Grow with Talent Intelligence

Talent Intelligence: Using data and insights to inform key business decisions and make people your competitive advantage.


What is Talent Intelligence

Every day businesses make decisions that have an impact on the quality of talent they can attract and retain. From new locations to base salaries, bonuses to job titles. Talent Intelligence allows businesses to harness the power of data when making these decisions, and in doing so empowers organisations to find and keep the best talent.

Talent Intelligence encompasses every aspect of an organisation’s Talent Life Cycle. It brings together a whole range of data points relating to people, skills, roles, functions, competitors, and geographies to drive business decisions. It is much more than a data insights platform, it provides the context and actionable insights to drive informed strategic decisions and minimise risk in your organisation.

How does Talent Intelligence differ from People Analytics?

Where People Analytics is inward-facing and focuses on internal moves, Talent Intelligence looks at the external landscape and is informed by the internal picture. Ideally, Talent Intelligence and People Analytics work hand in hand.  

The core components of Talent Intelligence:

  • Organisation design
  • Employer brand perception
  • Location planning 
  • Talent availability
  • Hiring strategies
  • Salary benchmarking and budgeting
  • Competitor insights, including
    • Structure
    • Salary and benefits
    • Culture
    • Flexibility

Talent Intelligence also includes elements of Talent Mapping including:

  • Skills forecasting
  • Role decommissioning
  • Internal progression
  • Title mapping
  • Qualification mapping

So how can you use Talent Intelligence to add value to your organisation? Read on to find out. 

How Talent Intelligence adds value

Talent Intelligence empowers your organisation to make informed strategic decisions by providing you with the data and actionable insights you need to drive change. It can help HR professionals raise the profile of issues that impact the Talent Life Cycle and, in doing so, help the business think differently about choices that impact people strategy. The result of this change is seen through improved talent attraction, reduced attrition, improved productivity and stronger teams.

A location decision is a perfect example of Talent Intelligence in action. We worked with a client in the healthcare sector who faced paying a premium for talent in their head office location, and were looking to open a secondary location where the same salary would attract the best talent on the market. We used Talent Intelligence to evaluate the location options and provide a recommendation with talent acquisition in mind, and went onto recruit their start-up roles, all within a 12 week period.

Questions Talent Intelligence can answer:

  • What roles are in high demand and how can we compete effectively for talent? 
  • What salary and benefits are being offered for similar roles within the market? 
  • How do the role responsibilities and remit compare with similar positions at competitor organisations? 
  • Where should we locate our offices to attract the best people?
  • What makes a candidate choose or reject potential employers?
  • How should we size and structure our teams?
  • What skills should we be hiring for to future-proof our organisation? 
  • How are competitors organisations approaching social issues, and equity and transparency within the business? Does this appeal to prospective employees?
  • Which recruitment strategies are best suited for each type of role in the industry? 
  • Why do employees quit, and what steps can we take to improve retention? 
  • How can we structure our recruitment pipeline to maximise productivity and minimise resourcing issues?

The question you pose is then layered with the business needs to provide fully informed recommendations:

  • Is a part of the business underperforming?
    Is there a talent gap?
  • Are there any long-term business transformations underway that could impact the strategy (a change in the technology stack for example)?

Read on to find out how to gather Talent Intelligence for your organisation. 

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How to gather Talent Intelligence

At the heart of Talent Intelligence is an analysis of multiple data points, including both third-party and original research. The following steps outline the journey to delivering comprehensive insight. 

Step 1: Understanding internal dynamics

Before you start external research it is crucial to conduct an internal review to assess the starting point. 

The first part of this is to understand the wider business context, which includes

  • Business objectives/mission 
  • Major change programmes
  • Objectives 5-year plan
  • Known skills gaps
  • Underperforming areas

The second part of this phase is to conduct research into the employee experience and understand vacancy levels and remuneration on offer. This research may include 

  • Employee surveys - current and exit surveys
  • Employer reviews on third-party sites
  • Employer recruitment analytics such as website analytics, LinkedIn analytics, and recruitment tracking systems.
  • Analysis of current vacancies, and time to recruit
  • Salaries and benefits

An internal employee survey can be used to dig into specific issues. These questions may cover topics like the regularity of 1:1s, availability of progression opportunities, as well as commuting time and approach to remote working.  

Step 2: Competitor activity

Assessing the competitor offer enables you to understand how the business compares in the marketplace for talent. It’s important to remember that the competitor here is a business in competition for the same talent pool rather than one that necessarily sits in the same vertical. 

This research can include

  • Competitor vacancies 
  • Surveys of a competitor’s current or recently departed employees
  • Salary data
  • Employer review sites (such as Glassdoor)

Step 3: Third-party research

Relevant existing research helps to give context to the specifics of the situation emerging from steps 1 and 2. This involves assessing labour and employment statistics and reviewing relevant studies from reputable sources such as Gartner, Forbes and the Harvard Business Review. 

Step 4: Social, Political and Economic factors

The last part of the investigation is to evaluate the broader context that informs how employees and prospective candidates evaluate their current employment and new opportunities. This could include economic downturns, industry investment, government support and changes in social attitudes. 

Here we are looking for: 

  • Investment highlights
  • Infrastructure changes
  • Relevant local news 
  • Links to education 

Step 5: Integrated talent intelligence

The final phase is to unite this valuable information and provide an outline of the main issues at play in the form of actionable business insights.

“When we do analysis, we’re looking at the top 25 to 50 roles that drive disproportionate value. We break down the value agenda and ask, “How are we going to make money in the future?” Some parts will be new. Others will be sustaining.”

Bryan Hancock, McKinsey leader and talent expert


How Talent Intelligence helps

As part of significant plans to grow the business across the African continent, our client needed to understand the market, pay and reward data and the competitors operating in that space. We were asked to carry out research and share insights that would help to set the strategy for this essential area of development.

We uncovered the insights they needed, quickly but accurately to minimise risk.

Read the full case study

Best Practices

Talent Intelligence is most useful when there are clear goals and objectives from the outset. This is why our approach prioritises an internal review which starts by looking at the wider business context.

It’s also essential to involve your key stakeholders throughout the process to ensure buy-in and alignment with business objectives. This ensures that the findings are taken seriously as the business understands the process and objectives of the research.

Finally, Talent Intelligence mustn't be considered a one-off activity. The marketplace and broader economic context is ever-changing, so your strategy should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure it stays relevant and effective.

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Talent Intelligence in action

Client case study

We worked with a client in the automotive industry who recently opened a major new facility outside of the UK. They needed to recruit over 200 specialist software engineers, and despite initial optimism about the location and the available talent pools, it quickly became apparent that recruitment was going to be problematic. 

Issues included: 

  • A site location 150 miles from the capital
  • ‘Hands off’ agreements in place with competitors where relevant talent could be working
  • A lack of specialist skills in the local labour market
  • The need for visas and sponsorship to bring in talent

In response, we carried out in-depth research and shared comprehensive insights to put data behind strategic changes. These recommendations resulted in improved employer branding, revised budgets and hiring strategies aligned to the location. 

Our insight included:

  • A review of the broader talent pool availability looking at those with transferable skills
  • Local software engineering salary data 
  • Employee brand perception of competitors
  • Noteworthy industry news about the location of the facility
  • Relevant hiring activity news
  • A review of universities with relevant software engineering courses

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New strategic direction and hiring strategies

as a direct result of our research and insights

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Improved dialogue within the business

between senior executives and the Talent Acquisition team

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Insights guided future hiring strategies

positioning our client for success


Talent intelligence is a valuable tool to inform the strategic decision-making of an organisation, with a focus on attracting and retaining the best talent in order to grow. It uses deep analysis to uncover underlying issues and provide actionable insight.

These insights are generated by combining the challenges of specific organisations with broader workplace trends and economic factors. By gathering and analysing relevant data, organisations can gain a deeper understanding of their workforce and the competitive environment for talent to identify opportunities for improvement.

Implementing Talent Intelligence can have a positive impact on the overall success of the organisation. The most noticeable impact is in reducing the costs associated with recruitment, but it can also be seen across the full Talent Life Cycle benefiting existing employees and improving productivity across the board.

Talent Intelligence provides the data and insight needed to drive change and resolve underlying issues that prevent organisations from achieving their growth potential.

If the challenges we’ve outlined sound familiar read on to find out how we can help you implement Talent Intelligence in your organisation. 

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How we help

If you’d like to raise your profile within your organisation and get your voice heard, we can help you to get the right insights to have those conversations. Our Talent Intelligence service not only gives you access to data but also insights to guide how your organisation could respond.

We can uncover a wealth of information that can help guide key strategic choices and give your organisation a competitive advantage: 

  • Employee insights, understanding how they perceive your offer and what they value most
  • Competitor insights, such as benchmarking and hiring activity
  • Candidate motivations to understand whether your offering meets their needs, values and preferences
  • Employer brand perception externally
  • Insights about the labour market, employment statistics and salaries
  • Location insights to guide decisions about relocations, new offices or facilities or switching to remote or hybrid working models
  • Best practice as an employer, helping you understand the strategies of other businesses, either competitors or market leaders. 

We work in partnership with our clients to ensure that we uncover the insights you need but our extensive experience means we can also guide you about the key metrics that will have an impact internally. We use a mix of primary and secondary data to ensure the insights we provide are robust and reliable.

If you’d like to find out how we’re helping our clients in this area, get in touch on 0191 691 5600 or email for a no-obligation conversation.

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Want to know more about how talent intelligence can help your business or have a question about the types of insights we uncover, send us a message, and we’ll be in touch shortly.