Sarah Clayton Feb 4

Talent Intelligence Collective Podcast Episode 16 - the one with Ian Addison Smith from EY

The Talent Intelligence Collective Podcast 

The one with Ian Addison Smith from EY


Welcome to the 16th episode of the Talent Intelligence Collective Podcast

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Alan Walker (the podcast host) describes the episode below:

In this one, myself, Alison Ettridge and Toby Culshaw co-hosted an episode where we spoke to Ian Addison-Smith of EY. And it’s a goodun!

We started off the episode in our typical fashion, with Toby updating us on the happenings within the world of Talent Intelligence. Unsurprisingly, ‘quite a lot’ has happened.

The first piece of news that Toby was quite excited to talk about was how the scientific ‘war for talent’ was heating up as the pandemic restrictions continued to ease.

I loved this piece. As a CEO of a scaling business, I was really excited to see countries offering visas to start-up business to help grow their market. It really goes beyond ‘war on talent’.


After a brief discussion about the warning issued by US economist, Francisco Mary Daly related to Covid undermining female participation in the workforce. We moved to a rather interesting study about how important it is to be born at the right time of year.

The study claims that young people born at the beginning of the year do significantly better in the labour market than their peers born later in the year.

Well if you think about it. In the UK, a child who is 8 could be almost 2 years older that the youngest in their class. That’s essentially 25%, it’s a wide gap.


It does get me thinking. It calls into question the state of the education sector. I think we have the technologies to make it more fluid and more personalised. And yet we haven’t seem to have done it yet?


The final piece of news is about the new piece of tech entering the market, The Korn Ferry Intelligence Cloud. An AI-trained cloud powered by external market intelligence and 4 billion Korn Ferry datapoints on work structures, roles and employees’ skills and motivation.

I’m comforted by it, to know that the choice is there. But I completely agree, the word that kept screaming in my head was benchmarking. How much is it based on real tangible recent data?


Absolutely, the is not one answer to this. And rightly so, teams are taking the multi vendor approach. No one is the single source of truth, so cross validation is the approach to take at the moment.


At which point I felt like we had heard everyone’s opinion about the world and its news, but we were eager to find out more about our guest, Ian. His world, his background. So I virtually passed the mic onto our only resident hard-hitting interviewer extraordinaire today – Alison.

As someone who currently works in Talent Attraction but is building out a Talent Intelligence team, do you see insights applicable? And how would you envision them being used?

I think with Talent Attraction, the way that a lot of teams operate has become really transactional. Which does delivers results. But it creates a blind spots as to how skills are evolving. While talent Intelligence has an ability to broaden the skills discussion and offer a more sophisticate voice, specifically when it comes to diversity.


You’ve mentioned the end goal of linking insights with Talent Attraction. We talk about joining the dots a lot.

It can be a challenge to connect it all together. Thinking about it objectivity being able to connect everything together then it should make you a more powerful entity when making decision about your business.


With enough time for one big final question, as we were approaching our 1hour cut off mark, Alison asked Ian’s top tips for creating a Talent Intelligence function.

Don’t rush. Don’t build it on the fly. Take time and assess what is your definition is of Talent Intelligence and what kind of questions are you seeking to answer for your C-suite and other departments.


Listen now