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It’s What’s on the Inside That Counts: Creating an Internal Talent Marketplace


Research indicates that the average worker will have 10 to 12 jobs in their lifetime. What’s more, most professionals change jobs up to five times during their first 10 years after graduation. (Though in developing-talent markets like India, the average worker has only five or six jobs in a career, but that’s expected to increase as that market matures.)

Competition is fierce for a restless talent pool, and incentives are increasingly complicated. Top talent in today’s market is driven by more than just salary and benefits. People want careers, not jobs. They think more in terms of lattices than conventional ladders. 

Unfortunately, though, tasks related to an employee’s job can be limiting. Intelligent, motivated people have varying interests and will pursue multiple specializations that can broaden their opportunities. That’s why an employer’s ability to give people greater opportunities to develop can be the difference between an engaged workforce and a frustrated one. 

Many companies think they are addressing these issues, but workers don’t always agree. In 2016, a Mercer study showed that 68% of employers said their workforce had a clear growth path. Only 53% of workers agreed. Three years later, Deloitte findings showed that progress has been very little, with only 43% of the workers agreeing.

In short, organizations now have to decide whether they can provide their workers with the opportunity to have multiple jobs within their profession. Or multiple professions within a career.

Creating an Internal Marketplace

Our company has found that the best way to satisfy people’s aspirations is through a robust internal talent marketplace. However, it’s not easy to build, manage, and maintain an effective system: Many businesses struggle because of their outdated structures, managers often can’t see beyond their individual silos, and traditional mindsets can also block progress. 

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