Imagine this scenario.
Seamus, a database administrator, has decided it’s time to move on from his current job at Microsoft. He’d really like to move south to California and maybe work at Google or Apple. Instead of just giving in his notice and heading south, he posts his intent to leave and his desired new employers on DraftDayDeal.com (not an actual website).
The website notifies HR departments at Microsoft, Google and Apple. It offers the latter companies the opportunity to make a trade–sending another willing employee to Microsoft in exchange for Seamus. Maybe Google has a grumpy technical writer (Tina, perhaps?) yearning for a new gig. Maybe she’s posted her eagerness to move to Seattle on DraftDayDeal.com, too.
That’s today’s bad idea: an online marketplace for trading employees. Of course, every employee starts with a proverbial no-trade clause, and it’s only through their actions that they can post their interest to the site and begin the process. When they do, companies can try to finagle a trade so that they receive value in return instead of simply losing an employee.
I don’t think this idea would ever fly. HR departments aren’t exactly renowned for their innovation and openness. I like talking about it, though, because it highlights two under-recognized facts:
- Much as they may speak to the contrary, employees are just assets to your average company. If the last two years of economic downturn taught us anything, it’s that.
- Employees need to behave like entrepreneurs and consultants inside their organization. It may not seem that way, but employees are masters of their own fate and (to borrow another sports phrase) free agents most of the time.
I think that a site like this might emphasize both these ideas. Additionally, it might bring some transparency to organizations as good or bad employers, much the same way Jiibe does.
It’s probably more of a thought experiment than a tenable idea. What do you think?