Your Guide To Talent Intelligence Platforms: Part 1

This article about Talent Intelligence platforms was originally published in September 2021 and was updated to reflect new information on Talent Intelligence in the realms of talent acquisition and talent management in July 2022.

Most everyone in the talent acquisition space, from HR leaders to recruiters to talent acquisition professionals to staffing company executives, has noticed the world being rocked by evolving technology. We are seeing the industry take another step forward with a new technology category: Talent Intelligence platforms.

As a whole, Talent Intelligence platforms generate many discussions and questions from organizations. What is the true value they provide? How long does implementation take? Just how should you decide which platform to invest in? In our 3 part series, we’ll take the time to dive deeper into the topic of Talent Intelligence, so you’ll feel informed and educated as you build out your talent management and talent acquisition strategies. 

Today, in part one of our series, we’ll talk about what Talent Intelligence platforms are and how they fit into your existing TA/TM stack. 

Hear about the latest innovations in #TalentIntelligence and its impacts on both #TalentManagement and #TalentAcquisition in the latest blog: Click To Tweet

What are Talent Intelligence platforms? Why do they matter? Do they provide real business value, or are they all hype? And how can they be successfully implemented and optimized to help organizations?

Talent Intelligence platforms do two things:

  1. They combine all internal and external candidate data sources to provide a holistic view of the talent available to organizations. 
  2. They make sense of the data with AI, for example recognizing that two different job titles actually represent the same type of work or that candidates with a particular combination of skills are strong matches for specific roles.

This holistic view of data allows organizations to:

  • Match internal and external candidates against open roles
  • Dynamically understand skills and job market trends
  • Perform strategic workforce planning
  • Proactively source candidates 

In short, Talent Intelligence platforms are a foundational tool for gathering and sorting through data about jobs and people while combining data and AI to empower recruiters and organizations to make better decisions around talent. This core functionality opens up many possible use cases and represents a step up from the technologies we have been using for the past decade. 

Talent Intelligence in the Context of a TA Technology Stack

The ability of AI tools to make sense of vast amounts of online and in-house data about jobs and people is transforming talent acquisition technology. As a result, the technology ecosystem’s boundaries are shifting, making it difficult for talent acquisition professionals to stay ahead of the field. Here’s a brief orientation.

There are several broad categories of software, all of which rely on this fundamental ability of AI to understand data about jobs and people:

  • Talent Intelligence Tools: These tools focus on AI-driven search capabilities, that is, finding candidates for jobs by looking at both internal and external sources of data (i.e., both candidate relationship management systems and job boards). These tools are closely related to “social search tools” and “person-job matching tools.” HiringSolved and HiredScore have capabilities that fit in this space.
  • Labor Market Intelligence Tools: These tools focus on understanding the labor market. For example, by scanning resumes of people in a given geography, these tools can give up-to-date insights on the availability of skills in that area, and hence can be useful for decisions such as where to locate a new office. Emsi, Revelio Labs, and SkyHive are vendors who, among other capabilities, provide labor market intelligence.
  • Candidate Relationship Management (CRM) Tools: These tools provide a range of capabilities for tracking and managing candidates. CRMs are not new. What is new is CRMs that are leveraging AI capabilities. Vendors such as Beamery and Phenom People have capabilities in this space.
  • Internal Talent Marketplaces: Just like CRMs, Internal Talent Marketplaces are not new. What is new is the ability to understand jobs and people in terms of skill sets to uncover potential career paths, identify skills gaps, efficiently run internal “gig” workplaces, and so on. Vendors such as Gloat have capabilities in this space.

Vendors rarely fit neatly into one category and often have capabilities that cross over into other spaces. Nevertheless, this rough categorization helps provide some guideposts in understanding the space. In the context of a broader TA technology stack, Talent Intelligence platforms can be thought of as “middle-ware” that sits on top of the core applications (such as an ATS or CRM) and makes those applications more useful for end-users. A deeper discussion of how vendors differentiate and potentially integrate into existing tech is provided later in this series.

Find out the key benefits of leveraging #TalentIntelligence in the realms of both #TalentManagement and #TalentAcquisition in TTL's recent blog: Click To Tweet

Talent Intelligence Benefits In A TM Technology Stack

Not to be outdone, Talent Management tech stacks are also benefitting largely from utilizing Talent Intelligence platforms. While talent management is more people-facing, let’s explore how Talent Intelligence is both improving and optimizing the process of talent management. 

Here are some of the most recognized ways Talent Intelligence platforms positively impact talent management: 

  • Reduces Biased Language: Talent Intelligence platforms leverage AI to help reduce the amount of biased language within internal and external messaging. By using this technology, you help potential candidates feel included and ensure the inclusivity of your already existing team. 
  • Predicts Candidate Potential: Candidate potential can be an elusive term without automation and data to back it up. Talent Intelligence platforms use the anonymous data from applicants to predict a successful job match. 
  • Enables Employee Listening: Many Talent Intelligence programs provide the opportunity to distribute employee surveys more discreetly and anonymously than ever before. Some AI tools can even scan chat sessions and questionnaires to more accurately gauge employee sentiment. 
  • Retains Top Talent: Some Talent Intelligence platforms can pinpoint when or if an employee is currently unhappy in their position and might be searching for a new role elsewhere. By identifying this pain point early on, there’s time for management to intervene and make changes where necessary.

Talent Intelligence tools can be implemented in a matter of months. They layer in a new search capability onto your existing systems rather than requiring you to tear out the old system and replace them. They typically “breathe new life” into an existing legacy ATS or CRM by providing the search capability that makes the systems more useful for recruiters.

The takeaway for HR leaders interested in implementing Talent Intelligence is to devote as much time to getting internal stakeholders aligned as to working with the vendor to get the new technology installed. And then, prepare your process and your people to get way more efficient. 

Now that you understand what a Talent Intelligence platform is and how it fits into your tech stack, it’s time to take things one step further. In the next part of our series, we’ll touch on the business cases supporting the implementation of talent Intelligence platforms.

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