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What Is People Intelligence In Recruiting?

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Big data insights underpin important processes in many business departments, from sales to customer support. But until recently, recruiting was left out. Talent teams had to rely on phone screens and hours of manual digging on various platforms to better understand their job candidates. 

While this approach might work in organizations with very low-volume hiring needs, manually gathering candidate data and putting the talent puzzle together is impossible to do at scale. Enter people intelligence, a solution that uses data on both internal and external candidates to improve hiring efficiency and help companies better understand their entire talent universe.

What is people intelligence (in recruiting)

In recruiting, people intelligence refers to data-driven insights about your job candidates and existing employees. It allows you to study how candidates and employees behave and understand how you can improve their performance or engagement.

People intelligence solutions gather information from a variety of sources, both internal and external, and meld that data to give you a real-time overview of the skills and experience in your talent pool. During this process, these solutions apply artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, such as machine learning algorithms, to turn people data into competitive knowledge.

Because it works with great amounts of data, people intelligence is anchored by increasingly powerful automation and AI. And its use is growing. Research firm Adroit Market Research recently predicted that the global market for HR analytics would grow to $10 billion by 2032, a CAGR of 12.3%.

Of course, such approaches aren’t new. For years, marketing departments, sales teams, and customer service groups have used data to their advantage. They’ve applied it to understand their communications efforts, plan new campaigns, and improve productivity.

People intelligence simply brings these capabilities to HR and talent acquisition, which can employ them to plan their sourcing, execute on talent development, and examine the performance of their campaigns over time.

How does people intelligence technology work?

People intelligence platforms gather, cleanse, and analyze data that paints a picture of workforce skills, experience, and behavior. And resumes and LinkedIn profiles aren’t the only sources of data these platforms rely on. They can aggregate data from many other public sources. 

Your active job applicants and passive candidates, for instance, may use GitHub and other social media sites, publish papers on ResearchGate, and showcase their work on their personal websites. Likewise, the companies they previously worked for might have also made the news for various milestones or published earnings reports. By merging and analyzing all of this data, people intelligence platforms are able to get new workforce insights and a holistic talent overview.

For example, one way the Findem platform provides talent intelligence is in the form of attributes. The platform generates these attributes by analyzing data from over 100,000 public sources using machine learning. So if a candidate worked at a company that also went public during their employment, the platform will correlate the two data points and add the attribute “saw company through IPO” to the candidate’s profile.

Attributes can include any other traits that you can use to make a talent acquisition decision, such as:

  • Location
  • Skills
  • Stage relevance
  • Aptitudes
  • Intangible qualities (entrepreneurial spirit, leadership qualities, or a get-it-done attitude)

People intelligence also helps managers identify trends in areas such as salary and compensation, retention, and the location of ideal candidates.

How to implement people intelligence solutions in your organization

Before adding people intelligence to your talent acquisition strategy, you’ll need leadership support for the initiative. An effective way to do so is to link people intelligence to a business objective (such as decreasing time-to-hire or internal mobility) and emphasize the ROI with specific data points.

It’s also important to note your people intelligence solution shouldn’t be just another siloed tool in your tech stack that will require extensive training. The tool of your choice should integrate with your existing sourcing solutions, such as your applicant tracking system (ATS), so you can access all of your talent data in the same place. 

Once the connection is made, the system should automatically refresh profiles with the latest candidate information, identify fits for open roles, and allow recruiters to engage desired candidates with personalized campaigns.

Why should you care about people intelligence?

People intelligence offers actionable insights into your talent pool and workforce. These insights open doors to a range of benefits, from finding talent no one else can find to nurturing diversity.

1. It allows you to find and hire top talent

While 54% of talent leaders are under pressure to improve candidate quality, finding candidates who are a precise match for the job often proves to be a Herculean task. Recruiters have no easy way of filtering candidates based on the hiring manager’s requirements because they lack the data to make an informed decision.

People intelligence helps them close the data gap so they can spend more time engaging candidates who are the best match for the role. It’s highly effective when recruiting for hard-to-fill roles, as they generate a pipeline of candidates who possess the exact attributes necessary to succeed in a particular position.

With more talent data, you can also lead conversations that take into account a person’s specific skills and interests, creating a better candidate experience and increasing the chances of them accepting your job offer.

2. It accelerates sourcing

According to Findem’s 2023 State of Hiring and Recruiting Report, 73% of talent leaders are feeling burnt out by traditional recruiting and hiring. With people intelligence fueling their talent acquisition strategy, talent leaders can reduce burnout and quickly fill their talent pool with candidates who are a good match based on data aggregated from many public sources.

Take the software company Adobe as an example. When their talent team relied on traditional recruiting methods (LinkedIn InMail), it would take between five and six days to connect with just 100 candidates. After Adobe switched to using Findem’s talent intelligence-powered platform, it took 10 minutes to achieve the same results. In less than three months, the company was able to hire 11 candidates while recruiters were able to cut back on repetitive, burnout-inducing work.

3. It improves employee retention

One of the main reasons companies struggle to promote from within is the lack of comprehensive data on their employees’ experience and growth. This leaves them vulnerable to losing key players – people who held the same position within three years of starting their job had a 45% chance of staying with their employer compared to 70% of those who got a promotion. With more insights into the skills of your own workforce, you can foster internal mobility and retain your top employees.

In addition to upward mobility, internal talent intelligence can facilitate mentorships by matching an employee’s career goals with the experience of a senior team member. It also supports participation in one-off projects by offering the opportunity to employees who are a match based on previous experience and career growth goals.

4. It helps you avoid bias and improve diversity

In addition to finding qualified candidates, people analytics tools can help you reduce bias when sourcing talent. While many organizations have implemented bias training to become a more inclusive and diverse workplace, it’s equally important to introduce technology that helps you achieve your diversity goals.

One way talent intelligence limits bias and supports diversity initiatives is by providing insight into the diversity of the talent pool for a specific role or location. You can also track diversity as candidates move through the pipeline to ensure you’re not just filling the top of the funnel with candidates from underrepresented groups.

Popular use cases of people intelligence

Your organization could apply people intelligence to support various processes, from sourcing to improving your understanding of the talent market.

1. End-to-end sourcing of hard-to-fill or executive roles

People intelligence enables talent teams to conduct real-world “impossible” searches that span multiple data sets, including resumes, company data, and code contributions. 

These searches are highly effective for hyper-targeted, hard-to-fill roles and generate a pipeline of candidates who possess the exact combination of skills and experience you’re looking for.  

You can then use automated, personalized email campaigns to effectively engage with those candidates.

2. End-to-end sourcing of high-volume, evergreen roles

With a people intelligence tool, talent teams can create reusable ideal candidate profiles for evergreen roles, match available talent to the role requirements, and generate a high-quality talent pipeline to tap into whenever there’s a hiring need.

You can follow up by launching automated campaigns on matching candidates without taking up valuable resources from your team and deliver interested candidates straight to your ATS.

3. Candidate rediscovery (ATS)

By connecting your people intelligence tool with your ATS, you will unify all of your talent data and enable candidate rediscovery.

This is the process of automatically refreshing profiles in your ATS with the latest candidate information, identifying matching candidates with open roles, and reaching out to those candidates with personalized campaigns.

4. Diversity sourcing and analytics

One of the most important use cases for people intelligence is enabling companies to source for diversity while meeting their compliance requirements. This is done by building a fair talent pool based on its probabilistic diversity. People intelligence also delivers analytic insights into the talent funnel so you can identify what’s broken and how to fix it and measure progress toward your goals.

5. Internal mobility

People intelligence tools include data on your entire talent universe, which includes current employees. Talent teams are able to search across internal employees for matches with open roles and develop employees based on the attributes needed for success in their desired career path.

6. Connections and referrals

Personal relationships play a major role during the job hunt – 46% of workers find out about job openings via friends and 25% do so through their professional networks. 

People intelligence amplifies the power of personal networks by allowing talent teams to identify current employees who are connected to sourced candidates via school, work, professional associations, etc. You can then identify the best source of candidate referrals and initiate the referral process with a seamless workflow that places the lowest burden on the referrer.

7. Dynamic market mapping

Dynamic market mapping is the process of improving your understanding of the talent market and individual talent pools for specific searches. Using people intelligence, you can:

  • Review your talent pool broken down by attributes, including education, experience levels, and diversity.
  • Review matching candidates by company, category, business model, funding, or stage.
  • Review matching candidates by geographic locations using a browsable, interactive map.
  • See up-to-date org charts for every company and search by reporting structure.

8. Pipeline analytics

Once the talent team finds and contacts great candidates, they need to move them through the talent funnel. 

People analytics enables you to track the sources that led to hired candidates, which recruiters have been populating the funnel, conversion rates, and more at every stage of your talent funnel for all sourcing channels.

9. Competitive benchmarks

Using people intelligence, companies can benchmark any attribute or combination of attributes in real time – internally, against multiple competitors and peers. This helps you to identify talent gaps and see benchmark data over time to reveal trends.

Create a data-powered talent acquisition process

In short, people intelligence allows recruiting technology to work more intelligently and talent acquisition teams to work more efficiently. Instead of pouring hours into manual candidate sourcing that still comes up short in terms of quality, talent intelligence allows you to find the exact people you need to build a fantastic team.

If you’re ready to see a talent intelligence solution in action, book a demo with Findem and learn how we can help you build a winning recruiting strategy with attributes, cut costs by slimming down your tech stack, and remove slow processes from your workflow.

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