Within HR and our leadership at Spotify, we all recognise that our biggest advantage is our people. Focusing our People Strategy on Growth, and Learning & Development means that our band members’ careers don’t stagnate during their tenure at Spotify. In addition, presenting these opportunities for growth and development helps our organisation to stay relevant, fuels innovation and makes us an attractive employer.
That’s why we launched Echo, our internal talent marketplace, which makes sure that every single bandmate has equal access to growth opportunities. It’s one of the tools that allows Spotifiers to build their career portfolios, and it helps generate connections across a distributed workforce.
Connection Through Learning
In this distributed-first world, one of our biggest focuses is how to connect. We know that connection is strongly linked to belonging and mental health, and it’s important that we provide opportunities for people to connect in the best way for them.
In the last year since we launched Echo, we see that it has been a major connector of Spotifiers from around the world. This is one of our favourite things about Echo – that we’re building community. More than 6,000 of our band members have engaged with Echo in the past year, and over 70% of the project assignments and 50% of the mentorship assignments have been made cross departments or between employees in different location and/or countries
Anchoring, Education and Celebrating
The high engagement numbers tell us that our people are hungry for opportunities, that they understand the benefits of building a portfolio of skills and relish being part of our learning environment.
Earlier this month, when we celebrated the anniversary of the launch of Echo, we set the goal to inspire our band members to further grow with Echo. The programming included sessions on how to grow their career with Echo and how to benefit from engaging in projects through the marketplace. We also posted a recognition board for employees to share their best career advice and recognise someone who inspired them to grow at Spotify and we saw some great engagement and love being shared!
When we launched Echo last year, we started with three ways of offering opportunities: Jobs, Mentoring and Projects. Our reflection is that if we were to do this again from the beginning, we’d start smaller and not launch projects from the get-go but rather launch it when we had raised more awareness and appetite. Creating the best conditions for projects to blossom requires a lot of change management and that is one of our main priorities going into year two, to increase the awareness of the value propositions of projects.
Launching Echo with Mentoring has proven to be a great way to scale mentorships and allow band members around the world to connect with anyone at Spotify to build networks and engage in mentoring. Through the AI or search, Echo enables the match between mentor and mentee in automatic fashion. The match is based on skills and then leaves it up to the mentoring couple to drive their own agenda with support from GreenHouse best practices for a mentoring relationship. A majority of the mentees and mentors find their meetings very valuable but we need to further experiment on how to nudge the mentoring couples and help them to develop their relationships.
Replacing a traditional job board with an internal talent marketplace driven by AI created a gap in meeting our employees’ needs in searching for open jobs – some employees do not want to rely on AI to find relevant jobs, but instead they want to search and filter amongst all open jobs. In hindsight, we underestimated how big this use case was, and since, we have developed a search function that better fits those needs.
We’re sure there will be plenty of other tweaks to make our internal marketplace more appealing and useful as a tool for equitable access to growth opportunities at scale wherever our band members are in the world. Soon we’ll be offering learning paths on Echo through an integration with our LXP (Learning Experience Platform) and exploring an integration with our specialised marketplace Skill Exchange for our R&D (Research & Development) community. We’re certainly excited for the journey ahead and that Echo will continue to play a central role in our people’s growth and engagement at Spotify.