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Talent intelligence: How to hire smarter

The world of work continues to evolve, and employers face the ongoing challenge of sourcing quality candidates in a skills-short market. David Jones from Robert Half discusses how to hire smarter in a competitive market.


The world of work continues to evolve due to the ongoing evolution of new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and automation, and employers face the challenge of sourcing quality candidates in a skills-short market. In fact, Robert Half research has found that more than three-quarters (79 per cent) of Australian hiring managers find it more challenging to source qualified professionals today compared to five years ago.

So how can hiring managers use these new technologies to their advantage when sourcing new talent and how will technology impact the future of recruitment?

Artificial intelligence has been one of the most dominant trends in the recruitment industry in recent years. Since embedding automation and technological advancement into staffing, organisations today can screen candidates faster, communicate with them more efficiently and even seek to remove unconscious bias from the hiring process.

But what comes next?

We’re now seeing hiring managers adapt to talent intelligence – the process of using technology, data and insights to guide every part of an organisation’s hiring strategy – essentially, the process of hiring smarter.

What is talent intelligence and why is it important?

Talent intelligence allows hiring managers to make better decisions by using a wide range of available information harnessed through technology. This could be alerting businesses to competitive hiring threats, trends in future talent or identifying urgent hiring needs far in advance.

The process is actively helping hiring managers get back to the fundamentally important, human part of recruitment, rather than just being another step towards technological control. Recruitment is most successful when utilising expert experience and instinct to hire and retain the best people – which is further strengthened using technology.

Opportunities to be gained by using this process include staying ahead of recruitment trends that affect the jobs market and giving time back to staff involved in the hiring process. This process also helps hiring managers develop a forward-thinking, future-looking recruitment strategy.

However, there are also challenges associated with talent intelligence, which not only include managing the costs of accessing database management tools but also ensuring candidate information and trend data is private and safe from breaches.

So, what does talent intelligence look like?

Robert Half’s Candidate Search is an example of a tool that is benefited by talent intelligence. Businesses of any size or industry can browse for suitable, pre-screened candidates based on their specific recruitment needs. Talent in the database can be searched by job title, industry, location (including proximity to a workplace), language skills, accomplishments and education level.

How to prepare for talent intelligence

While technology will undoubtedly play a part in the recruitment process for the foreseeable future, what talent intelligence reaffirms is the need for human experience and instinct to not only balance the hiring decision with technology, but also to remain an essential and fundamental part of discovering talent. For hiring managers, it’s in their best interest to have an all-round approach that not only includes the latest technologies, but also prioritises the human expertise needed throughout the recruitment process.

Put simply, talent intelligence is at its best when it’s used by people. That way, technology and insights are used in ways that suit an organisation’s needs, bringing direction and purpose to data.

At its core, talent intelligence is about making smarter recruitment decisions that will strengthen an organisation and prepare it for the future. And while the ‘human element’ is and will remain crucial to finding and hiring the right talent for every job, talent intelligence will help organisations utilise search functions confidently and make smarter, sustainable hiring decisions.

About the research

The annual study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in June 2018 by an independent research firm, surveying 460 hiring managers from companies across Australia. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.

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