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HR Tech Vendors Tackle the Great Resignation

March 30, 2022 Talent Management
Mark Feffer
By Mark Feffer

A year into the Great Resignation, businesses continue to struggle to find the talent they need to deliver on strategy. As a result, more and more are seeking to fill openings by looking inward, within their existing workforce.

With 44 percent of workers considering themselves “job seekers,” companies are, in essence, competing with other businesses for the interest and services of their employees. This made room for HR technology vendors to move in in an attempt to help employers boost their retention rates by matching workers with new opportunities.

The Great Resignation Opportunity

HR tech vendors quickly recognized the shift in employer focus since the onset of the Great Resignation, from a recruiting war to increased attention being placed on “internal mobility.” This move has caused demand for workers to surge in some areas and stall in others. 

Last October, iCIMS launched its Internal Opportunity Marketplace, which connects employees to internal job openings and helps them develop career paths within their company. The module was designed to simplify the process of moving, help boost retention and reduce the costs of turnover. In short, iCIMS saw an opportunity to use its expertise in candidate experience and apply it to the experience of employees, with added capabilities to improve retention and reduce what it calls “mobility friction.”

Similarly, Workday released Workday Talent Marketplace, a platform that seeks to help employees find in-house opportunities for growth. A press statement by the company explained that the product was created to help customers navigate the changing world of work by improving the way employers redeploy and re-skill workers as business needs change.  

SAP has also rolled out an internal marketplace of its own to deliver customized career recommendations to workers. Supported by a “capabilities framework” — which defines the skills, knowledge and behaviors the employer requires — the SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace uses an individual’s interests, work style and experience to suggest mentorships, learning programs and networking opportunities, as well as short-term assignments and gigs.

Related Article: Microsoft Releases New Employee Experience Assessment Tool

Knowledge Is Power

The basis for these products is understanding that companies that can identify the skills they already have and target learning in ways that help employees build on their existing talents can, as a result, promote internal mobility and employee growth. With that in mind, most of these marketplaces are designed to make personalized recommendations that encourage employees to learn and take a proactive approach to their career development.

SAP says its marketplace provides workers with the agency to pursue internal opportunities that align with their interests and the business’s strategic needs. For managers and business leaders, it offers increased visibility into, and a better understanding of their workforce’s strengths and capabilities.

“By empowering people to celebrate their individuality, from their skills to aspirations, we can elevate their strengths, build dynamic teams and transform the human experience at work,” Meg Bear, SAP SuccessFactors’ chief product officer, said in a press statement.

Such capabilities do seem to fill a need. In research presented by iCIMS, Deloitte reported that 49 percent of employers lack processes to identify and move their employees into different positions within their organization. Then, research from IDC’s 2020 Annual Talent Acquisition Buyer Survey found that 57 percent of buyers view internal mobility and talent marketplace solutions as a high priority investment.

Related Article: Make Your Organization a Place Worth Staying

An Evolving Mindset

Workers are looking to do things differently, said iCIMS Vice President of Portfolio Marketing Mark Brandau. “They’re moving, and they’re trying to upgrade their careers, and they’re looking at other options,” he said. At the same time, employers say the Great Resignation’s consequences are quite real. Eighty percent believe their business has been seriously impacted by departing employees. “That’s eight out of 10 validating, saying, ‘yeah, this is a major problem,’” Brandau said.

During 2021, most employees who quit their jobs did so without having a new position lined up. Between March and July, employee experience firm Limeade said 19 million workers resigned, 7 million more than during the same period in 2020. Driving this flight were burnout, a lack of flexibility and employees not feeling valued.

Dr. Laura Hamill, Limeade’s chief science advisor, said the mass exodus was also a sign of a societal breakdown when it came to the ecosystem of work, home and well-being. The Great Resignation presents a great opportunity for employers to evolve, learn and do better, she said. Those who learn and grow from this feedback will succeed.

Related Article: The Great Resignation Is More Complicated Than It Looks

New Approaches for Everyone

With some 4 million people leaving their jobs each month, it’s not surprising that employers are looking for new ways to increase retention. The notion of “internal mobility” took on a certain urgency as 2021 went on and businesses became increasingly creative in their efforts to keep existing workers.

According to Randstad's RiseSmart Q3 2021 Career Mobility Outlook report, nearly two-thirds of employees (63 percent) want to be considered for new opportunities within their company. But at the same time, 54 percent don’t believe their employer pays enough attention to their future interests. 

Meanwhile, fewer than half of employees, 43 percent, are optimistic about finding new roles internally, the report showed, down from 52 percent in Q2. And those who believe managers are open to their transitioning into new internal roles dropped to 48 percent. (By contrast, 78 percent of employers think their managers are open to internal mobility.)

While employees may be skeptical about their ability to advance inside their company, employers overwhelmingly intend to fill existing openings with internal candidates. About 71 percent said they plan to fill 10 to 50 percent of open roles internally.

“The current supply of talent is simply not meeting existing demand,” said Randstad RiseSmart CEO Dan Davenport. “Due to the high cost and overall difficulty of recruiting in today’s labor market, organizations are recognizing the numerous benefits internal mobility can offer.”

So are HR technology vendors. If the dynamics of talent acquisition are changing, HR tech products are not far behind.

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