If you’re focused on using talent intelligence to improve recruitment, stop. You’re far better off using it instead to address broader business issues. Indeed, as Marlieke Pols, my colleague and a talent intelligence consultant at Phillips, explains, talent intelligence is the application of external data relating to people, skills, jobs, functions, competitors, and geographies to drive business decisions. She further points out that it’s “about helping the organization make smart talent decisions, forward-thinking, evaluating best practices, interpreting labor market data, solidifying, and clarifying talent strategies.”
In other words, you can see how the definition clearly extends beyond recruiting.
Talent Intelligence in Times of Change
Talent intelligence is particularly powerful in times of change, during which decisive data-backed decision-making becomes vital. Certainly, we’re in one of those times now as a mix of different trends and forces impact business: There’s high unemployment in the United States; labor shortages on European farms and in construction and factories; a large drop in the number of roles being advertised in the United Kingdom; Indian factories facing huge labor shortages as people work 12-hour shifts; and Amazon increasing its workforce.
Meanwhile, even before COVID-19, a 2018 KornFerry study predicted that “global labor shortages of 85.2 million skilled workers are projected by 2030, resulting in lost revenue opportunities of $8.452 trillion — the combined GDP of Germany and Japan.” An underlying skills gap may make this worse as companies slowly start to resume activity. It may even be exacerbated by the increased rate of digital transformation that the pandemic has enforced.
And there’s a lot of digital transformation happening. Not long ago, Jared Spataro, corporate vice president for Microsoft 365, wrote: “In April, we saw more than 200 million Microsoft Teams meeting participants in a single day, generating more than 4.1 billion meeting minutes. Also, Teams now has more than 75 million daily active users…In this era of remote everything, we have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.”
All this change and transformation has meant that organizations have had to pivot at a rate never before seen. Consequently, companies are entering new territory as they look for skills that they haven’t needed historically.
With all this change comes opportunity. Talent leaders have an opportunity to be center stage and to genuinely influence strategy and business direction like never before. Talent functions can really influence whether their organizations flourish or struggle to survive post-COVID.
As Laurence Collins, a partner at the consultancy Digiworkz recently said:
“Leaders are now, by default, in a race to wholesale workforce transformation. The only way to win is to depend on data. That’s why the insights…are no longer an optional nice-to-have. They are an imperative to the successful reshaping of work, workforce, and workplaces globally.”…