Alison Ettridge Mar 24 10 min read

Using talent intelligence to join the dots between business problems and data

Strategic talent intelligence enables businesses to plan smarter talent acquisition, smarter workforce design, and smarter real estate strategy based on facts, not feelings. But all too often, companies are still driven by reactive recruitment. In fact, they spend almost £39bn per year on recruitment fees. A talent intelligence-led approach in which the business can join the dots between skills supply, real estate and diversity provides better, longer term, strategic answers to business problems (to see our interactive graphic that joins the dots, visit our website here). As one client recently said to us, it’s helped them look at an old problem with fresh eyes.

Whether you’re looking for future skills, to make real estate decisions or to build a more diverse workforce, a strategic talent intelligence approach joins the dots.

The strategic talent intelligence approach

How do you calculate the cost of new hires in a new location? Salary plus recruitment costs? This is the conventional answer. A talent intelligence approach is more joined up and would take into consideration salary and hiring costs plus a wider view of employer’s tax liability, the risks of operating in shortlisted locations, commercial property cost, time and cost to replace those skills and lost productivity days when the roles are empty.

The difference between the two calculations is significant – so when you scale this up to a workforce of tens of thousands of people, it can make a massive difference to how you plan out your people strategy.

How do we join the dots on location?

Let’s apply this to a hypothetical role in biomedical sciences. We want to expand our medical affairs team of our R&D division and we’re looking at our current three locations in New York, Birmingham and Warsaw. Where is the best place to locate this team?

Commercial property cost in Warsaw is substantially less than in New York, or Birmingham. But competition for skills across these locations differs and so salary differs greatly. So, a real estate decision made based on saving cost on real estate could actually negate any benefit as salaries are higher. Or, more likely, people are harder to hire, it takes longer, attrition is higher, employment laws mean exiting employees is costly. Looking through one lens alone gives the wrong answer – the dots must be joined.

Warsaw as a location for a medical affairs team

How is supply and demand?                                       What’s the competition for talent?

How is supply and demand?                            What is the competition for talent?

What’s Warsaw like as a location for employees?

Stratigens information on Warsaw employee demographic

The true value of joining the dots

There are wide benefits in moving from a reactive approach to one which proactively joins the dots, enabling you to make future focused decisions that address skills supply challenges. This is how you can do it:

  1. Understand where skills are coming from and focus on building up these channels opens up the talent pool. This is something we’re doing through our work with Innovate UK on gender diversity in engineering.
  2. Find out which industries hold similar skills to those you’re looking for. You’ll then know where you need to focus to either buy in, retain, or build talent. For one client, a global defence business, we increased the available talent by 88% using this thinking.
  3. Bring comprehensive external diversity data into workforce planning. Understanding early years talent means you can analyse, map and predict where certain skills will be in the future.
  4. Continue to invest in internal people analytics and data and think skills first and not job titles, making skills central to all decision making and, where possible, globalise as talent is now everywhere.


About Stratigens

Stratigens helps companies to understand skills supply and who employs skills where – so companies can take a proactive approach.  Stratigens is the only labour market analytics platform that joins the dots between skills, location, and diversity so you know where people are with the skills you need and where you need to be to access them. This joined up and data-led approach helps companies save money, reduce risk and drive competitive advantage.


To join the dots, visit our interactive infographic: JOIN THE DOTS