The Talent Intelligence Collective Podcast - Episode 8 - the one with Nick Brooks and Toby Culshaw

March 09 2021

This is what Alan Walker - the editor and host of #ChatTalent had to say about the latest episode of the TIC Podcast.

Welcome to the 8th episode of the Talent Intelligence Collective Podcast!

We’ve decided to change things up. We are doing things a little different this time.

So many of you, our listeners, requested to hear more from Nick and Toby, so this time they joined the episode not as co-hosts but as guests.

Furthermore, for this episode, we also flipped our usual flow and started with the interview bit first. With Alison being the sole bad cop interviewer and myself pipping up every so often with a comment.

Kickstarting the round of questions, with a seemingly easy one, Alison asked – What is the difference between Talent Acquisition and Talent Intelligence?

“If you think of it from a formula 1 perspective. Talent acquisition is the engine. It drives things. It moves us forward. While Talent Intelligence is the decisions that occur before the engine starts running. What are the track conditions like? What type of fuel do we need? How much do we need? Talent Intelligence primes talent acquisition so it can perform in the best way possible.”  – Toby Culshaw

Nick believed that there is a type of synergy between the two functions. Talent Acquisition has ‘boots on the ground’. It goes into market, it listens, it collects information that then can be levelled up by Talent Intelligence for competitive advantage or operational efficiencies like how to enter a new location.

Alison, picking up on the terminology that both Toby and Nick used, asked whether terms like strategic, tactical should be used when talking about Talent Intelligence? Or were there any better ones?

“I think the battle for talent intelligence terminology is something that we’ve created ourselves. And I’m not sure that’s what we should be doing. I think the language choice is whatever fits best in your organisation.” – Toby Culshaw

“I agree. But I also think words really do matter. For example ’war for talent’. It can get organisations in a very reactive mindset. It can blur strategic thinking and it can affect inclusive hiring.” – Nick Brooks

On the topic of talent, Alison asked what role do Toby and Nick believe sourcing plays within Talent Intelligence. And what are the top two things organisations can do to breed a culture of intelligence?

One of the biggest obstacles many Talent Intelligence teams face is convincing management to implement their findings. Which lead Alison to ask whether Toby or Nick have ever experienced this situation and what advice would they offer to overcome it.

“Make sure you have a deep enough understanding of the business context. This will help you ascertain what any possible blockers could be.” – Nick Brooks

Another obstacle that many organisations face is thinking they are too small to start using Talent Intelligence.

“I would argue the smaller you are the more important talent intelligence is” – Toby Culshaw

“And at that level, your insight and information can have a bigger influence.” – Nick Brooks

We then discussed what skillsets are required to form a Talent Intelligence team and for our guests to share some top tips for setting up a Talent intelligence function from scratch.

As always we hope you enjoy the episode. We’ve done things quite differently this time to our past episodes and we would love to hear what you thought.

Leave us a review or send us an email, your support really does mean the world to us and it is all we need to ensure this podcast continues to grow.

Till the next one – stay intelligent!

Talent Intelligence Collective Podcast