Market insight

The complete guide to talent marketplaces: March 2024 update

Last updated:
March 5, 2024
Table of Contents

Explore talent marketplaces and how they're connecting talent to jobs


In the rapidly evolving employment landscape, talent marketplaces are increasingly becoming the go-to solution for connecting skills with opportunities. These platforms are revolutionising the traditional recruitment process by prioritising expertise over job titles, offering a fresh perspective on how businesses engage with talent and how individuals pursue new roles.

Historically, talent marketplaces were seen as the domain of large corporations. However, the advent of SaaS-based platforms has levelled the playing field, allowing small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to harness the power of these platforms to link their talent pool with a wide array of opportunities efficiently.

What is a talent marketplace?

A talent marketplace is an online platform that bridges the gap between skilled professionals and businesses in need of their services. It offers a more dynamic, flexible, and efficient method of pairing talent with suitable roles, moving beyond the limitations of traditional job boards by focusing on:

  • Skills and expertise over job titles
  • Specific projects and opportunities (in addition to jobs)
  • Effective talent-to-opportunity matching

Talent marketplaces are not just upgraded versions of traditional HR technology but are transformative solutions that unlock agility and prepare for the future of work. Most talent marketplaces cater to a specific niche, domain, or talent pool. This could encompass a company's internal workforce, its roster of external contractors, or even a broader community of professionals.

Rather than being generic job boards open to all, many talent marketplaces are curated by businesses for their specific sector or need. Some businesses use these platforms exclusively for their hiring needs, while others extend access to their wider employer network, fostering a richer talent ecosystem. Learn more about the recruitment trend from traditional job boards to talent marketplaces.

The range of opportunities on talent marketplaces can be very flexible. Beyond conventional full-time roles, contracts, secondments and internships, they encompass:

  • Project-centric assignments
  • Short-term gigs
  • Consultancy roles
  • Other varied engagements

Upon joining, individuals create profiles showcasing their skills, experiences, and aspirations. As opportunities arise, they're matched seamlessly based on their proficiencies, ensuring a dynamic, adaptable, and efficient talent-to-opportunity alignment.

What is the difference between a talent marketplace and a job board?

While traditional job boards have been the go-to for HR professionals for years, primarily serving as repositories for thousands upon thousands of public job vacancies, talent marketplaces represent a more strategic and dynamic approach. They are characterised by:

  • A broader range of opportunities, encompassing not just permanent roles but also project-based assignments, consultancies, and interim positions
  • A sophisticated matching mechanism that aligns candidates with roles based on their specific skills, experiences, and aspirations
  • Engagement with both internal talent pools and external candidates, offering a holistic view of available talent

Job boards have been the go-to platforms for job seekers for many years. However, they often fall short in matching the right talent with the right opportunities. This is where talent marketplaces come in. They are revolutionising the way talent acquisition is done by focusing on skills and projects rather than traditional job roles. In doing so they promote fair hiring by removing potential bias.

Many organisations are now operating their own private talent marketplaces to optimise connecting their existing talent pool (internal or external) efficiently to opportunities as they arise.

What is a talent marketplace platform?

A talent marketplace platform is an online software solution that empowers any business to launch its own talent marketplace with ease. Instead of investing time, resources, and expertise into developing a marketplace from scratch, these platforms offer ready-made, customisable talent marketplaces.

Talent marketplaces provide the infrastructure, features, and functionalities required to connect skilled professionals with relevant opportunities. By leveraging such platforms, businesses can swiftly establish their own branded talent ecosystems, streamlining the recruitment process and enhancing talent engagement without the complexities and expense of ground-up development.

By focusing on skills instead of just jobs, we're not only hiring; we're solving problems and sparking new ideas. Talent marketplaces are the future of work

- Sarah Jacobson, Training Academy Director

How a talent marketplace can benefit your business

Every business has a group of people they might want to place into specific job opportunities, from their own employees to an outside talent pool. When a new job or project comes up, it can be a big job to figure out who's the best fit, who's available, and who's interested. This often means lots of lists and talking back and forth with possible candidates. That's where talent marketplaces can help.

Using smart tools, these marketplaces make it easy to match the right people with the right jobs. When a business has a job to offer, they put it on the marketplace. Straight away, the right people get a message about it. They can show they're interested with just one click, and the business can quickly see who's applied and talk to them directly.

So, with a talent marketplace, businesses can:

  • Easily tell their group of possible hires about new jobs
  • Quickly see who's the best fit for a job and who's keen and available to do it
  • Businesses who start their own talent marketplace can control who joins and even customise it with their own branding and settings

What are external talent marketplaces?

While talent marketplaces have traditionally been associated with large corporations applying complex software to enhance internal talent mobility, their scope has expanded significantly. Nowadays, talent marketplaces platforms proficiently connect a diverse range of external talent pools too, such as:

  • Freelancers on the hunt for short-term, specialised tasks
  • Tutors scouting for roles that align with their expertise.
  • Students on the lookout for internships or research projects
  • Consultants in search of project-based work
  • Job seekers eager to become part of an employer's talent community
  • Trainee graduates aiming to secure roles that propel their careers forward

Talent marketplaces for SMBs

While large enterprises have historically dominated the use of talent marketplaces, talent marketplace platforms have evolved to become equally beneficial for small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), including for internal talent mobility or to connect its talent pool to opportunities (eg a tutoring business seeking to fill a student brief from its pool of external tutors).

Modern SaaS solutions, like Spacewalk, offer cloud-based, user-friendly platforms that don't require coding and can be set up in just minutes. This shift provides SMBs with:

  • A bespoke talent marketplace tailored and branded to their unique requirements
  • Cost-effective hiring solutions
  • The ability to quickly match talent with relevant opportunities
  • The option to tap their existing talent pool or expand to a broader network of professionals.

Key features of a talent marketplace

Talent marketplaces come packed with features to enhance the experience for both job seekers, employers and the talent marketplace admin. Example features include:

  • Access controls, allowing talent marketplace admins to set their marketplace as private or public
  • Customisable profiles for individuals to showcase their skills and experience, including their CV
  • Real-time skills-based talent matching and instant notifications to relevant candidates
  • An integrated applicant tracking system, streamlining the process for employers to assess applications and engage with candidates (where customers already use a third-party ATS, talent marketplaces should offer an integration)
  • Real-time analytics, offering insights into the activity on the talent marketplace

How can AI be applied to benefit my talent marketplace?

Here's some practical examples about how artificial intelligence (AI) can already benefit your talent marketplace:

  • Effortlessly posting targeted job opportunities, including even creating a relevant flow of roles from external sources suitable to your talent pool
  • Empower job seekers to create standout profiles reflecting their skills, experience and aspirations
  • Enhanced talent matching between each opportunity and your talent pool

Overall, AI can help elevate the efficiency and also the journey for both employers and talent, paving the way for a more dynamic and response talent marketplace.

The future of talent marketplaces

The future looks bright for talent marketplaces. With technology advancing and work patterns changing, these platforms are set to become the main way businesses hire and people find jobs. They offer a space where skills are more important than job titles, and where professionals can find roles that truly match their expertise.


Talent marketplaces are shaping the future of hiring. They offer a dynamic, efficient, and flexible solution for both job seekers and businesses. As we look ahead, these platforms will continue to grow, offering more and more opportunities for professionals everywhere.

Ready to explore talent marketplaces for your business?

Check out Spacewalk, a leading talent marketplace platform, and get started with a free 30-day trial to see how it can transform your recruitment process

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