Last year, 61% of organizations struggled to hire and retain talent, and the trend seems to have continued well into 2022, despite the post-pandemic hiring boom. Without a new talent strategy, organizations will struggle to solve for talent shortage. In KPMG’s 2020 Future of HR survey,  57% of HR executives said that if HR doesn’t reform its approach, it will become irrelevant within the modern organization.

Increasing focus on data and analytics marks the beginning of a data-driven HR approach. Deloitte’s report found that 52% of surveyed companies planned to invest in data collection and analysis within the year. One way for HR leaders to get that much-awaited seat at the table is leveraging talent intelligence – using talent data to make business decisions.

This article talks about talent intelligence and how you can utilize it to develop an enterprise talent optimization strategy. 

What is Talent Intelligence?

Talent intelligence is the application of data, both internal and external, on people, skills, jobs and functions to drive business decisions. Organizations collect and analyze data to uncover talent patterns to understand company culture, employee engagement and commitment and to enhance their business strategy. In addition to your employee data, you will also collect data from your competitors, such as their candidate pool, skills, functions, workforce composition, open roles and compensation package. 

Adopting a data-driven approach allows you to leverage your most important asset: your people. HR professionals can analyze data granularly for faster hiring decisions with talent intelligence platforms, connect with the workforce throughout the employee life cycle and obtain a competitive advantage.

While talent intelligence emerged as an innovative approach to the recruitment process, its impact is far reaching for an organization. You can use the combination of internal and external data for workforce planning, employee learning and development and workflow optimization. Here are some ways talent intelligence benefits and impacts your organization and workflow: 

    • Improve employee productivity with automated feedback and reports 
    • Promote a collaborative work environment through efficient communication tools 
    • Understand your hiring needs from the recruiting and talent data 
    • Bring down talent acquisition costs
    • Boost employee engagement and retention 
    • Improve recruiter productivity

But that’s not all. Talent Intelligence can also enrich your business strategy, help you predict talent outcomes and maximize business impact with enterprise optimization.

What is Enterprise Talent Optimization?

Businesses have scores of organizational data but often overlook using their people data when designing strategy. But with data and analytics assuming the center stage in HR and talent acquisition, talent intelligence, people analytics and enterprise optimization have come to the forefront. 

Enterprise talent optimization is the process of aligning your business strategy with talent strategy using people data. It ties people data and analysis to business strategy, and it can help elevate employee engagement, drive better business outcomes and even improve transparency and communication.

The key is identifying the right data sources, understanding the most important patterns and supporting your internal talent mobility. 

Connecting Talent Intelligence with Enterprise Talent Optimization

  • Identify Data Sources 

Identifying the right sources of data is fundamental to talent intelligence and enterprise optimization. HR leaders tap into a variety of data to analyze and derive actionable insights. If you already have a talent intelligence strategy, you can start optimization by sorting your data. Even if you don’t have a plan yet, use this list as a starting point to identify the most important data sources. 

Talent intelligence data sources can broadly be categorized into two types: 

Internal Data – Data from the existing workforce and the recruitment funnel such as your HRIS.

External Data – Data from sources outside the organization. It typically includes information about competitors, past employees and job candidates.

Some of the common sources of people data include: 

Recruitment Funnel – Obtained from the applicant tracking system (ATS), recruiting data includes candidate applications (quantity), candidate characteristics, sources of applications and other interactions.

Demographic Data – Employee records including employee name, gender, residence, position, department/team, joining date, termination date and other variables. 

Social Network and Communication Data – Data from social media apps, email and collaborative work communication apps.

Employee Surveys – These measure employee attitude, engagement, commitment and satisfaction in their workplace.

Migration Report – Provides information about where your previous employees went after leaving the organization and what roles they acquired now. This helps in understanding the competitor’s talent acquisition and retention plan.

Skills Gap Analysis Data – Organizations conduct a skill gap analysis to get an idea about current employees’ skill levels, knowledge and organizational capacity. You can use the skill gap analysis report to devise reskilling plans, promote learning and development opportunities and support the internal mobility of your employees.

Labor Market Analysis – This external data source keeps you abreast with the labor market’s current happenings, allowing you to modify and adapt your business strategy.

Since enterprise talent optimization uses data to support your business goals, your data sources will be based on your goals. For instance, if your purpose is workforce planning and productivity, you will benefit from the recruitment funnel, demographic and competitor data. If you want to increase productivity, data from employee surveys and communication apps might be useful. 

  • Understand Talent Patterns 

Collecting and analyzing employee talent data provides a comprehensive report of your organization’s current skill and knowledge level. These reports will help you set up learning and development programs for employee growth. Moreover, observing talent trends can help you identify employees who can be promoted to better positions with upskilling or reskilling. 

With employees demanding hybrid work environments in 2022, the use of technology has increased, requiring upskilling and adaptability. Reskilling is useful, especially during unprecedented times, like the pandemic. Optimizing your workflow by skills improves flexibility and performance. 

  • Support Internal Talent Mobility 

In a tight labor market where hiring new talent is challenging, internal mobility is an effective way to overcome talent shortages. It is also rewarding for existing employees looking for growth opportunities and helps with long-term employee retention.

According to LinkedIn research, employees who move jobs internally are 3.5x more engaged than those who stay in the same roles. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why 62% of learning and development professionals prioritize internal talent mobility. 

Talent mobility is a great way to optimize your existing talent based on employees’ past performance data. What’s more, talent mobility has a significant impact on engagement and productivity levels while boosting employee morale. Employee talent data, such as a skills gap report and labor market analysis, could highlight the skills and trends most essential for an internal talent mobility program.

It could point out, for example, that modern application development skills are in-demand and in short supply, while also surfacing internal employees who may be perfect candidates for upskilling in this area or tapping into existing employee skills that are not being leveraged. However, many organizations don’t have access to this data and that’s where talent intelligence comes in. It enables talent teams to mobilize skills and capabilities by identifying gaps in current talent inventory.

Transitioning to Enterprise Talent Optimization  

Talent intelligence is the process of using internal and external people data to enhance your recruitment process and employee retention. Enterprise talent optimization aims to take that same people data, augment it and begin to derive new insights capable of informing the broader business strategy.

Organizations using talent intelligence can easily make the shift to enterprise talent optimization by taking a fresh look at their people data, identifying and understanding talent patterns and supporting internal talent mobility.

And finally, make sure you make the most productive shift you can by leveraging your talent intelligence platform to its fullest, helping you find new data sources, reveal new patterns and mobilize internal talent faster than ever.

Ryan Leary

Ryan Leary helps create the processes, ideas and innovation that drives RecruitingDaily. He’s our in-house expert for anything related to sourcing, tools or technology. A lead generation and brand buzz building machine, he has built superior funnel systems for some of the industries top HR Tech and Recruitment brands. He is a veteran to the online community and a partner here at RecruitingDaily.