SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace & SAP Business AI-powered Recommendation

SAP introduced the SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace in 2021  during the annual Success Connect event. This innovative platform was introduced with the primary objective of promoting employees’ internal mobility, career development, and upskilling, all in service of helping organizations build a Future-Ready workforce. The launch of SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace generated significant excitement & buzz within the HR Tech ecosystem, with industry expert Josh Bersin calling it SAP SuccessFactors Biggest Release in a Decade.

There have been many questions from our customer and partner ecosystem about the mechanism behind the personalized recommendations in Opportunity Marketplace (OMP). This blog will explore the data sources underpinning SAP SuccessFactors OMP and how Talent Intelligence Hub and SAP Business AI power these valuable recommendations.

What is SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace?

Before getting to know about SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace, let’s understand the term ‘marketplace’ in reference to talent. Talent marketplaces have become increasingly popular in recent years due to the growth of the gig economy and the desire for more flexible.

A Talent Marketplace is a platform or ecosystem that connects organizations seeking specific skills or talents with individuals possessing those skills or talents. The goal of a talent marketplace is to democratize the entire workplace, helping employees to find the best possible work for who they are and who they want to become; managers find the best possible talent for the work they have; and organizations to unleash human potential across the organization.

The SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace (OMP) solution is a recommendation platform that makes it easy for employees to discover opportunities to fuel their career development and growth suited to their skills and preferences. This includes traditional learning, temporary roles on dynamic teams or assignments, experiential opportunities, mentoring, coaching, and internal jobs – that are curated for an individual to browse, bookmark, and act upon so people can learn, grow with different types of experiences, leverage their skills and strengths, and obtain new ones.

Benefits of SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace

  • Utilizing the Opportunity Marketplace encourages organizations to place their employees at the forefront, helping them in crafting the careers they aspire to achieve.
  • In return, organizations can adopt a more agile working approach, bolstering cross-functional teamwork, unleashing the potential of their personnel through hands-on experiences, and giving precedence to skills and opportunities that accelerate the skills transformation to build a future-ready workforce.

As a result, organizations can better inspire, empower, and engage their people – improving internal mobility, retention, and workforce agility.

Fig 1- Opportunity Marketplace helps build a Future-ready Workforce.

Embedded intelligence within the platform aids employees in identifying opportunities that are not only relevant but also personally meaningful to them. Unlike solutions focusing only on skills and job matching, SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace considers the individual’s whole self, including their skills and competencies while generating personalized recommendations!

In this blog, we will discuss OMP integration with Talent Intelligence Hub (especially the Growth Portfolio component), and learn how SAP Business AI, the underlying recommendation engine in Opportunity Marketplace, helps curate intelligent and personalized recommendations for employees.

SAP Business AI for Recruit-to-Retire Process

Before we explore the personalized recommendations and the underlying mechanics, it’s essential to get acquainted with SAP Business AI and especially the AI innovations in the Recruit-to-Retire process. SAP AI Business Service, or SAP Business AI, automates and optimizes corporate processes by adding intelligence to the application using pre-trained AI models on business-relevant data available on the SAP Business Technology Platform.

What is SAP Business AI?

The SAP AI Business service helps to extend and scale applications with AI integrated into business processes and solutions. There are four core functions of SAP AI Business Service:

  • Data Attribute Recommendation
  • Document information Extraction
  • Business Entity Recognition
  • Personalized Recommendation

In this blog, we will focus on the Personalized Recommendation function with a specific focus on the Recruit-to-Retire Process.

Personalized Recommendations draw insights from historical user behavior and people and item metadata to deliver highly personalized recommendations.

Learn more about SAP Business AI and SAP’s innovation in this space.

SAP AI-powered Recruit-to-Retire Process

SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace harnesses the power of SAP Business AI as its recommendation engine. It leverages this technology to provide tailored recommendations for opportunities across the HXM suite.

Fig%202%3A%20SAP%20AI-powered%20Recruit-to-Retire%20processFig 2: SAP AI-powered Recruit-to-Retire process

Opportunity Marketplace Integration with Growth Portfolio

As we fast forward to 2H 2023, SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace (OMP) has undergone significant enhancements, particularly when integrated with the AI-powered Talent Intelligence Hub.

  • This integration empowers organizations by providing comprehensive insights into the skills and capabilities of their entire workforce.
  • Delivers targeted development and personalized opportunities for employees, accelerating upskilling and reskilling efforts.

The fusion of SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace with the AI-powered Talent Intelligence Hub marks the evolution of the era of ‘Intelligent Talent Management‘ powered by machine learning-based recommendations, a sophisticated skills ontology, and an array of intelligent features.

Fig 3: Opportunity Marketplace powered by Personalized Recommendations

Talent Intelligence Hub is the foundation for skill-based recommendations and driving force to provide personalized opportunities to people.

If you want to know more about Talent Intelligence Hub, I suggest reading my earlier blog postEverything you need to know about SAP SuccessFactors Talent Intelligence Hub.

Personalized Recommendations in Opportunity Marketplace

SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace simplifies the process for employees to uncover opportunities that contribute to their continuous career development and advancement. Personalized recommendations ensure that everyone can explore meaningful and relevant opportunities based on people’s skills, interests and aspirations, i.e. Growth Portfolio attributes, taking the individual’s whole self into account.

As of 2H 2023 release, the platform offers six types of recommendations :

  1. Assignments
  2. Learning
  3. Dynamic Teams
  4. Career Roles
  5. Internal Job Postings
  6. Mentor

SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace (OMP) doesn’t require much configuration for setup. You only need to enable this feature in Provisioning and ensure the appropriate permissions are granted in Role-Based Permissions (RBP). Most configuration work is centered around SuccessFactors solutions, listed as Data Sources in this blog.

You can use OMP without Skills or a Skills Library too! However, we highly recommend using it with at least a small set of skills to get the most value from personalized recommendations.

Data Sources for Personalized Recommendations

Personalized Recommendations are not based on rule-based algorithms but instead rely on the power of machine learning. These recommendations harness the machine learning capabilities of SAP AI Business Services.

As of 2H 2023, Learning, Career Roles (via Career Explorer) and Assignments leverage personalized recommendation. In the near futures, all opportunities in OMP are planned to leverage personalized recommendation.

1.Broaden Your Experience (Assignments created within OMP/Dynamic Teams)

Assignments within the context of the Opportunity Marketplace refer to internal work opportunities with defined durations, typically lasting less than 12 months, and can be either full-time or part-time engagements. Assignments help Employees gather new experiences and apply and acquire new skills while collaborating with different teams. Assignments play a pivotal role in promoting internal mobility within an organization, enabling individuals to diversify their skill set beyond formal Learning and providing an opportunity to put acquired knowledge into practice – the preferred way of learning for most people.

Assignments created within Opportunity Marketplace are displayed in the “Broaden your Experience” and the new “Top Picks For You” section as shown in Fig 4. Typical assignments include the following:

  • Projects
  • Fellowships
  • Vocational training
  • Internships
  • Gigs

and can flexibly be used for an experiential opportunities and development programs, based on organizations need.

Assignment recommendations can either be rule-based or machine learning-based.

With the 2H 2023 release, people can get inspired with the best Assignment and Learning opportunities in a new machine learning-based section “Top Picks For You” as shown in Fig 4.

Fig 4: Top Picks for You and Broden your Experience in OMP

Data Sources  for Personalized Assignment Recommendations

The integrated SAP AI Business Services system pulls in user data from the following:

  • Employee’s SuccessFactors People Profile data, such as job code and location
  • Attributes and Preferences from Growth Portfolio
  • People’s interactions with opportunities, such as bookmarking an assignment

Such data is analyzed by SAP AI Business Service to find patterns, apply machine learning algorithms, and generate targeted personalized assignment recommendations.

Fig 5: Assignment & Dynamic Teams recommendation

2. Learn New Skills (SAP SuccessFactors Learning)

SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace empowers employees to explore learning opportunities that drive their career development, upskilling and overall growth. Users can find the learning items explicitly recommended in the Learn New Skills section and ‘Top Picks for You’, as shown in Fig 6.

Currently, the learning recommendations refer to SAP SuccessFactors Learning catalog. This catalog can include Open Content Network courses, too! It’s worth noting that there is a planned future enhancement to support external content directly via OMP without SAP SuccessFactors Learning; however, the specific timeline for this feature’s implementation has not been confirmed yet.

Types of Recommendation

Users can discover three different recommendation types for Learning:

  • Admin Recommendations: These items are identified by the label Recommended by Learning Admin.
  • Peer Recommendation: These items are recommended by peers and identified by the label indicating who recommends them.
  • Personalized Recommendations: These items are recommended based on machine learning algorithms of SAP AI Business Services.

Fig 6: Learn New Skills in OMP

Data Sources for Personalized Recommendations in Learning

The SAP AI Business Service engages in a multifaceted process involving data analysis, pattern recognition, and application of machine learning algorithms. Subsequently, it generates precisely targeted Personalized Learning Recommendations, as depicted in Fig 7. As time progresses, this individual data continually contributes to refining the machine learning model, resulting in increasingly improved Personalized Learning Recommendations.

Fig 7: Personalized recommendation process using SAP Business AI

3. Explore Career Options (SAP SuccessFactors Career Worksheet/Career Explorer)

There are two configuration options to explore Career Roles under ‘Explore Career Options,’ they are:

  • Career Worksheet in Career Development Planning (CDP)
  • Career Explorer in Career Development Planning (CDP)

Data Sources for Personalized Recommendations in Career Explorer

Powered by machine learning technology and SAP Business AI, Career Explorer recommends career opportunities to employees based on the career paths of people similar to them in the organization. Career Explorer uses the People Connection system, built based on SAP AI Business Service Personalized Recommendation.

SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central is a pre-requisite for the Career Explorer solution. To learn about other pre-requisites and steps to enable Career Explorer, please check Career Explorer | SAP Help Portal

The job role recommendations are generated by applying machine learning to user data, including user attributes and user job history data. This data is synchronized periodically from SAP SuccessFactors to the recommendation engine on the SAP AI Business Services data centers.

Fig 8: Explore Career Options recommendations.

Data Sources for Personalized Recommendations in Career Worksheet

The Career Worksheet recommendations are generated based on matched Competencies, and customer talent admins usually curate the career paths. There is no AI-driven functionalities but business rule-based recommendation.

4. Discover Open Jobs (SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting Recommendations)

In the Discover Open Jobs section, users are presented with internal job postings from the SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting.

Data Sources for Personalized Recommendations

These job recommendations are tailored to users based on their target roles (added in the career worksheet or recommended by admin) and their current job titles. The recommendations are currently business rule based with plan to use the AI-powered personalized recommendations in the roadmap.

Fig 9: Discover Open Jobs

Within this section, users have the following options:

  • Access Up to 25 Open Jobs: Users can explore and view up to 25 open job posting that match their current job and aspirations.
  • Bookmark Jobs for Future Reference: Users can save and bookmark they find interesting for future consideration.
  • Access Detailed Job Postings: Users can access detailed information about internal job postings within SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting by selecting specific job cards.
  • Explore More: Users can choose the “Explore More” option to navigate to the Job Search page within SAP SuccessFactors Recruiting.

The internal job posting recommendations are also accessible on the SAP SuccessFactors mobile app (iOS and Android) through the SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace to ensure people don’t miss out on interesting positions being open.

5.Connect with People (SAP SuccessFactors Mentoring)

In the “Connect with People” section, employees can discover mentors and mentoring programs tailored to their needs. Users also have the option to search for mentors within the OMP, aligning with mentor preferences.

Data Sources for Mentor Recommendations

  • The integration of OMP with Talent Intelligence Hub enables Attributes from the Growth Portfolio that mentors have selected in mentoring programs to be searchable. Users can initiate searches for mentors.
  • Besides the opportunity recommendations, a keyword search provides the possibility to search across all available opportunities and filter them based on your needs.
  • Users can see recommended mentors that match their preferences from the past multiple programs that they joined. They can also see the matched capabilities and preferences between them and the recommended mentor.

Fig 10: Mentors and Mentoring Program recommendations

To summarize, here are the main data sources for recommended opportunities as of 2H 2023:

Fig 11: Recommendations Opportunities as of 2H 2023

A look into the Future-

Talent marketplaces have gained prominence recently as organizations seek more agile and flexible ways to manage their workforce and respond to changing market dynamics. The SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace is a step ahead of other market players, with the power of SAP Business AI and a machine-learning model trained on relevant business data and personalized recommendations to provide the best opportunities.

And we are not stopping here! The SAP SuccessFactors Opportunity Marketplace roadmap holds many compelling features on the horizon. These enhancements aim to:

  • Extend the reach of personalized opportunities across the SAP SuccessFactors HXM Suite.
  • Include opportunities beyond the SAP SuccessFactors, encompassing a broader spectrum of SAP solutions and third-party offerings.
  • Enrich the employee experience with an even stronger individualization of opportunity recommendations and a guided experience to help people to discover the best options for them to reach their goals and organization to drive upskilling with guidance on strategic opportunities.

Opportunity Marketplace – one place with infinite possibilities, accelerating individual and organizational growth.

Summary of helpful links and resources


A special kudos to Martina Williams, Product Manager for Opportunity Marketplace, for the review and content support! This blog couldn’t have been possible without her.



Scroll to Top