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Leveraging Talent Intelligence for Strategic Decision Making

January 25, 2019

Every company's goal is to hire the best talent and retain talent for as long as possible.

You spend several months carefully sourcing, recruiting, and onboarding your new hires in the hopes that your investment in these people will pay off, and that they will be a valuable addition to your team. You certainly don't make an all-star hire, and hope they leave within 6 months after you’ve spent capital and resources bring them on.

There are dozens of strategies for attracting more high-quality employees, as well as retaining them, but these strategies aren’t implemented or measured effectively without talent intelligence.

What is Talent Intelligence?

Talent intelligence refers to the process where organizations collect and analyze data on existing candidate pools, passive candidates, internal employees, former employees, and competitors.

Talent intelligence data includes everything on the micro-level, such as:

  • Employment history, skills, salary, education, work performance/ performance reviews, benefits data, conversation history, social media history, etc.

And macro-level data such as:

  • Benefits offered, salary, HR sponsored programs, company culture, employment levels, open job requisitions, etc.

How to Leverage Talent Intelligence

Talent intelligence starts with talent data. You have a wealth of talent data but it’s spread across several system or department silos, as well as public sources such as LinkedIn and other social media or the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  

This begs the question. How do you compile all of your talent data into a single resource that you can use for strategic decision-making?

The answer: HR Data Integration.

To get all of this data into a single, usable resource, you’ll need to integrate all of your different HR systems. We recommend using a tool like SwoopTalent to simplify the integration process. This will allow you to integrate different systems with the click of a button.

Once you’ve put all of this data into a single resource, also known as a talent data lake, you’ll be able to start leveraging talent intelligence. From identifying better allocations of resources to creating stronger candidate skill requirement profiles for any job, talent intelligence can be leveraged at every level of your organization to improve talent acquisition, retention and performance outcomes.

Talent Intelligence Reports

Below are examples of some of the insights you’ll be able to draw from your talent intelligence and data, as well the benefits and decisions your team will be able to use and communicate with the c-suite.

VP Migration Report

Migration Reports can be used for many roles: anything from VPs, Directors, Mid-level managers, or even entire business units such as developers or engineers. What the migration reports shows is where all of your VPs (in this instance) have gone after leaving your company.

Strategically, this lets you leverage your talent intelligence to discover if there are any common companies your employees are migrating to, and what the differentiators are between your roles and theirs.

If you notice the majority of your VPs are going to Amazon, then you’d look into they why’s. Is it salary? Benefits? Perks? Company culture? Flexibility? Travel opportunities?

By comparing similarities and differentiators in your roles and the roles that your VPs migrate to, you can identify key factors that are attracting your best talent to your competitors and start offering opportunities that are more in-line with talent desires.

Source and Quality of Hire

This report takes a longer look at your talent acquisition funnel. You may already have infrastructure in place to view source of hire metrics, but what about quality?

Source of hire leverages information in your ATS, when candidates are sourced, and as they go through the hiring process. Ultimately, your recruiters mark the employee as “hired,” giving you your source of hire metric.

This is valuable in assessing which candidate sources are leading to the best source-to-hire ratios, but doesn’t factor in whether the employee stays or churns, or of they’re high-performing.

By integrating your ATS talent data with your performance management system, you’re able to see a more detailed view that actually lets you compare the quality of your hire to the source.

What if you’ve been investing heavily in posting jobs to Craigslist because you had the best ratio of sourced-to-hire, but you find that they’re also the poorest performers? Wouldn’t you want to switch your strategy to dedicate more resources to the sources of candidates that are the best performing?

We would too. And that’s where your talent intelligence comes in to play.

Labor Market Skills Gap Analysis

You’re familiar with a labor market analysis, and other stats from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but have you ever compared the current labor market to your existing open job reqs in a single report?

With talent intelligence and your data sources connected, you can leverage public data like these labor stats and reference them with your recruiting strategy. This can show you if there’s a shortage of talent in your area for specific roles, if you need to look out of state, the level of competition, and more.

Using this labor market analysis, you can more accurately budget time and resources that will be required to fill various open job reqs, more accurately target metro areas with high numbers of candidates and target candidates with comparable skill sets to those needed by new hires.

Salary / Benefits Comparison

Websites like Glassdoor and Payscale have salary information publicly available. Using talent intelligence, you can compare this public data with your own internal numbers from your HRIS and payroll system.

This can give you an aggregate view of how your compensation packages compare to that of your direct competitors, your industry and the general market.

This level of proactive insight can help you avoid problems before they happen. As you see salaries go up for specific roles, you can address it internally before your high-performers start evaluating the upswing in wages and leaving for new opportunities.

Skills Roadmap Report

By combining a labor market analysis and seeing the skills needed from roles with your current employee data, you can identify an internal skills gap that can be used as a roadmap.

What do I mean by this? If you identify areas that are more difficult to hire for, you can develop a skills roadmap in your LMS to develop your employees into the roles you’ll need.

This intelligence can also help identify the sources of performance differentials between internal teams and the teams of competitors. This allows you to measure the expected performance/output boost that will result from training employees on skills that have become essential to their roles in your industry, which helps to prove the business case to upper management for investing in increased training.

Detailed Churn Reports

Employee churn is one of the never-ending problems you're trying to solve. Relative to your entire workforce, do you know which roles churn the most? The most common reasons for leaving? Has salary data been integrated to see if it’s happening by compensation levels?

When you integrate your different HR systems, you can create churn reports that show you all of the “whys” for employee churn. Your exit survey tools can provide standardized inputs for reasons for leaving, which you can attribute to the employee internal data, such as performance and compensation levels.

This in-depth talent intelligence can give you measurable and actionable way to tackle churn at your company.

Benefits of Talent Intelligence

The above reports are just a handful of ways you can leverage talent intelligence for your company.

ERE conducted a study that points to several stats for why you should be leveraging talent intelligence to make your HR/recruiting decisions.

  • 98% of leaders surveyed agreed that awareness and insight into talent could improve performance and financial success.
  • 58% of leaders surveyed said talent intelligence would impact profitability.
  • 73% said that talent intelligence would impact ROI of employee development.
  • Data Proficient Organizations rates these as the top talent metrics to track: quality of hire, employee engagement, critical roles with no identified successors, competency/ skills gap analysis, average time to hire for critical roles, best sources to fill skill/expertise gaps, top performer retention, productivity, total turnover.
  • The largest barrier to leveraging talent intelligence and insights: 49% of data deficient organizations point to lack of tools and analytical skills, 16% to cost, and 30% to lack of executive support.

When it comes to measuring the most important talent metrics (according to leaders and data proficiency organizations) we see a clear challenge in measuring them without a unified HR ecosystem. Using a tool like SwoopTalent, you can easily integrate all of your HR data to gain insights into your talent metrics and your workforce, while also crossing the largest barrier to leveraging talent intelligence: a lack of tools and analytical skills.

Talent intelligence is an essential component of modern HR strategies given the landscape of today’s knowledge economy. Companies that are able to take advantage of talent intelligence and the insights they reveal can gain a clear, strategic advantage. Those that don’t will see their profits decrease and employee costs continue to rise.

To learn more about connecting your talent data to gain strategic insights using SwoopTalent, click here.  

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