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How to Automatically (and Intelligently) Match the Right Employees to the Right Projects

Posted by Cassie Sanchez | Talent Management | No Comments

Working in talent management means tirelessly working to support and develop employees, to help them reach their full potential (while helping you strengthen your workforce). From coaching and mentoring to rewarding and promoting, your focus is enriching the employee experience, keeping morale and motivation high, and boosting productivity.

As if all of that weren’t obviously important, talent management has seen a renewed focus in recent years as employee engagement and retention have become top priorities in organizations across industries. These issues are, of course, the purview of talent management professionals — efforts to develop and motivate workers create an environment conducive to engagement, and increased engagement leads to improved retention.

With today’s employees hyper-focused on growth, a major component of engagement is access to initiatives that provide opportunities to learn and stretch (aka “stretch projects”). The big challenge here, especially in enterprises, then becomes: How do you connect the right people to the right opportunities? How do you match your growth-seeking workers with initiatives that align with their goals and interests? And how do you do it all in a sincere, impactful way, when your workforce is so large?

Here’s how. There are three main components.

1. Get to Know Your Employees at a Meaningful Level

Determine every employee’s skills and strengths. Find out their goals and interests. Learn what they hope to achieve in their career, and what they need some guidance on. You can provide the right opportunities to workers only when you understand where they currently are and where they’re hoping to go.

The manageable way to do this? Regular capability assessments. By periodically measuring workers’ skill levels, gathering feedback from their peers and managers, and checking in on their interests and passions, you always have up-to-date intel on which to base project recommendations.

2. Make Projects Visible and Accessible Across the Company

An enterprise, with its many teams and initiatives, offers employees a bevy of opportunities to take on new roles and responsibilities. Every day, there are dozens of projects an employee focused on development would be genuinely excited to lend a hand on — but they have to know about the opportunities in the first place.

A project dashboard or hub — or what we call a “talent marketplace” at Ascendify — is critical for this reason. Within this marketplace, employees (and their managers and mentors) have access to info on goings-on across the company. People can find and join stretch projects that will allow them to gain the experience and develop the skills they need to propel their career forward — projects they otherwise wouldn’t even have known were happening.

3. Use a Smart System to Make Data-Based Recommendations

You might be thinking, this all sounds great, but I still don’t understand how we can scale this level of people-to-project matchmaking to our entire workforce. That’s where AI is your friend, friend. A smart talent platform uses machine learning and predictive analytics to process and make sense of the data generated by your capability assessments (including employees’ interests and goals), and automatically and intelligently matches them to the appropriate projects. It even transforms this entire process from a top-down approach to a self-directed exercise in learning and growth — and how better to engage your employees than to give them the access and tools they need to chart their own career development path?


It’s entirely possible to continuously connect the right people to the right projects, even in the enterprise. With the method outlined above, you can really get to know employees, catalog and track all the organizations’ projects, and play matchmaker effectively. Missing the tools? We’ve got ya covered.

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