arrowCrosschq Blog

What is Talent Intelligence?

In the realm of talent acquisition, HR departments and recruiters have traditionally been forced to lean on processes that are siloed and highly tactical in nature. Unfortunately, this approach can often mean focusing on each individual hire solely as an end-to-end process divorced from other aspects of the company. 

While such a narrow, targeted perspective may be successful for achieving some recruitment goals, such as reducing time-to-hire, the long-term benefit to the company can be questionable at best. Once the hire is completed, recruitment efforts are refocused on the next must-fill position and rarely is there any measurement of impact on the true long-term quality of hire.

When recruitment is approached from a holistic perspective, with each hire made not only based on raw qualifications for the tasks that come with the role, but also with an eye to a more productive workforce, organizations find that the investment pays off in dividends, with better team output and overall higher retention.

Placing a “warm body” into a role fast is simply a stopgap measure at best, and can lead to poor retention and a revolving door of talent. In order to make the best hire possible for the long term, organizations need to be “talent intelligent” and go deeper than simply placing available candidate A into empty role B.

Traditional talent acquisition depends heavily on screening and matching for hard skills, certifications, qualifications, and education. However, these are not the skills most desperately needed. Instead, what relates to success and quality of hire are soft skills and attributes that traditionally aren’t screened for or measured at the hiring stage.

In contrast, talent intelligence looks beyond resumes and algorithms that reward keywords centered on educational background and hard skills, to find candidates with the skills that can make a difference in an organization at fundamental levels.

Crosschq Free Headcount Planning Template

Start With Market Intelligence  

Talent intelligence spans a range of processes, starting even before the screening and matching steps begin. The first step of the hiring intelligence journey starts with market intelligence: to gain a deeper understanding of the increasing demand for talent and how competitors are approaching that need.

A staggering 64% of companies say their recruiting budgets are increasing significantly in 2022. The battle for top talent is fierce, and skills gaps are appearing across all industry verticals, making securing key candidates before the competition does even more critical. 

Examine what competitors are looking for and gather market intelligence about the future of skills gaps to create a forward-thinking talent wish list. Build out an approach to talent acquisition that takes a long-term view of employee recruitment and retention.

Gauge the future needs of the marketplace and begin talent mapping for the future of an organization to gain a competitive edge as the talent pool continues to shrink and demand rises. Market intelligence is a driver of talent intelligence, providing a baseline to build on.

Don’t just hire for the roles of today. Gather and leverage market intelligence to anticipate the roles of tomorrow, and hire for those skills. Create the workforce of the future internally, and reduce dependency on the labor marketplace for key employees.

what is talent intelligence, talent intelligence recruitment

The Three Prongs of Talent Intelligence Recruitment

An organizational recruitment force that understands precisely what skills are in demand now and will be in the future is ready to leverage true talent intelligence. There are three stages to leveraging intelligence about talent: acquisition, management, and fairness.

Talent acquisition

Attracting candidates, screening them, and matching them to existing roles is a task that can be more easily accomplished with access to data. However, the problem isn’t that there’s not enough data available to make the best choices. 

The issue is too much data, which can mask the fact that there is actually a dearth of qualified candidates. The average corporate job attracts 250 resumes. As applicants become smarter about applying for jobs in an era of automation and AI, even automated algorithms can get bogged down in keyword analysis.

Time constraints can mean the first five candidates to “meet qualification parameters” are forwarded to a hiring manager instead of the top five candidates. The sheer mass of resumes and applications being sent in response to every job posting drowns those responsible for conducting screening and matching in data overload.

The result is processes that miss the mark in the interest of cutting down candidate lists to a manageable size. A common example is a requirement for a four-year degree or a specific number of years in a given role.

By using such broad, sweeping generalizations to separate viable candidates from discards, companies run the risk of excluding high-value talent and preventing their organization from being diverse. The result is a loss of potential productivity, efficiency, and revenues.

Using talent intelligence to refine what is actually needed for a role can serve a double purpose; it can lead to greater diversity, and it can deliver unique talent that is prime for nurturing in order to build the workforce of the future.

Talent management

Once talent is identified and screened, the best matches between available candidates and open roles can be conducted. What happens to runners-up? Smart recruitment strategy demands that these silver medalists be cultivated for potential future hiring needs. 

According to one case study, just 3-6 months of additional experience can mean a candidate gains the skills they need to be a better hire.

Careful management of shortlisted candidates is critical as passive talent can make hiring down the road much easier. Talent intelligence should mean creating and maintaining a database of talent for future outreach, to get top talent in front of hiring managers quickly. 

By shifting recruitment to a hybrid model that reaches out to tap passive talent as much as opening the door to inbound applicants, organizations can recruit from the best the marketplace has to offer. Information gathered from previous rounds of recruitment can be put to good use in matching talent to open positions.

Talent hired into the organization can also be tracked and monitored for internal promotion. Career pathing and succession planning are easier when HR departments not only know what skill sets are needed, but which personnel already possess a range of skills.

In many cases, it can be easier to promote someone inside the organization who already has four out of five skills. They can be easily upskilled to create the ideal candidate, rather than spending weeks or months searching for the perfect outside hire that may or may not exist.

When a deserving and talented worker is promoted from within, the risk of making them feel they were passed over is eliminated. They will be more eager and willing to help train their replacement, and the entire team grows stronger. Companies that promote from within also keep their employees 41% longer than companies that don’t.

By putting this level of effort into existing employees, loyalty will be built that can aid in retention. When effort is put into training them to make them a better fit, the investment can pay off in dividends down the road if a competitor tries to poach them.

New call-to-action

Talent fairness

Finally, talent intelligence speaks to equity and inclusion in hiring. Understanding the workforce in place and working to implement hiring practices that focus on diversity and belonging can increase the accuracy and efficiency of hiring practices. 

By using talent intelligence to focus on what really matters in a new hire (skills over credentials) bias in hiring can be minimized. Matching becomes more accurate, and retention rates improve when recruitment is data-driven.

New hires chosen for best matches across a range of carefully selected parameters instead of rooted in “who knows who” or nepotism can help build better teams and generate higher revenues. Fairness also is a driver of employee trust in a company; 76% of job hunters say that a commitment to diversity is an important company policy to them.

[The Ultimate Checklist to Avoid Bias in Hiring]

what is talent intelligence, talent intelligence recruitment

Building a Talent Intelligence Framework

A talent intelligence recruitment framework will assist in shortlisting candidates in a more balanced and efficient way. Besides the goals of reducing bias in the selection process and creating a more diverse talent pool, the right talent intelligence solution can significantly reduce time-to-fill.

This framework won’t consist of a single solution, but a network of platforms and tools designed to shepherd candidates through the talent acquisition process from recruitment through retention and beyond. 

Build clear employee profiles and new hire personas based on market intelligence and internal databases, develop a screening process that removes bias, and implement scoring and tracking to follow new hires through their first year to further refine hiring protocols.

Demand robust reporting to help clarify trends around hiring in regard to DEIB initiatives. The ability to score candidates easily and compare scores across even playing fields is key to diversity in the workplace and accurate quality of hire measurements.

Talent intelligence can bring disparate data sources together and help them make sense to hiring managers. Psychometric data, references, skills assessments, performance, and other attributes or metrics can be compiled and stored directly in an applicant tracking system (ATS), for a holistic, 360 view of company-wide talent acquisition, management, and fairness. 

The Future of Talent Intelligence

Talent intelligence recruitment is still in the early stages of adoption, as organizations struggle to figure out what platforms will serve them best and how to implement automation and AI into their recruitment funnels. 

Crosschq’s Talent Intelligence Cloud platform provides a range of talent intelligence recruitment support from reference checking to report on Quality of Hire. Our solutions are helping companies develop a data-driven approach to decisions in hiring, and improving retention through recruitment strategies that take a long view to workforce building. Request a free demo today.

Noelle Davis

by Noelle Davis

Staff Writer

File Under

Take the Guesswork
Out of Hiring

Schedule a demo now
ESTE_cropped este_sm cta_light