Transparent and Adaptive Talent Markets


Since the turn of the century or so, companies are under increasing pressure to re-organise their internal talent markets in a fundamentally new way. No longer do the principles and instruments of the past generate the flexibility and mobility that is required to respond to the current VUCA environment. Companies’ external transparency – driven and enforced by social media – is in contrast with internal opacity on processes and talent; and the demand-driven external talent marketplace is meeting a still supply-based mindset in the internal work and talent allocation. The new generation of talent expects many more opportunities to manage their own careers than employers are actually providing. The historical boundaries between internal talent and external talent begin to blur. To sum it up: internal talent markets have become rather inefficient.

However, it would be unfair to ignore that innovation has taken place in this field, e.g.

  • Social networks such as LinkedIn have increased transparency, however, predominantly in external talent markets and career websites Glassdoor, CareerBliss, CareerLeak or JobBite are making companies’ backyards as visible as their front gardens.
  • Almost all companies have introduced talent reviews to overcome the dependency on the immediate manager for assessing performance and potential, identifying key talent and allocating talent to assignments
  • Organisations provide an increasing number of formats to contract talent, and the ‘non-regular’ workforce (contractors, consultants etc.) grows in size compared to the ‘regular fully-employed’ workforce
  • In select industries, we can observe crowdsourcing as a new way to match assignments with talent
  • A multitude of new software applications try to provide a ‘google-esque’ algorithm to match demand and supply, be it for partner search or project staffing or recruiting

Nonetheless, all these innovations have taken place within the old paradigm that we could call ‘ownership of talent’. A new and emerging paradigm, however, could be called ‘transparent and adaptive talent markets’. In such an environment, transparency about quality of assignments and respective assignment leaders on the one side, as well as transparency about quality of candidates inside and outside the organisation on the other side, is significantly higher than today. Policies and tools would promote mobility, and external talent would increasingly get included in organisational talent strategies.

The EFMD Transparent and Adaptive Talent Markets Special Interest Group

Realising such a transparent and adaptive internal talent marketplace requires a new talent philosophy, new HR policies and procedures, new tools and instruments, but also organisational learning and change management. This SIG would like to explore the preconditions for and characteristics of a world that enables the rapid identification and deployment of talent to meet the needs of the business, customer requirements, and the aspirations of employees. It would assume the personal reputation of market participants (hiring managers, internal and external talent) to play an important role in the allocation of talent to work assignments (positions, projects, activities). Reputation would need to be defined in a manner so that it can be processed by matching algorithms.

1. The approach

Participating companies will have the opportunity to break new ground in organisational design and in people strategies. They can probe new ways of engaging and managing talent in tomorrow’s world. As a result, these organisations should be in the position to realise an improved level of engagement of their talent, an improved manager-employee relationship and an enhanced allocation of talent to opportunities.

2. Representatives

MSD intel

3. Roadmap

logo_pdf Roadmap

4. The Starting Point

Cisco Systems, represented by Gianpaolo Barozzi was the corporate sponsor of this SIG. The SIG was facilitated by Martin Moehrle.

Please click here to download the report.

For further information, please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Senior Manager, Corporate Services EFMD
Tel: +32 2 629 0827