Talent within an organization is its greatest asset. The vision may be clear, and there might be adequate resources and a well-thought-out plan, but you need the right people to bring it all together. That’s where talent intelligence comes into play.

However, finding the ‘right people’ these days is easier said than done. More than ever, there is fierce competition for a limited talent pool. The millennials now dominating the workforce are transient, so there is a high employee turnover rate. Plus, a lot of companies aren’t even sure about what employees want. This is why talent intelligence is an important part of any talent management strategy. 

So, what is talent intelligence?

It is a tool that can help you manage the entire talent lifecycle—from acquisition to offboarding and outreach. 

This article will cover what you need to know about talent intelligence and how it can prevent hiring bias. 

Table of Contents

What is Talent Intelligence

Benefits of Talent Intelligence

How Talent Intelligence Prevents Bias in the Hiring Process

Choosing a Talent Intelligence Platform


What is Talent Intelligence?

Multi-racial team works together
Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

Talent intelligence is the process of gathering and analyzing data related to internal and external talent. It involves evaluating job market trends and the organization’s immediate and future skill needs to gain a competitive edge and improve hiring success. 

The primary goal of talent intelligence is to help companies make data-driven decisions on talent acquisition and management. 

In the following section, we’ll explore the benefits offered by talent intelligence before diving into how it can prevent hiring bias.

Benefits of Talent Intelligence

Getting your talent strategies right is critical to your company’s short and long-term future. Attracting top talent enables you to achieve your business goals faster, and retaining them ensures your organization can continue to remain successful. 

We’ve outlined some of the benefits of using talent intelligence below. 

Better Understand Labor Market Trends

Several events over the past couple of years have changed the labor market as we know it. The pandemic led to more professionals preferring to work remotely. This was followed by the “Great Resignation”, and then a recession that has seen many companies lay off employees. 

Add these to the apparent skill gaps, and you will realize that the job market has become unpredictable. To ensure your company attracts the right candidates, you need a deep understanding of the market. 

Talent intelligence helps you understand the job market well. So, it shows you a clear picture of your current workers and the employees you will need in the future. It also looks at job trends, salary information, and needed skills to help you make smart choices about hiring. Talent intelligence also helps you understand why employees leave or pick one company over another.

Talent Intelligence Helps Create Personalized Hiring Criteria

Imagine you create a job ad for a senior software developer. You sort the applications that come in and complete the interviews. Now, you’ve selected someone with many impressive projects and enough experience. 

But is that enough? Sure, they have the skills you want, but can they lead a team? 

Senior software developers are usually team leads, and if your new hire can’t do that, it affects productivity and will cost you more.  

The candidate whose skills and experience match the job description is not necessarily the best fit. People are much more than their technical expertise—their values and attitudes matter too. 

Talent intelligence gives you a clear view of the workers your company needs now and in the future. So, it helps you match this information with things like your company’s values, employee behavior, and future goals. This way, you can set the right hiring standards and also find someone who is a good fit for your team.

Minimize Turnover Rates

Group of people in a co-working space (Talent Intelligence blog)
Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

Even if you have a wonderful culture, people will always leave, and there is nothing wrong with that. People may leave for career advancement or due to relocation. The problem is when they leave at a high rate, which indicates a talent management issue. 

What is worrisome is that nowadays, there is a high rate of employee turnover. In fact, 70% of US employees left their workplace voluntarily in 2022, highlighting the severity of this problem. 

You don’t want your company to be part of that statistic because employees take their knowledge and experience with them when they leave. And it is challenging and expensive to replace that talent, especially for a specialized role. 

Talent intelligence nips this issue in the bud by carefully analyzing internal talent mobility to understand why former employees resigned. This allows you to bring the necessary improvements to your business. It also helps you to identify current employees who are at risk of leaving and suggests proactive measures. 

Facilitates Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives

Creating a diverse and inclusive work environment is vital because it impacts everything from recruitment to retention rate, and innovation. Talent intelligence can help you analyze employee demographics to highlight diversity gaps. It will also help you identify and subsequently remove bias that goes unnoticed for a long time in recruitment (we explore this in more depth a little later). 

For example, a job ad may include some gendered language that could make some people feel like they are not eligible to apply. 

Or, a hiring manager may associate a person’s friendly demeanor with their career success, rather than the fact that they had access to quality education or a unique skill set. 

Talent intelligence can help you evaluate job descriptions to ensure they include inclusive language and create standard interview procedures to mitigate personal bias. 

Optimize the Recruitment Process

There is a talent shortage. Moving quickly to identify, hire, and retain top talent requires monitoring applicants who were exceptional but weren’t the right fit at the time. 

While your hiring team looks for the right person for a job, talent intelligence finds the right job for the right person. Like candidate relationship management (CRM), talent intelligence helps you match great candidates to roles that fit their skills and goals better. 

However, unlike CRM, which searches internal databases to locate potential hires, talent intelligence assesses candidates’ suitability for multiple roles. 

How Talent Intelligence Prevents Bias in the Hiring Process

Women shaking hands
Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

One of the most difficult-to-overcome challenges in talent management is unconscious bias. It is so deeply ingrained in the human mind that many hiring managers don’t realize it affects their decision making. Talent intelligence is an instrument that can help identify and avoid this in the hiring process. 

Several talent intelligence platforms use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms to assist hiring managers in making objective and bias-free decisions. 

The following are ways these solution remove bias in the hiring process. 

AI that Learns from Experience

The flaws of AI tools used in HR are well documented. However, these flaws can be addressed through AI learning. Humans can tell AI what they consider suitable, train it with relevant information, and indicate the outcome they consider best —ethically, legally, and financially. 

Talent intelligence solutions can be developed and trained to meet specific specifications and improve themselves as it is used. Leading talent intelligence system developers have already implemented design standards for making AI in HR ethical and fair. 

One way they accomplish this is through an AI audit, a structured evaluation of an AI system to ensure it follows the predetermined objective standards and legal requirements. 

After an audit, any bias detected must be removed. For example, if the AI system shows bias towards certain demographics, such as favoring candidates from a particular ethnicity, corrective measures must be taken. 

Success Profiles

Most organizations aren’t aware that poorly constructed job descriptions are the reasons they attract the wrong candidate. Instead of using job descriptions that focus mainly on the candidate’s skills, use success profiles.

The success profile framework allows organizations to move beyond a competency-based system of assessment. It introduces a more adaptable model that evaluates candidates against different elements using various selection methods. Developing this profile lets you quickly and accurately identify the perfect fit for the job. 

Talent intelligence gives recruiters access to a library of success profiles they can reference to select the right candidate and ensure their decisions aren’t influenced by bias. In addition, talent intelligence platforms can spot bias at any stage of the talent journey. 

After you find potential fits, the next step is creating a positive first impression. This can be achieved by personalizing interactions, being transparent about the recruitment process, and providing clear instructions. All these don’t even have to be executed by the recruitment team. 

You can outsource initial communication to a virtual receptionist service. This automated system can quickly respond to inquiries, schedule interviews, and collect basic information. That way, the recruitment team can focus on building relationships and assessing candidates more thoroughly.

Provides a Solution for Multiple Talent Use Cases

Regardless of the size of the business, when a company puts out a job ad, it will likely get hundreds of applications. While this is great, as it gives them access to a huge talent pool, it can also be overwhelming. 

To help the hiring team manage the large number of applications, many companies reduce the initial pool of applicants. This means only a few candidates are fully reviewed. So, this process is biased because not all candidates get a fair chance. This also shows the need for an automated system. 

The problem is that most of the tools companies use today to maintain objectivity are too expensive to scale across the organization or exclusive to either talent acquisition or management. 

A talent intelligence platform like TalentQuest, for instance, bridges this gap by offering a cost-effective solution that provides unbiased insights throughout the entire employee lifecycle. 

Microsoft Teams' TalentQuest landing page.
Screenshot from TalentQuest

Consolidates Objective Data

Hiring and promotion within an organization need to be data-driven and merit-based. Otherwise, they risk becoming a biased courtship process that constantly favors only a specific group. This is how unconscious bias develops over time, and only people who look or act a certain way enjoy career advancement. 

Companies need to take their time to scientifically evaluate what they consider success. They need to be able to collect more information from candidates in a bias-free way to predict the chances of success. 

This is another situation where talent intelligence platforms are beneficial. They quickly consolidate data from multiple sources, such as payroll systems, HR analytics software, and performance reviews, to help HR and managers gain objective insights about a candidate. However, this data must be accurate to make informed decisions and avoid relying solely on gut feelings. 

That means knowing how to do payroll or enter the right data into HR analytics is essential, as errors can undermine efforts to identify and address biases. Discrepancies in payroll data across different demographic groups could indicate potential discrimination in compensation. This may be linked to biases in the recruitment and selection process. 

Talent intelligence platforms also speed up decision-making and minimize resource wastage by eliminating operational tasks like spreadsheet consolidation. 

Now that we’ve covered how talent intelligence initiatives can remove bias in the hiring process via its platforms, let’s outline how to choose the right solution.

Choosing a Talent Intelligence Platform

Talent intelligence solutions have gained much popularity and there are many options out there. Here is what to consider before taking the plunge.

  • Ease of implementation and integration: Look for solutions that integrate with your existing tech stack and are easy to use. For instance, ask your vendor if the platform supports integration with your current applicant tracking system (ATS) and candidate relationship management system (CRM). Also, find out about the timeframe, resources, and support that will be provided during implementation. 
  • Flexibility and scalability: Your goals and needs will constantly change, and finding a new solution every time that happens is a bad business model. So you need a solution that is agile for quick management changes over time. 
  • Reporting: A comprehensive platform gives you access to all talent data to allow you to make decisions based on data. Also, its powerful reporting feature enables you to find all the relevant information in one place. 
  • Accuracy and reliability: The goal is to hire candidates who will succeed and stay long at your company. So, ensure the tech solutions you choose are producing reliable results. 
  • Talent management: A talent intelligence platform helps you recruit qualified candidates and develop them throughout their careers. Evaluate a potential solution for its ability to optimize the hiring process, support strategic workforce planning, and enable internal mobility for the current workforce. 
  • Security: Ensure the option you settle for complies with and keeps up with the data privacy laws. 


Talent intelligence is the perfect tool to make data-driven decisions about your talent management strategies. 

It can give you insights about the job market, reduce turnover rates, and promote your DEI efforts. Talent intelligence solutions can also help remove bias in the hiring process. These tools use advanced technology to guide HR teams to ensure a bias-free recruitment process. 

Implement talent intelligence today to arm yourself with valuable talent insights that will give you a competitive edge.

by in HR Content