Posted: 14 Oct. 2020 5 min. read

Talent marketplace: Human capital in the new normal

New talent strategy plays key role in a post-pandemic world

Posted by Robin JonesIna Gantcheva on October 14, 2020.

Talent marketplaces and Human Capital challenges in the new normal 

The intersection of Future of Work, digital transformation, and COVID-19 has created a perfect storm dramatically reshaping the human capital agenda for most organizations.  The challenge is increasingly complex and urgent, and many leaders are looking for new approaches.  Talent marketplaces can play an instrumental role in accelerating how companies are deploying and developing their workforce.  This blog briefly sets the stage and then introduces how opportunity marketplaces can play a central part in helping companies pivot and deliver different workforce results.

Human Capital Trends Driving an Opportunity for... Opportunity 

Over the last decade, Human Capital strategies have shifted to embrace increasingly human-centric approaches that elevate and empower the workforce by rethinking the relationship between the employer, the worker, and society. 

One approach to activate the social enterprise is the Opportunity Marketplace which moves beyond traditional job boards that simply match employees to new roles to enable internal mobility and provides instead a robust “opportunity” marketplace that connects employees with opportunities (projects, roles, experiences) both inside and outside the organization and enables organizations to maximize human productivity and potential. 

As human capital leaders look to manage to shift organizational needs, the opportunity marketplace could help drive agency and well-being, capability and development, and perspective. Their ability to make both open roles and part-time projects give the workforce greater agency over how and where their time is spent and what type of work they are doing beyond the limitations of their job description. They open up the chance to work on new, interesting projects that fit with evolving interests and needs.

Opportunity marketplaces can drive agency, wellbeing, and contribution

Moving into 2020, global social unrest and political divides have pushed the workforce to look to their employers and teams for a sense of belonging and advocacy. At the same time, the rise of external gig workers as a growing segment of the workforce challenged the traditional sense of belonging. If anything, the global pandemic and U.S. social activism only have pushed the workforce further down that path of seeking meaning, connection, belonging, and individualized consideration sensitive to their personal needs and circumstances. Designing work for well-being requires a focus on ownership, workforce needs, and process to engage employees in work design. 

Opportunity marketplaces can help with embedding meaning into work and fostering belonging by giving workers opportunities to consider and activate projects and roles that contribute to their own and the organization’s purpose. Marketplaces provide a unique mechanism for creating equal access and transparency into opportunity supply across the organization while allowing individuals to self-select highly personalized options, often recommended to them through AI-enabled skills matching technologies, that provide them with the most meaning based on their interests and development goals. The opportunity marketplace achieves this by pushing organizations to think beyond “roles” and to rethink work itself. Instead of limiting the marketplace include only job descriptions to fill open roles, post projects, stretch assignments, volunteer opportunities and other types of fractionalized work that allow the workers to feel like they are part of something bigger and contribute to important business outcomes. In addition, Marketplaces enable multi-dimensional and multi-directional career pathways aligned to workers’ interests, values, performance—which in turn help retain talent and enable accelerated upskilling. 

Opportunity marketplaces can drive enhanced potential

Organizations are looking for new ways to invest in workforce capability as human and machine teaming automates tasks and changes the nature of work. The opportunity marketplace has the potential to change the way organizations build teams, cultivate enduring human capability, and support innovation initiatives.

Leaning into reinvention will require embracing new digital strategies including AI to unlock human potential.  Talent marketplaces are an emerging operative model that pushes HR to work with AI next to them. It is an AI that connects people and allows them to achieve their full potential. When HR partners with the AI of the talent marketplace to improve consistency and quality of matches related to the opportunity. This helps to improve insights into workforce capability, desires, gaps, and deployment opportunities, unlocking workforce potential.

As organizations look to reinvent knowledge management because it provides data into real-time talent supply and demand, greater visibility into work (innovation), and enhanced organizational networking. This type of knowledge will be critical to inject knowledge into how you plan and execute reskilling. 

Opportunity marketplaces can drive organizational perspective 

Finally, as organizations look to invest in resilience beyond reskilling for uncertain futures – treating workforce development as a strategy with tools that allow organizations to adapt is key. Opportunity marketplaces enable greater organizational agility and have been a useful tool for talent redeployment for businesses to manage shifts across their talent supply chain during the pandemic. They also centralize valuable workforce analytics on skills supply, work demand, and alignment or misalignment of that equation to drive reskilling strategies through experiential learning, fostering a culture of curiosity and exploration.

Organizations are taking bold action during uncertain times and to make opportunities available to their workforce.  In the context of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), talent marketplaces can help to identify unnoticed talent and address hiring bias.

Times of uncertainty place stress on organizations to make these bold moves overnight. Those with opportunity marketplaces implemented already have had far greater workforce agility with the marketplace allowing greater flexibility to redeploy talent where it is needed most and to show the workforce where there is an opportunity for them to contribute continuously to an uncertain, shifting future. 


Robin Jones is a Principal and leads Deloitte’s Workforce Transformation and Future of Work practices.  She has 22 years of organization and workforce consulting experience. She advises senior executives as they contemplate how technology and societal changes are impacting work, workforce, and workplace strategies. Robin holds a BS and MS in Architecture from Cal Poly and a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech.

Ina Gantcheva specializes in guiding global companies to prepare their workforce for the future of work using program and technology transformation and innovations. She leads the Workforce Mobility services in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Human Capital practice.

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Robin Jones

Robin Jones

Principal | Workforce Transformation

Robin is a Principal with 22 years of organization and workforce transformation consulting experience. She spent the majority of her career advising business leaders of Technology, Media, and Telecommunications companies through complex business transformations. With a focus on the Future of Work, Robin advises senior executives as they contemplate how data, technology and societal changes are impacting the work, workforce, and workplace. At Deloitte, Robin leads Workforce Transformation with end-to-end responsibility for the market, services, and talent, and serves on the CEO’s Marketplace Leadership Team in Deloitte Consulting. Robin holds a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Georgia Tech and an MS in Architecture and BS in Interior Design from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.