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Episode 7 with Lesley Rood from Allstate

Episode 7 talent intelligence collective podcast

Written by Alan Walker

Hi! I'm the editor and host of #ChatTalent. It's my job to make sure you have interesting content - be that blogs, webinars, live broadcasts, or anything else to do with talent.
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Welcome to 7th episode of the Talent Intelligence Collective Podcast!

Unfortunately for this one, Toby wasn’t able to join us so it was just myself (Alan Walker), Alison Ettridge and Nick Brooks welcoming the wonderful Lesley Rood, Senior Research Consultant for Talent Analytics at Allstate.

Albeit one man down, we powered through with our usual format starting off with some news, views, and worldly insights.

Starting off with a discussion from the Talent Intelligence Collective Facebook Group (join the group) – The divergence between Talent Intelligence as a consulting function and Talent Intelligence as a role that encompasses recruitment, research sourcing and overall much more focused around Talent Acquisition.

But it was a particular comment from a member that we were most interested in: “One major issue is the credibility of those producing the research. For example, are they even senior enough for the executive audiences to view them as peers and reasons to believe, rely upon, or otherwise trust them?“.

To which our podcast guest Lesley, rightfully pointed out:

“I think, if you are a subject matter expert, you can certainly build up your credibility. As long as you start with confidence and business perspective. Because the biggest thing an executive is looking for is: Can you help me picture the future with this knowledge that you are bringing in?”

Which then led us onto a whole bigger conversation about ‘The language of the business’.  Understanding what problems your business is facing and thinking about how to solve them. Rather than simply presenting data reports.

“It’s really about critical thinking. Thinking about the business challenges you are trying to solve. Being able to understand and identify those issues. And presenting yourself with clarity and confidence. It’s less about the seniority and more about your ability to apply context” – Nick Brooks

A quote from the CEO of ThoughtSpot, around future data skills, led us to discuss – Are companies going to expect candidates to be able to both understand and speak data?

Lesley believed that the simple knowledge and understanding of data, wouldn’t be enough. Since it’s the skill of critical thinking that enables individuals to consult, lead and drive conclusions through data.

“Data is not the be-all and end-all. It’s the ability to overlay insight and data that adds real value.” – Alison Ettridge

Believed that to be enough news and insights – as informative as it was – Alison was eager to start questioning to our guest Lesley. With questions like: “How do you join the dots between labour, talent and competitor information?”, “Has your experience from your previous roles helped you deal with difficult clients and executives?”.

And “Both our previous podcast guests, Vibhu Ganesan and Lyndon Llanes, mentioned that their companies are building a taxonomy. Is this something that Allstate are considering?”

“We’ve focused more on the defining and classifying the market information that we bring in. For example: if you asked about retention would know exactly what points to be pulling in and how to apply them to internal data. So I guess you could say we’ve come up with a data dictionary of external data.”

One of the final questions, saw Nick ask if Lesley could share some tips on how to be a more effective presenter to senior stakeholders.

“I would start by thinking: “Now that we have this report – what does it mean?”. Think about how you should go about making this easily legible? Try to take the data and help stakeholders envision what it would mean if they were to pick each solution to the business problem. It’s not about telling them what decision to make but painting a picture of what comes after.”

As always we hope you enjoy the episode. Please do leave a review and a rating for the podcast (if you liked it). Your support really does mean the world to us and it is all we need to ensure this podcast continues to grow.

Stay intelligent!

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