Remember when you joined your company and you didn’t know how to navigate the network or find the resources to grow your career? Hidden opportunities to advance and learn are the bane of career development – and, sadly, the reason many employees leave. SAP SuccessFactors is amplifying the career management experience and placing it firmly in the hands of the individual with Opportunity Marketplace.

The concept of an opportunity marketplace isn’t brand new. But it is a new technology solution coming to SAP SuccessFactors’ customers with the H2 2021 release this November. Announced at SuccessConnect, SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace is intended to drive internal mobility by helping workers define and develop their individual purposeful work goals through opportunities to connect with education, mentoring, ad hoc teams, experiential roles, and other career opportunities within your organization.

The Center of Capabilities, embedded throughout the SAP SuccessFactors HXM suite, forms the foundation for the Opportunity Marketplace, using Machine Learning to continually refine opportunities for individuals. Capabilities is an umbrella term for skills and competencies, as well as other aspects of how a person does their work (communication style, leadership style, personality, and more).  The solution incorporates technology gained through the acquisition of Swoop Talent.

Here’s a snapshot of the user experience shared during this year’s virtual SuccessConnect.

Opportunity Marketplace from SAP SuccessFactors
Opportunity Marketplace from SAP SuccessFactors incorporates learning, mentoring, jobs, and more to help employees grow internally.

This is possibly the most significant talent management innovation since the nine-box talent grid – and, thank goodness, it places control in the hands of employees. It is a necessary response to the disruption of the last two years and a requirement for our increasingly remote and global workforce.

How Information Gets to the Opportunity Marketplace

Skills, capabilities, competencies, certifications will all be part of Opportunity Marketplace. But how does this content get there? A full Center of Capabilities implementation will be needed to make SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace reach its full potential. If job roles, or learning items, etc. are not mapped to capabilities, users will lose the ability to search and filter recommendations within SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace.

“Gigs” or projects can also be entered into Opportunity Marketplace. Posting of these items will be open to any “assignment owner,” who is given proper permissions assigned to them or their role.

SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace
At SuccessConnect, SAP laid out the framework for supporting whole self development with Opportunity Marketplace.

How do employees identify opportunities for themselves?

Opportunity Marketplace will make recommendations to employees leveraging a combination of AI-driven intelligence tools and deterministic algorithms. The intelligence of these recommendations will grow with each release, but initially, recommendations will consider:

  • Capabilities employees have in their personal profile, the capability portfolio, and comparing what kind of capabilities they can practice or what are required for certain opportunities.
  • Personal preferences, especially when it comes to learning and mentoring. Topics of interest, collaboration styles, locations, and customer-specific mapping questions help to form the input.
  • Recommendations based on choices that other employees have made for learning recommendations and career role recommendations.

Ultimately, aspirations and favorites will be added to the profile and algorithms, to drive more individualized career opportunities.

So, what do you need to get started?

You need the SuccessFactors platform for this advanced solution to the internal mobility challenge.  Job profile builder (JPB) must be enabled (via provisioning) and capabilities must be maintained. Prerequisites in terms of JPB and Center of Capabilities will depend on the content that customers plan to enable for SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace. For customers who already have JPB, Center of Capabilities will be turned on universally. It is expected that the Center of Capabilities implementation will mirror that of JPB as the library component of Center of Capabilities is based on JPB content libraries.

If you are still on legacy job description manager, watch for updates from SAP SuccessFactors in which they plan to make the migration process of job description manage to JPB easier.

One more thing, for the time being, learning recommendations will only be activated for those customers who have BizX and Learning tenants in the same data center. SAP plans to remove that limitation in the H2 2022 release.

Currently, here’s how capabilities and job roles are considered for each of the opportunities:

  • SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace: Employees can filter all recommendations based on a certain capability they may be interested in. Capabilities must be maintained in the capability library to be used across the talent solutions.
  • Career roles: JPB job roles are suggested as career roles. Therefore, JPB job roles must be maintained and should ideally also be tied to required competencies/capabilities.
  • Mentoring: Competencies/capabilities can be part of the mentor profile (mentor preferences, for which topics/capabilities do they want to offer mentoring to others). Customers can configure the mentor matching data to include competencies/capabilities. It is not a mandatory prerequisite though.
  • Learning: Capabilities can be assigned to learning items within SAP SuccessFactors Learning, and this mapping is used for recommendations and filtering on capabilities in Opportunity Marketplace.

In addition to future enhancements to Opportunity Marketplace, mentoring and career development will also be upgraded. The key to SAP’s design and development is that classic career paths – formalized and HR-driven – are not part of the future. The goal is to surface untapped career opportunities for employees that match their skills and interests within and also outside of a classic career ladder.

At SAP, customers have always been part of the product design journey. Succession and Development, Learning, and Assignments, and the related JPB and center of capabilities changes are driven by dozens of customers and executives surveyed on multiple occasions for value and urgency in their businesses.

Stay in touch with us for the rest of this story. Dynamic Teams – which we highlighted in our SuccessConnect recap – will become part of this ever-evolving platform geared to individualizing the employee experience and including the employee’s whole self in the picture.