procurement, although there are increasing interactions with HR, particularly where there is a skills-led approach to workforce planning.

Successful marketplace adoption needs a different approach from adding a traditional staffing firm into an existing program. The challenge is to embed the marketplace into existing programs to have full visibility into usage and outcomes, while encouraging users to make the most of this new channel and benefit directly from the convenience of the solution.

Components of a successful marketplace adoption

1. Scoping and selection

The critical success factor is to engage early on with the requirements from the end-users of talent and recognise that this is a process that needs interaction. Teams  have experimented with using marketplaces because talent categories and skillsets they require are not addressed through the current programs. It’s vital to make sure that you are solving the talent problem, and not adding in a supply channel that doesn’t open up those categories.

The same applies for extending geographic reach; either through the use of remote workers to address skills shortages, or to bring regional requirements into the overall needs.

As the selection process progresses to completion, keeping these demands, and any other identified drivers such as cost reduction over other extended workforce solutions like consultancy firms, needs to underpin a successful rollout.

2.  Generating demand: a successful communications rollout.

The selection process ends and the education and communication piece begins. All functional leads should be included in the launch and the ongoing promotion of the marketplaces internally. Everyone should understand:

• The potential of the extended workforce. Not every manager will consider that external talent may be able to solve their skills and bandwidth shortages: hiring permanent talent is ingrained. Showcasing the talent available through marketplaces and how they can deliver value, fast, is a key part of the rollout.

• How marketplaces work. There are different ways to implement marketplaces into your ecosystem. Even if requisitions are centralised and flow into the marketplace, basic awareness of the marketplace as a source is vital.

• The value that marketplaces can deliver - and be excited about this. The risk of having some people with some use of marketplaces is that they are seen as ad-hoc, or even last resorts for talent, bringing some negative connotations to on-demand talent. Showcasing value uplift, early project delivery and new approaches sets the right expectations.

We recommend that there’s a launch roadshow to bring everyone up to speed, and then that there’s a dedicated online resources section for everyone to use, that over time is updated with success stories and use cases from the implementation.

3. Test the Workflows and Constantly Review

Building the workflows and identifying success metrics will have been an output from the selection process. However with a new approach, just as with a new technology, nothing should be cast in stone until there's been a live pilot. Unlike most technology rollouts, it’s hard to create a trial sandbox as the implementation is dependent on live needs, and more importantly people going through the hiring process. The easiest way is to select teams to be the first users, although like using placebos, the teams not having first access may feel this is detrimental to getting their talent results.

Marketplaces are by definition a flexible solution. The extended workforce adds flexibility to a business. It’s vital to keep that in mind as you review how the marketplace is performing, and to consider the value that flexibility brings. Make sure that your metrics are marketplace facing, rather than based in traditional recruitment. Different marketplaces will address different categories and the targets may differ.

The only way you’ll be able to verify what’s right, what’s working and what you want to achieve moving forward is to start the process. We're confident that using marketplaces like Talmix is a solution that everyone can get behind, and every business can see the difference that the extended workforce brings.

Still need some help in making that marketplace decision: ask about our Marketplace Action Plan to help you start the selection and implementation process. Learn more about how to use Talent Marketplaces in our handy guide.

Dorothy Mead

Dorothy is VP Marketing & Brand at Talmix. Passionate about the changing workforce and the future of work, she is driving market share for Talmix globally.