Commercially Successful Talent Intelligence - What?

February 03 2020

Commercially Successful Talent Intelligence – What? Was the title for Alan Walker (author of Chat Talent) and Marlieke Pols (Talent Intelligence Analyst at Philips) hugely enjoyable webinar ahead of the launch of a white paper on the what, why and how of talent intelligence.

Marlieke is part of Toby Culshaw’s capable team of in-house Global Talent Intelligence experts at Philips and has taken the lead on writing ‘Talent Intelligence: a guide to commercially successful Talent Intelligence in a digital era’ in collaboration with contributors from IBM, Merck, Verizon, Microsoft, Armstrong Craven, Mercer, Emsi, Horsefly and us at Talent Intuition.

What is talent intelligence? “Talent intelligence is the application of external data relating to people, skills, jobs, functions, competitors and geographies to drive business decisions.”

As a contributor to the recently published white paper I welcomed the opportunity to be part of the panel of contributors on the webinar. Companies are increasingly talking about talent intelligence and this paper offers a ‘state of the nation report’ as well as some ideas for building talent intelligence into your business and talent strategy.

A sneak preview

During the webinar, which you can listen to again here, we talked through the key findings in the paper. You can download the paper now and read it in its entirety, it’s a very enlightening read. Here are three points from the webinar that I felt were food for thought:

  1. I thought it was really interesting to find out what organisations are looking for from TI. The top deliverables from TI teams (either in-house or outsourced) are: Location feasibility studies, competitor insights, talent insights (availability, current and future skills, competencies forecasting), salary benchmarking and total cost calculation. Looking to the future and being fit for the future through talent is an area of growing interest.


  1. Building the business case for TI. I hope that this paper will do great things for helping people to build the business case for using TI! Articulating the benefits in terms of cost reduction is powerful and by starting small and modelling scenarios for an existing project it’s possible to do this in-house. By using free data sources and gathering information during current projects (such as asking for additional intelligence during candidate screening calls) you can build a picture of how valuable TI can be.


  1. Measuring ROI. As Marlieke said during the webinar, although costs can be defined in most cases, benefits can be hard to grasp and take a long time to materialise. A feedback mechanism such as surveys and interviews can capture the success of a project. Paired with business scenario creation this feedback helps to demonstrate benefits as financial and commercial impact or risk mitigation.


Who is doing it well and how?

Where companies are doing things well there is close collaboration between internal and external talent analytics. Analytics and TI have a different approach but it’s important they work in partnership and we see this partnership becoming deeper over time. Some organisations have merged people analytics and talent intelligence to combine the internal lens on people with the bigger picture and some use external companies to source talent intelligence for them. You can read more about how this is working in the full white paper.

Why are companies investing in TI now?

Falling global unemployment rates, digital transformation, economic activity, political and social changes and changing workplace cultures all affect the talent landscape and businesses are aware they’re not the only ones looking for top talent.

How do you find and attract talent when the competition is fierce? Are you still in the right locations? Do you even need physical premises? Is your business fit for the future? What are the operating costs in your target markets? What are the most attractive cities to live in? How does what you’re offering stack up against competitors? Talent intelligence helps you answer these questions.   

Where can I watch again? And how can I get the white paper?

You can watch a replay of the webinar here and drop me an email if you’d like to receive a copy of the white paper hot off the press: or download your copy here.