Using Talent Intelligence to Drive Strategy

October 29 2019

We had a great session in London last week at ExpediteHR’s HR Transformation series event at The Academy of Medical Sciences. Under the banner of ‘Using Talent Intelligence to Drive Strategy’ we joined Philips’ Toby Culshaw, Chat Talent Host Kevin Green  and CIPD NED Shakil Butt to talk about how we’re starting to realise the value of people intelligence in the same way we already value business intelligence.

Ahead of the publication of ‘Talent Intelligence: why, what and how, a guide to commercially successful Talent Intelligence in a digital era’ to which Talent Intuition has contributed, this was an interesting time to gauge how we are, and how we could, be using talent intelligence in our everyday roles.

Finance has loads of data, HR need to embrace it too

Following Shakil’s intro Kevin kicked off the session asking; “Do you even know how many people you have across your organisation?” You’d think the answer would be obvious! But, this illustrated the gap in accessibility and availability of people data compared to other types of organisational data.

“Finance teams and FDs have bags of data, but HR doesn’t” said Kevin. “If HR doesn’t embrace it, finance will!” So, we need to make sure we stay ahead by offering the same level of insight on people as we do on finances.

We know that HR needs to be evidence based – and that we need to be able to provide the same level of insight as the FD! - but the connection between what HR does and business performance is currently weak.

Industry insight from Philips

Next up was Toby Culshaw who already leads a team of talent intelligence professionals at Philips where he is Global Head of Talent Intelligence at Philips. Toby pointed out that the ‘talent mismatch’ costs the economy $150bn per year according to PwC and this is a gap that can be closed by talent intelligence. 

Part of the reason people data hasn’t yet delivered on its potential is because to date people analytics teams tend to be internally focused says Toby. At Philips, Toby has brought together internal people analytics, by partnering with the HR Analytics team, with external talent analytics to create a more holistically looking talent intelligence team. The internal team has a huge variety of data sources available to them; currently 150+ sources of which 98% are free resources. Although data is readily available, the prevalence of too much data and too many taxonomies can hamper the extent to which it can be used, says Toby, and the team is always looking for ways to generate insight from people data more efficiently.  

Using talent intelligence to influence decisions

The last session of the day was the opportunity to work through some case studies with Alison and me to answer some key questions about how we use talent intelligence: HOW can I improve my IMPACT? How can I create VALUE? What shall I FOCUS on?

Here are our key takeaways from the session:

  1. Combine internal and external data as Philips have done in order to provide a full picture that can be used to make strategic decisions as well as smaller scale people decisions.
  2. Bring together commercial and business data with people data so that information about talent supply and demand is viewed within the commercial context.
  3. Make use of multiple internal and external data sources that add confidence and credibility.
  4. A confidence indicator helps to build HR’s credibility. Our clients tell us time and time again that they would prefer some data over no data. In areas where data is hard to find, use what you have and explain how confidently it can be used.
  5. The speed at which we can provide data matters. HR needs to be as nimble as finance and every talent project should not take weeks to come to fruition in a static report.
  6. Visualising data, using images to support it helps to bring it to life for a wide variety of audiences.
  7. Don’t hide in HR, people data matters to everyone! Including the senior leadership team
  8. Be the ANTICIPATOR. The power of data means HR can lead on talent strategy, making recommendations, spotting trends, and helping the business build a workforce for the future.

Thank you to all who attended and contributed to the discussion. If you’d like to find out more about using tools like Stratigens which uses 130,000 data sources to put intelligence at the centre of decision making, please contact us to see a demo.