Language Selection

Your selected language is currently:

10 Min Read

Transforming workforce management through talent marketplaces

April 18, 2024 / Mike Thomson

Short on time? Read the key takeaways:

  • Associate development is crucial for enhancing client relationships and overall business success, with a focus on aligning associate goals with organizational needs. 
  • A talent marketplace is a dynamic system designed to match workforce skills with evolving business requirements, providing continuous opportunities for career growth and skill development. 
  • The initiative fosters a global perspective among associates, ensuring skills remain relevant through AI-driven job matching and promoting diverse experiences via structured job rotations. 
  • This approach forms a solid foundation for delivering exceptional service and driving innovation while efficiently managing costs and nurturing talent. 

Part three of a three-part associate development series. Read parts one and two.

Around the globe, every leader strives to grow their company's top line and enhance the bottom line, all while navigating the challenge of doing more with fewer resources.

Associate experience plays a key role in successfully achieving these goals. Happier associates lead to more satisfied customers, which, in turn, drives growth. Sound operational practices allow you to meet these objectives and drive a highly efficient workforce that maximizes profitability. 

What distinguishes the products and services you deliver to clients hinges on your employees—their engagement levels and drive to exceed expectations. Company culture plays a significant role in shaping this. That's why I strongly advocate for associate development as a strategic imperative at Unisys. This was the focus of the first two parts of this blog post series: Elevating client intimacy through associate development and How curiosity and a learning-oriented culture drive success. 

In part three, we build upon these discussions by examining how a talent marketplace can further enhance associate development and transform workforce management. This approach nurtures talent while establishing a solid foundation for driving innovation and delivering outstanding service. 

From tool to strategic enabler 

The talent marketplace at Unisys, a collaborative effort with our HR function, aims to establish a system where associates can easily identify internal job opportunities. Through technology, we’re enhancing our ability to recruit from within the organization. Knowing our associates’ current skills allows us to push appropriate learning and development opportunities aligned with their defined career trajectories. Effectively matching our workforce's skills with the ever-changing demands of our business and offering roles that align with our associates’ present or desired skill sets cultivates a vibrant and engaging marketplace for talent.

The system will be tailored to create continuous opportunities for our associates, especially as projects draw to a close or contracts end. For instance, when an associate is nearing the end of a project, they can use the marketplace to explore new roles within Unisys that correspond to their existing abilities or skills they aspire to develop. This proactive approach facilitates a seamless transition for our associates and reinforces our commitment to offering well-defined career pathways and training opportunities. 

Skills, competencies and AI integration 

The marketplace's success hinges on a sophisticated integration of skills, competencies and AI technology. We encourage our associates to regularly update their skills in Workday, similar to how they would on professional networking platforms. To facilitate this, we are working on designs for easy APIs to import and export these skills from and to existing platforms. This will make it easier for our associates to keep their data fresh and accurate, enhancing the accuracy and relevance of the opportunities the system presents to them.

We are also designing processes to align new work requisitions with specific competencies and skills. For example, if an associate is a Solution Architect Level 1 but only lacks a particular skill to advance to Level 2, we plan to proactively communicate this opportunity, showing the path to higher roles and corresponding benefits. Using AI algorithms to match these skills with business needs creates a more efficient and responsive system. This approach will help keep our associates' skills relevant and competitive and also aid in maintaining Unisys' technological leadership.

Global perspective and communication 

The talent marketplace will help drive a global perspective among our associates. This need was particularly evident from my interaction with some of our associates, predominantly focused on local client engagements. Their concerns underscored the need for a broader outlook, encouraging our associates to extend their vision beyond local markets and embrace opportunities on a global scale, where their unique skills could be in higher demand. 

To facilitate this shift, we have ramped up our global communication efforts regarding job opportunities, urging our associates to explore roles beyond their immediate geographic areas. Embracing a global mindset is vital for personal growth and to support our strategic goal of enhancing associate skills, particularly in emerging technologies. By broadening their career paths and exposure, we are helping ensure that our associates are well-rounded in their skill sets and have a global outlook, which is essential in today's interconnected business world. 

Rotation and succession planning 

As we continue to develop the talent marketplace at Unisys, a fundamental element is the concept of job rotations. We aim to implement a purposeful rotational aspect within our marketplace, enabling our associates to accumulate diverse experiences and apply their knowledge across different client engagements. 

This rotational strategy is designed to be flexible, factoring in the complexity of the client and the career level of the associate. However, its core objective prevents associates from becoming overly entrenched in a single role or client account over many years. While long-term associations with clients can strengthen relationships, they can also limit personal growth and sharing valuable experiences throughout the organization. 

To address this, we are focusing on structured succession planning at various levels within the client architecture. This ensures that there is always a prepared workforce ready to step into roles as needed, thereby avoiding crisis management scenarios like filling a position when an employee unexpectedly leaves.

The duration of these rotations might vary; it could be 18, 24, or 36 months, depending on specific factors. However, the underlying principle remains the same: to promote continuous learning, development and sharing of experiences.

This approach is intended to start a 'ripple effect' of opportunities throughout the organization. By methodically understanding each role, we can groom people into new positions and provide them with new challenges and learning opportunities. At the same time, we are enhancing our business model while contributing significantly to our associates' personal and professional development. 

Our North Star 

The talent marketplace enhances our foundation to elevate client intimacy through associate development and nurture a learning-oriented culture. It opens new opportunities for our associates while fostering continuous improvement to meet the evolving needs of our clients and the market. 

While we are not yet fully realizing the vision of our talent marketplace, our progress is steady. By aligning personal development with organizational progress, we create a dynamic, responsive, growth-oriented future for our associates and company. As we move forward, we remain dedicated to enhancing our talent management strategies, always aiming to stay ahead in the rapidly evolving global business landscape. That’s our North Star.

Curiosity, creativity, and a constant desire to improve. Our associates shape tomorrow by going beyond expertise to bring solutions to life. Curious about joining our team? Visit our careers page. 

Learn more