Talent Management

What Is a Talent Marketplace Platform?

By | 8 min read | Published

Learn about talent marketplaces and tips for deploying one at your business.

Last year, Gartner made the prediction that by 2025, 20% of large enterprises will have adopted an internal talent marketplace to optimize the utilization and agility of talent. That’s a pretty bold claim, considering the adoption rate of these systems is still below 5% (full content available to clients).

But over the last two years, a global pandemic and talent shortage have pushed businesses to continuously adapt to meet changing business needs, leading to organizational restructures, higher adoption of contingent workers, and less focus on defined roles.

All of these changes hint at what the future of workforce management holds: A more flexible, agile, and resilient approach.

Talent marketplaces are catalysts for this kind of change; they allow you to quickly place employees where they’re most needed, thereby optimizing the use of internal talent and improving career mobility.

Knowing the potential they hold, HR leaders should aim to educate themselves on this up-and-coming technology. We’ve created this guide to cover the basics; it includes examples from existing talent marketplace platforms and details the features, benefits, and considerations for adoption you need to know.


What is a talent marketplace?

Talent marketplaces, also called internal talent marketplaces, are a type of talent management software used by managers or HR professionals to post job opportunities, mentorships, temporary assignments, part-time projects, and any other tasks that internal talent or contingent workers can contribute to. While talent marketplace technology is maturing quickly, it is still far from widely adopted.

Gartner describes internal talent marketplaces as “…platform-based systems for supporting an internal gig economy inside an organization.” This alludes to these tools’ ability to help businesses mobilize talent quickly and embrace an agile workforce (full content available to clients).

Compared to other HR software, such as HRIS or HCM suites, the internal talent marketplace focuses less on defined roles and jobs and more on the capabilities of employees and the outcomes they drive.

Shift to the internal talent marketplace

5 typical features of talent marketplace platforms

Most of the available talent marketplace solutions include some form of an AI-driven algorithm that smart-matches people in your organization with open projects, mentorships, and gigs. They also frequently include features that support recruiting efforts and succession planning.

Below, we’ll give five examples of features you might find in a talent marketplace platform.

  • Individual development plans (IDP): In addition to matching talent to opportunities based on their current skills, talent marketplace platforms work to uncover your employees’ career aspirations so that they can be connected to projects and people within your organization that will further their development goals.
Fuel50 shows an employee's potential career paths
An employee’s potential career path laid out in Fuel50 (Source)
  • Skills tracking: With the help of AI, these platforms collect information about your employees’ skill sets and past work experience from sources such as resumes, employment records, and LinkedIn profiles. This information is analyzed and stored in an employee database so that it can be used to match employees to opportunities that align with their capabilities.
A data visualization created in Gloat shows an employee's skill set
A visualization of an employee’s skill set from Gloat (Source)
  • Goal management: Managers can use these platforms to create and assign employees goals that correspond with business needs and objectives. They can also track their employees’ progress towards those goals and provide feedback in real time.
With Profinda, employees can elect opportunities their interested in
Employees can dictate the development or work opportunities they’re interested in with ProFinda (Source)
  • Succession planning: Predictive analytics is often deployed in talent marketplaces to anticipate when key roles will need to be filled due to retirement, turnover, or promotions. You can also use information from the employee database to identify potential future leaders, helping support employees’ career goals and smoother business operations.
Ascendify add indicators to employee profiles that dictate if they're at risk for turnover
An employee profile in Ascendify includes a “likely-to-leave” indicator (Source)
  • Recruitment management: A hallmark of talent marketplaces is that they include features that help recruit talent (either internal, external, or both) for open positions and projects. Some may offer advanced search functions that allow managers and recruiters to easily find employees with the skills they’re looking for, while others might focus on marketing efforts such as email campaigns.
An email campaign for an open position in Phenom
A preview of a recruiting email campaign created in Phenom TXM (Source)

Benefits of talent marketplace software

When used strategically, talent marketplaces can transform how your business utilizes internal and external talent to deliver on organizational goals. Below, we’ve covered some of the specific benefits businesses who use these solutions experience.

  • Workforce agility: Internal talent marketplaces help businesses make the best use of their talent by collecting information about the skills and capabilities of workers as well the work that needs to be done. This information is used to pair employees with opportunities that fit their experience and interests, leading to better talent mobility and optimization.
  • Talent visibility: Employers can use these platforms to gain a complete picture of the unique skills and experience your employees bring to your organization. They can also be used to identify skills gaps and determine who within your team could be upskilled to fill those gaps.
  • Employee experience: Employees benefit from talent marketplace adoption because they offer features that improve their access to development and growth opportunities, and in turn, help them further their career goals.
  • Data collection: Talent marketplaces are built to capture information about the type of work and tasks being managed, as well as the skills, experience, and knowledge required to deliver that work well. They also produce a rich map of skills across workers within the organization—one that gets more and more complete, the longer the tool is in use. All of this data and the insights that come from it can be used by your HR function to inform strategic workforce planning.

Considerations for adopting a talent marketplace

If you’re intrigued by these systems and are considering piloting one at your organization, keep these three considerations in mind before committing to a contract.

Organizational readiness matters for internal gig economies to work

First of all, not every business’s organizational structure is a good fit for an internal gig economy. The best work environment for talent marketplace systems is one that has embraced an adaptive organization style and is devoid of talent hoarding . Teams whose work is project-based or used agile methodologies are also prime candidates.

If your organization is siloed or hierarchical in nature, you should start by focusing on improving internal mobility for your employees. Build upon that, and plan to move towards a more adaptive organizational structure that can support an internal gig economy in the next five to ten years.

Buy-in from senior leadership is essential

Talent marketplaces are most effective when everyone within an organization is using them, whether to post opportunities for others or to list their own development goals. For this reason, your senior leadership team needs to promote adoption and usage of the platform.

If adoption rate is low after rollout, gather feedback from employees in order to determine what is preventing users from embracing the platform.

Additional data sources will be needed over time

Job descriptions and employee profiles are not data-rich enough on their own for talent marketplaces to work effectively. Of course, individual employees can contribute by updating their own profiles, but without external data feeds, such as resumes or employment records, you likely won’t have enough information to enable organization-wide adoption of a talent marketplace. For that reason, you should plan to increase data feeds over time, ideally by integrating your talent marketplace with other systems such as your project management platform and HRIS.

Next: Find more content about innovative HR practices

Having a forward-focused human resources function increases your resiliency as a business. At Capterra, we’re all about data-driven predictions and industry insights, so if you are too, we highly recommend getting up to speed on the latest trends in the HR world with these related readings:

…and bookmark our talent management blog for easy access to all of our latest content.

Note: The applications selected in this article are examples to show a feature in context and are not intended as endorsements or recommendations. They have been obtained from sources believed to be reliable at the time of publication.

Looking for Talent Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Talent Management software solutions.

About the Author

Sierra Rogers

Sierra Rogers

Sierra Rogers is a senior content writer at Capterra, covering human resources, eLearning, and nonprofits with expertise in recruiting and learning and development strategies. With a background in the tech and fashion industries, she has extensive experience keeping her finger on the pulse of the latest trends and reporting on how they impact our world. Sierra enjoys cooking and dining out, collecting vintage designer goods, and spending time with her pets at home in Austin, Texas.

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