Here are three ways an internal talent management system can enable company leaders to overcome those barriers and, as a result, make internal mobility a reality for the organization.
1. Understanding relationships between skills gives insight. For companies, the lack of insight into the skills that already exist within their organization is one of the biggest barriers to encouraging internal mobility.
But structuring skills data through an ontology helps provide a universal language to understand skills, no matter where or how they were gained.
A machine learning-powered ontology (such as our Skills Cloud technology) continually cleanses skills data by breaking down the components of what makes up a skill, connecting those components in relation to other skills, and relating those skills to other categories. For example, multiple descriptions exist for the same skill—common skills can have 20-plus synonyms.
But by leveraging skills data structured through a machine learning-powered ontology, an internal talent marketplace can understand that a worker skilled in Microsoft Excel may also have skills in data analysis, reporting, and other tasks Excel is used for. This way, companies uncover the depth of skills in the organization and gain the insight needed for skills-based initiatives.
And in turn, employees gain insight into the value of their skills in the organization. To continue the Excel example, that person might not have been comfortable applying for an internal data analyst position, but through a machine learning-powered ontology, they see that they are more experienced than they think.
That’s the idea behind Workday Talent Marketplace. Powered by the Skills Cloud ontology (which simplifies the library of skills for better insight for both workers and organizations), Workday Talent Marketplace enables workers and organizations to gain insight into the skills they currently have—both as a worker and as an organization—and where efforts should lie moving forward to reskill and upskill.
2. Democratizing internal mobility. Another barrier to internal mobility, from the worker perspective, is the belief that only favored employees become aware of in-house opportunities, and as a result, job seekers automatically look outside their companies to build their skills.
But just like skills-based hiring, taking a skills-based approach helps democratize internal mobility.
An internal talent marketplace can match an internal opportunity with workers who have the in-demand skills. But what makes those skills-driven matches effective in fostering internal mobility is the quality of those matches. In other words, the matches must feel personalized to employees and actionable for managers or others who are sourcing talent for the opportunity.
Consider this: In Workday Talent Marketplace, workers get an analysis of their skills and what’s needed for a short-term assignment. The recommendations include a strength label: strong, good, fair, or low. The rating fosters visibility on the skills needed for the role, what skills the employee has, and what the missing skills are. So instead of changing employers to find growth opportunities, workers see how their skills match up to opportunities at the company. In addition, workers see areas where they can upskill to better grow their careers.
3. Encouraging conversations to facilitate internal movement. Workers have said they lack support to make career moves within the organization. But a talent marketplace can help facilitate discussions that encourage internal movement.
As explained in the McKinsey report “Human Capital at Work: The Value of Experience,” workers grow their experience by making moves that build or demonstrate skills. These moves can involve switching to a new employer, taking on a new role in a company, or changing careers. Most of the moves—more than 80%—involved switching from one employer to another instead of internal movement into more senior roles or specializations.
“This seems to indicate that many employers do not have internal advancement tracks that are wide enough to keep most people growing and working toward higher rewards over time,” the McKinsey report stated. “Individuals who want to reinvent themselves and take on more senior roles often have to go to a new environment to do so.”
Companies will be better at adapting to change by embracing the idea that career movement is part of the overall work experience, the McKinsey report advises.
“To ensure that proven employees don’t have to go elsewhere to advance, organizations should set the expectation that part of a manager’s job is developing people who will go on to other things,” the report continues. “Each role should have clear paths toward future roles, with skill requirements delineated at each stage.”