The Skills Paradigm In Talent Marketplaces

The Skills Paradigm In Talent Marketplaces

Career paths and internal mobility have become increasingly significant in the context of organisational leadership pipelines. A talent marketplace enables the deployment of an employee basis skills and competencies.


The war for talent prompts organisations to explore multiple mechanisms to retain and grow talent. A Talent Marketplace is a virtual meeting place of skills and opportunities and facilitates an easy match of an individual’s abilities and career aspirations with opportunities across the enterprise or in an external system. And they deploy AI-enabled skill extractions and skill matching technologies to enable seamless movement.


Such an objective is proposed to be accomplished through the following :


1. Provisioning Career Maps fuelled using AI–based Skill Ontologies to empower selfpaced, personalised growth-driven development and improvement


2. Building a Talent Marketplace that tends to fulfil resourcing needs quickly through full-time/venture-based project deployments while encouraging hands-on capacity advancement of the workforce.


3. Integrating the Talent Marketplace with Career Maps to provide employees with an integrated and seamless view of their career trajectories


Objectives of the Talent Marketplace


◆ Democratisation of career paths enabling self-paced, aspirationdriven career paths by aligning job enhancement, job rotations, vacancies to skills, goals and aspirations of employees.


◆ Empowering leaders to coach and support employees with meaningful career conversations as they navigate the organization.


◆ Building a workforce around organisational engagement which provides a competitive edge to the company.


◆ Building a framework that addresses business resourcing needs expeditiously through full-time/ project-based deployment of internal resources using an AIbased skill matching process.


Features of the Talent Marketplace


◆ Profile Recommendation: Skill Ontology module to display profiles basis the degree of match between employee skills and skills needed for an opportunity to enable project initiators to proactively tap talent.


◆ Recommendations to also flow from integrated Talent Processes such as Succession (Ready Now Successors), Leadership Development interventions, among others.


◆ Opportunity Recommendation - based on skill matching, a system to nudge employees to apply to relevant opportunities.


◆ System analytics to integrate with Career Paths shortlisted by employees and alert employees if a relevant opportunity aligned to the same appears on the Marketplace.


◆ While applying to an opportunity an individual will be able to see their degree of skill match.


◆ Identified gaps to integrate forward as input to the individual’s learning profile. System to recommend relevant courses from LMS/experience to bridge the gap.


◆ The output of the skills learnt through the opportunity to integrate back into the Individual’s Skill Profile.


◆ External information - Talent Marketplace will have the option to acknowledge information from outside sources. These sources will incorporate (however not be restricted to) LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Public information bases.


◆ Client marking and customisation - The platform will be white-labelled, empowering the customer to adjust the UI to its particular needs, as per marking rules


◆ Continuously evolving philosophy - The platform will not be founded on static planning of abilities, capabilities, and designations, yet rather infer the data out of the employee profiles and evidence.


◆ The platform will have the option to learn and plan properties of new or novel clusters of domains, businesses and practices autonomously.


Integration with relevant HR processes


Integrated Competency Framework defines the criteria for employees to make them “move ready” into positions. Skill extraction from multiple sources of evidence used as a backbone to tag individuals with skills and competencies which would form the backbone for all matches. An Agile performance management system, through regular conversations with employees, ensure performance enablement and understanding their career aspirations This would be enabled using ML algorithms and CNN based chatbots. Career Pathing application using CNN based mapping utilises a systematic approach to career development, enabling employees to map multiple career path scenarios, review job competencies, and evaluate skill gaps. In addition to these, the below mentioned processes abet the following:-


Mentorship coordinating: Coordinating workers with possible tutors, empowering the two sides to increase important abilities/ encounters from the match.


Succession planning: Identifying a talent pipeline for a specific role from multiple incumbents who exhibit the potential for progression and mapping it to capability building to prepare the applicant for the next job.


Bias moderation for diversity & inclusion: The platform will ensure elimination or minimising of biases by masking gender or race specific attributes of candidates and also mask feature to an extent to provide for selection basis skills and abilities.


Context of Skill Ontology


The skills cosmology is the fundamental system for a Talent Marketplace, and in order to empower the development of individuals across their career trajectory, and for professional advancement.


Reproducing skills and competencies in a categorical construct for people is done through separating skills and competencies from their resumes and other employment records, and is the initial step to actualising a Talent Marketplace.


◆ Skills Ontology is a rich information base of skills which arranges skills, competencies, domain knowledge, tools and technology in a representational construct with respect to one another.


◆ A dynamic skills repository is dependent on accuracy of the skill extraction, and proper clustering of job roles per domain.


◆ Curating User Generated Content over Social Media where the information is generally unstructured or semi-organised generally enhances the outcomes.


Outcomes of the Skill Extraction and Matching


◆ Framework to feature skills and competencies of an employee through data extraction from multiple sources of evidence such as the resume, learning management system and the like.


◆ Specification of vocabularies and reuse of existing norms/scientific categorisations to depict specialists to catch information about individuals, their mastery and coordinated efforts with others.


◆ Algorithms for expertise finding and recommendation using collaborative filtering (mining of informal communities, e.g. LinkedIn).


Dealing with challenges


It is a continuous challenge for the Talent function of large organisations to determine the composition of the workforce in terms of skillsets and to determine their fit for an available position. Likewise, it is challenging for an individual within an internal organisation to know what opportunities exist around the company that would align with their interests and passions. Creating internal mobility through enabling structures such as talent provides line managers with the best opportunity to mobilise the talent they need to meet changing business outcomes. It also provides high calibre talent with access to better opportunities to utilise and develop their skills. The marketplace thus strikes a balance between leveraging individual selfinterest and enterprise wide collaboration.


Efficient allocation of talent can lead to superior business outcomes and cost optimisation. Large organisations grapple with the challenges of allocating roles to individuals and a large part of it is arbitrary. Talent markets are an appropriate fit for large, complex, knowledge-driven companies where work is driven through the “tacit” knowledge held by their workforce. Such marketplaces might take time to adapt to an open transparent interchange. Building such a talent marketplace also presents its own challenges. Structured organisations have a well – oiled vertical hierarchy and have always prioritised “role slotting” over “individual brilliance”. Culture challenges involve extensive amounts of stakeholder management and technology orientation to make them comfortable with the idea of automatic skill matching. It also requires a shift in orientation to view talent as a corporate asset rather than business unit “resources”.


For the talent marketplace to truly facilitate an open exchange of talent based on skills, other processes and policies might need to be aligned to “reward” or reinforce behaviours that encourage participation and constant skill acquisition. Performance management, succession planning and workforce planning need to be integrated and realigned to make this effective.



The talent marketplace would create an equilibrium in the talent pipeline and create a pool of ready now talent for roles over the long term. Talented people with broad experience and multiple skill sets can grow into its future leaders. The challenge is in the adaptation and technology orientation of key stakeholders to drive the outcome to success.


Kalpana Bansal is Head - Competency Assessment and Development, Reliance Industries Ltd. She comes with an experience of more than 20 years and has worked in organisations such as Tata Unisys, Star TV, IMRB, Mudra Communication and Watson Wyatt (I) Pvt. Ltd and the RPG Group. Kalpana has an MBA and has completed her Executive Masters in Consulting & Coaching for Change from Said Business School, Oxford University.


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