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Internal Mobility, The Talent Marketplace, and Why to Embrace It

The world of work is rapidly evolving, and so are the career aspirations of the people. Compared to what we saw decades ago, people don’t want to embrace the same position for years till they retire. Instead, they are looking for opportunities to try new duties, get new skills, and stay flexible and agile.

On the flip side, today’s labor market is highly competitive, and there is a scarcity of skilled workforce. The PwC CEO survey reveals that a whopping 74 percent of CEOs are concerned about the shortage of critical skills and talent.

As a response to those challenges and today’s look at the future of work, internal mobility comes into play very actively.

The ‘secret sauce’ of internal mobility

The modern internal mobility concept evolved as the next logical step after the traditional career management model. The problem with career management was the idea of “waiting until someone is ready.” This resulted in losing top talent who took career opportunities elsewhere. Even if mobility was facilitated—or rather forced by management—it looked more like “assigning” new roles to employees.

Internal mobility today is agility built into the company’s talent processes. This model allows companies to get the most out of the talent and skills their employees obtain. Employees, in turn, get multiple opportunities like taking new and adjacent roles, upskilling, and keeping up with the company without having to leave it.

Internal talent evolution, however, wouldn’t be possible without technology. Today, the HR tech landscape contributes to internal mobility by providing what are called talent marketplace solutions. Simply put, a talent marketplace is a platform that connects employees with career opportunities inside the organization.

From recruiting to employee upskilling: What the talent marketplace brings in

The talent marketplace helps companies improve their employee engagement, development, and retention. Other challenges the talent marketplace helps address are:

  • Accelerating time-to-hire and optimizing hiring costs: Many organizations still pay big bucks to recruit people from outside. With a talent marketplace platform and insights into the company’s skills and talents, organizations can save recruiting expenses and instead connect their internal employees with the internal job openings.
  • Improving productivity of new hires: Employees who joined a new project or stepped into a new area of responsibilities within the company demonstrate better productivity. The reason follows. Internal talents have already spent some time with the company and can bring their valuable insights and skills to the new role. Besides, the opportunity to shift to a new role within a company contributes to employee motivation, engagement, and development.
  • Addressing skill gaps and future-proofing: The talent marketplace also helps the company coordinate all its available talents and see if they match current and future job roles. This way, companies can spot the skill gaps and align their employee development activities with their strategy and market trends.
  • Building a more agile workforce: In the long run, by embracing internal mobility powered by technology, companies can foster transition to a more agile workforce.

Talent insights as a fuel for internal mobility

One more component that makes internal mobility sufficient is data. The lion’s share of it, apparently, comes from within the company. Employee CVs, job profiles, training programs, and other assets containing information about skills are filling the internal mobility machine. Data about internal skills loaded into the talent marketplace platform transform into insights. Some of them allow companies to:

  • Basically, match employees to existing job openings, projects, and tasks
  • Personalize reskilling and upskilling journeys to help employees grow into new roles
  • Benchmarks future skills and future jobs

Another source of insights fueling internal mobility is the external market. Market trends that have run through the talent marketplace provide companies with insights into emerging roles, skill developments, and future business trends awaiting the particular industry.

With intelligence like this, companies can fill existing job openings with existing employees and take internal mobility to a whole strategic level. Specifically, they can make skills in their company transparent. Also, they can know what skills are still missing in their company, and plan strategies to address these deficits. They can plan, personalize, and predict the effort of employee development initiatives aimed to fill in the skill gaps.

Of course, embracing internal mobility doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time, investment, data, and the right technology. But most importantly, it requires the right future-oriented mindset. American Express, IBM, Nestle, P&G, Unilever, and Google are just a few examples of brilliantly performed internal mobility strategies set on the future and employees’ development. Hopefully, more prominent companies will join these ranks.

Immersive Training Solutions for a Hybrid Work World

Remote workforce training has come of age. Forced to get creative during lockdowns, many companies moved beyond their traditional learning and development initiatives, exploring other education options. Those that reported excellent results usually had one thing in common: They embraced immersive technologies.

What does immersive technology look like? Think virtual reality or augmented reality. Both VR and AR training options allow people to feel like they’re in the midst of a situation without physically being in the room. And these educational experiences are not as untested as you might assume.

Though COVID ramped up the reliance on immersive education, immersive VR and AR solutions didn’t start in early 2020. They’ve evolved over the past decade. That’s why Mercedes-Benz began using Microsoft’s HoloLens to scale up widespread corporate training a few years ago, following in the footsteps of competitors like Ford and Volvo.

Advantages to VR and AR Training Solutions

You don’t have to be in the automotive field to get the benefits of immersive technologies to train your personnel, though. VR and AR training can be useful for organizations across a wide range of sectors, from engineering to oil to industrial operations.

For instance, some businesses opt for immersive training to help their employees understand how to approach complex situations. Others use immersive modalities for self-driven “practice,” as workers can run through scenarios countless times to perfect their abilities. But corporations don’t have to limit AR and VR to “hard skills.” Leadership, problem-solving, and other soft skills can come to life in a virtual format, too.

That doesn’t mean that you want to just jump into immersive training without a plan. It’s important to be prepared so you can successfully upskill a cross-section of your team cost-effectively and reliably. With those considerations in mind, you can move forward by paying attention to the following strategies:

1. Budget correctly for your immersive training program.

One of the biggest obstacles leaders face when trying to get executives to champion VR or AR training is the perceived costs. As with most technologies, the direct cost for software, equipment, and setup of VR and AR training has dropped over the years. Even VR headsets have become surprisingly affordable, not to mention much more comfortable than before. Nevertheless, the upfront price might seem too high—at first. However, you have to factor in all the ways that AR and VR can cut down on traditional expenses associated with training.

For instance, immersive training allows you to give the same message to all your people without transporting them anywhere. You don’t have to rent a conference room or pay for travel. Instead, you can put all your dollars toward scaling your training solution in a reliable, consistent way where efficiency nets greater ROI.

2. Take your immersive training on test runs.

During the pandemic, countless companies embraced immersive training out of necessity. Unless you’re under a time constraint, you can likely start smaller. Invest in some AR and VR technology programs, but don’t change everything you do regarding onboarding, upskilling, or reskilling.

What’s the simplest way to begin in a limited way? Find a partner who works in the immersive technology industry. Most providers will be able to help you develop VR and AR simulations that you can test on specific teams or employees. That way, you’ll be able to see how immersive technologies can be used across the rest of your business. You’ll also have an easier time getting higher-level champions to support more comprehensive VR and AR training due to your proof-of-concept information.

3. Collect data from every immersive training.

A huge boon to VR and AR training is the ability to collect scores of data. You can use the information you gather to better measure and even monetize your training sessions. An example might be to collect information on how many times your newest employees need to run through a certain simulation. If you notice that one simulation seems more challenging and takes longer to learn than others, you might want to consider ways to break it down into bite-size parts.

The more data you bring into the fold, the better you can make your VR and AR modules. This will help improve the learning across your workforce no matter where your employees plug in. And when you test different modules, you can see how they’re affecting other ones by examining the data.

Immersive training is set to become a norm at many firms and organizations, particularly with the uptick in telecommuting. Even if you’ve never considered adding VR or AR technology to your learning and development initiatives, take a second look at the possibilities. Classic in-person and e-learning models work, but they have limitations. Immersive training solutions can optimize education for all employees and corporate goals, making them excellent companions to your current lineup of training.

Photo by Viesinsh

Conquer the Skills Gap: How to Quickly Upgrade Your Reskilling Strategy

The pandemic has only accelerated our ever-growing skills gap. However, there’s a silver lining to the chaos we’ve experienced this year. People have proved to be remarkably resilient. People are still the best resources to take on the disruption and close the skills gap. This is especially true when you consider the volatility of the external talent pool.

Yes, technology is outpacing human skills. Simultaneously, educational systems struggle to keep up with the urgency of new skills needed. Higher education is both too slow and too costly for reskilling to be effective in the near term. That said, if history has taught us anything, it’s that technology adoption may cause short-term labor displacement – but in the long run.

To effectively reskill in this rapidly changing environment, organizations must harness their greatest resource for skills potential by looking internally. The challenge then becomes how companies approach a reskilling strategy. We often see a top-down process, where leaders throw content or training at employees and expect them to get to work. This approach to talent development has never been effective. Even worse, it will undoubtedly fail when applied to the unique circumstances employees face today.

Instead, talent leaders need to design a holistic people development strategy. One that utilizes integrated technology to find the delicate balance between fulfilling the needs of their employees personally while giving them the tools to be successful at an organizational level. Only then will employees truly be enabled to reskill effectively and execute the business strategy.

Anticipate Skills Needs

In a recent study, McKinsey states that 87% of companies say they are experiencing a skills gap – or will in the next few years. Of those respondents, only a few have an understanding of how to prepare for the skills they’ll need most in the future.

As we can tell from this data point, companies are well aware of the looming skills gap issue. But they are lost at sea when it comes to understanding what to do about it. From that same study, 3 in 10 respondents say at least one-quarter of their organization’s roles are at risk of disruption in the next five years by these trends.

If you don’t know how to meet the skills needed, your first reaction will be to look outside the organization. But that’s a concern when you consider the cost of hiring. According to a  SHRM article, research suggests that a new hire can cost as much as 50% to 60% of an employee’s annual salary, with total costs associated with turnover ranging from 90% to 200% of annual salary. Further, finding new talent that fits into your culture is a feat in itself. Efficiency is what matters most now. So what companies need to do is rally around upskilling their current employees.

Leaders must tap into their own network to understand industry trends. They must decipher the needs required now (or those that will be soon) to develop their staff. To gain insight into the skills employees currently have and the skills required to do their job, start with a skills gap analysis. From there, providing performance management technology and tools that integrate to support holistic employee development is key.

Integrate Effectively

Companies are working hard to accommodate dispersed employees by keeping them connected and collaborating. Rather than adding an assortment of tools that don’t talk to each other, organizations must create a comprehensive strategy that includes mentoring, engagement, learning, and performance.

Mentoring

Most companies have created or adopted some kind of mentorship program to improve job satisfaction, provide personal and professional development, and retain their top employees. However, most of these mentorship programs have become stale and bureaucratic. As many organizations have learned, these programs aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Access to coaching and mentorship should be a continuous process and suited to an employee’s personal needs.

Engagement

The pandemic shook up our work-life balance, and the flexible work environment took its toll on engagement. Finding a tool that provides constant communication to employees and leadership is critical — especially for those working remotely. Continuous engagement shouldn’t mean micromanaging, however. Instead, support the employee’s personal needs and provide them with a positive work experience.

Learning

After leaders have identified all essential skills, leaders can provide the resources and content that cater to individual needs. An integrated Learning Module System (LMS) can equip employees with a database of information that promotes a culture of knowledge and learning.

Performance

In a survey, Forrester reports 74% of firms say they want to be “data-driven,” but only 29% are successful at connecting analytics to action. For an organization and its leaders to see the big picture, performance management technology must have detailed analytics. After all, reskilling efforts wouldn’t be relevant if you couldn’t track back to the original development strategy. Only then can you ensure each individual has made progress.

Technology shouldn’t be a hindrance to employees wanting to upskill. By consolidating tools, you’re saving time from going back and forth between systems, simplifying the work for managers, and allowing quicker decision-making.

Assess and Invest in Your People

Not everyone is facing the same challenges right now, but managers are responsible for providing the tools and resources for each employee that enable them to be efficient and productive. Moreover, LinkedIn’s 2019 Workplace Learning Report shows that 94% of employees say that they would stay at a company longer if it simply invested in helping them learn.

Closing the skills gap is an unmistakable need right now. Clearing the obstacles for employees to fill those gaps is an action that leaders must take. Finding the right fit with an integrated performance management solution can enable employees to reskill effectively and efficiently.