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The Open Talent Market

Schneider Electric is Revolutionising the Future of Work.

Schneider Electric’s purpose is to empower all to make the most of our energy and resources bridging progress and sustainability for all. They call this Life Is On. This promise is not only for the customers of Schneider Electric but also for their 144,000-strong workforce. The company has launched an AI based internal talent pooling system known as The Open Talent Market.

Over virtual coffee, Steve Brown, Managing Director APAC talks with Rita-Marie Harvey, VP Talent Acquisition & Mobility who is leading the charge across Asia Pacific, Japan, the Middle East, Africa, and South America.

What is the Open Talent Market?

The Open Talent Market is a game-changing platform, enabling employees to take ownership of their career life cycle, optimising individual growth and potential. It supports our leaders to find diverse talent faster and build the best teams. This is done by creating communities of internal expertise and enabling greater diversity, it helps to build a sustainable talent-led organisation.

The Open Talent Market is disruptive technology; a holistic framework for career management by creating an internal talent market – leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to match the supply and demand of talent throughout the organisation.

How does it work?

Employees need to upload their skills profile (and LinkedIn profile if available) to the Open Talent Market system. They will then receive notifications for open jobs, projects, and professional development opportunities based on their skills, competencies, and career aspirations. The key highlights currently being used are:
– Full-time career opportunities
– Part-time projects, gigs, or stretch/growth assignments
– Mentoring opportunities

In 2021 we will enhance the functionality to cover learning, Career Planning & Succession Sourcing.

Why did Schneider Electric decide to drive this talent innovation?

Like many progressive employers preparing their organisation for the gig-economy, building the workforce of the future has always been high on our agenda. We are ensuring that we have the necessary skills, knowledge, and leadership in place to have a sustainable enterprise.

We listened very carefully to employee feedback, which sometimes highlighted a lack of transparency around career opportunities, ease of knowing how to apply, and/or how to network internally for those open vacancies.

We are committed to unlocking the potential of each employee and decided to provide a user-friendly platform which would be accessible to everyone across the organisation. This platform enables both the employee and the hiring manager to have complete visibility across open vacancies and available talent that matches the criteria, either for full time roles or short term projects or gigs.

As the pandemic gripped the world in 2020, the organisation decided to rapidly accelerate the Open Talent Market initiative, essentially to ensure total workforce utilisation and the re-deployment of talent and skills in what was becoming an uncertain time for both employees and the organisation. Project-based work has seen the greatest benefit, unlocking thousands of hours of internal project assignments since rolling out the platform this year.  

How did the organisation roll-out the project?

The Open Talent Market is an HR and Talent Management owned project. We assessed various technology vendors and decided to enter into a partnership with specialist software company ‘GLOAT’, which now manages our platform.
Internally, to ensure that we were to drive this initiative, we worked to gain buy-in from executives across the business and our internal HR community.

Pre-COVID-19, we had piloted the initiative across various markets. When the pandemic hit many initiatives were put in place to support our employees and by accelerating the deployment of the Open Talent Market, we were also able to keep all employees connected to development opportunities.

We decided on speed over perfection and leveraged the opportunity to get this project up and running quickly. Any fine-tuning would be done afterwards.

So far, what have been the benefits of this exciting new platform to the organisation?

There are so many! However I would say that the agility of the system and how it can leverage such a large pool of skills and talent is truly amazing from a workforce planning and diversity perspective.

It has decreased the time-to-fill open jobs and projects. Organisation effectiveness/productivity has increased through unlocking hours for part-time projects.

Our employee attrition rates will hopefully continue to decrease due to visibility to more opportunities for career growth and development.

Employee satisfaction has increased, because of more transparent opportunities for everyone.

So far, we have seen a high adoption rate from employees.  We have unlocked a vast pool of experience, knowledge, skills, and future potential!

With the adoption of the Open Talent Market, how do you see the future workplace and how work gets done evolving at Schneider Electric?

The events of this year accelerated remote working, thus accelerating a need for easy-to-use platforms that kept us connected and helped support the continued development of our employees. The Open Talent Market platform is agnostic to location and supported employees regardless if they worked from their home or from their local office hub.

Investing in the Open Talent Market is enabling the organisation to build its internal gig economy, ready for tomorrow.

What advice would you give to the HR and Talent community, who are looking to invest in such an initiative?

It’s important that the internal culture is ready. Leaders need to understand the cultural impact and managers need training on how this concept will change the way they work. HR and talent professionals need to work collaboratively with business leaders to open their minds, change the way they think and challenge how hiring gets done. The change management aspect is paramount and should not be underestimated.

The GLOAT platform that we use is great. It is simple and intuitive with tremendous capabilities.

Speed over perfection. The processes can be refined later.

Lastly, to fully optimise the system it is imperative that the data is super accurate – from both the employee and the job poster.

To Finish

At ChapmanCG we are hearing more and more about the necessity for HR teams to look within the business to develop employees into roles that before the pandemic would always have been considered to be filled externally. What Schneider Electric has been able to implement at such a rapid response shows the agility of the business and the senior team to accept and implement changes. In doing so the results speak for themselves.

Thank you Rita-Marie, for sharing this game-changing tool with us.


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