It has been the talk of the talent town for years: side hustles, gigs, contingent work, contracts, interim work, and so on. Companies will call a temp firm to find them a person to do a task, even if multiple employees in the company’s workforce could have done the work. But all the while, there has been limited attention paid to the ability of internal employees to find projects at their own companies.
In other words, most companies don’t have a sense of employees’ skills, and those skills go unused. Organizations have not been structured to unleash agile talent.
Edie Goldberg, author of the The Inside Gig: How Sharing Untapped Talent Across Boundaries Unleashes Organizational Capacity, says “our human capital management systems we use to run our companies today categorize people by their job title … that doesn’t tell you an eighth about that person.”
Too frequently, employees with rich and diverse backgrounds are often underutilized. Capabilities from previous education, experiences, and jobs are buried by her job title or the department she works in. Organizations will benefit by uncovering and unleashing these experiences, and employees can use their strengths to work on critical projects while obtaining new skills.
Shannon Gaydos is a senior global talent strategist at Boeing who oversees a multi-million dollar technology budget across 15+ suppliers in coordination with HR operations. She’s also the project lead on various initiatives supporting global talent acquisition transformation objectives.
“My general observation has been that larger companies tend to look outside for specialty or ‘gig’ work rather than sourcing their own internal talent,” Gaydos says. “I think a key reason for this may be that internal HR systems are more difficult to navigate, to easily find the right people with the right skills, than say, looking at someone’s LinkedIn or Upwork profile. Platforms like Fiverr and Toptal clearly call out a person’s skill sets, what they are offering, and the types of assignments they prefer. Internal employee profiles such as you might find within Workday or Taleo are not as user-friendly, and employee talents get buried. Overall, I think if technology better enabled internal talent to showcase their knowledge, skills, and abilities (and better enabled hiring managers and talent teams to search), companies would be more likely to internally source.”
With that in mind, Eightfold has launched a “Project Marketplace” to finally provide an intelligent platform for employees to browse for internal projects and for managers to unlock hidden talent. Employees can browse a list of internal company projects with the Eightfold AI platform to surface the best projects that match their skills and preferences. Managers and others use the same AI to find employees with the skills they need to do internal projects.
“We all need to think about our careers proactively, constantly evaluating the external circumstances and thinking about the skills we have and could have that will keep us relevant,” said Vicki Walia, Chief Talent and Capability Officer at Prudential Financial. “The Project Marketplace is a great way to start that learning journey to hone a new skill or take on a passion project.”
Project Marketplace is a core pillar of Talent Transformation, benefitting both the employee and the company. From the employee’s perspective:
- Opportunity: Employees can deploy skills they have but don’t get to use much in their day jobs.
- Resume-building: Employees get to prepare for their next career moves and gain new skills through experiential learning.
- Networking: Employees get to create, and deepen, relationships with colleagues not in their regular departments or teams.
- Job security: Employees can make themselves even more valuable to their employers.
- Remote work: Employees who don’t always hear of projects in person have a place to hear about them virtually
For the HR/project leader:
- Unlock hidden talent: Instead of spending money, or more importantly time and interview resources, for an external employee or contractor, managers can engage existing employees.
- Productivity: By using current employees, managers further improve “time-to-productivity” with talent that already understands organizational tools, process, and environment.
- Engagement: The Marketplace provides talent professionals and managers a chance to increase engagement among employees by providing them something that helps with the broader mission of the organization, and breaks out of their routine.
- Retention: For employees apt to leave for a new challenge, this resume-building opportunity provides them another reason to stay
- Knowledge: At large, dispersed companies, it’s nearly impossible to know who has what skills, in a different department and location. Until now. The Marketplace makes it easy to see who can do what.
For more information about this new Project Marketplace, contact Todd Raphael at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo image credit: Career Employer