Recruitment Intelligence vs. Recruitment Enablement

February 21, 2023

Modern recruitment is more than cold calling, spray and pray and processing inbound job applications. 

The market has shifted and recruiters are tasked with much more responsibilities than just filling seats. 

They need to be company champions, analysts, marketers, salespeople, researchers and be able to quickly shift to new situations be that in addressing new business priorities, new role types, new geographies and changing market conditions. 

It is becoming increasingly imperative that recruiters are supported in the same manner as other functions with recruiting tools. More so than just tooling though they need an adoption of practices like recruitment enablement. 

Companies have begun to adopt recruitment intelligence – A new generation of recruiting, known as “intelligent recruiting,” leveraging AI and big data to empower recruiters and HR professionals with actionable insights that allow them to attract and retain talent more efficiently and effectively in any environment. – Intelligent Recruiting: How AI Is Ushering in the Next Phase of Hiring ( 

This is a key focus and cornerstone of recruitment enablement which provides recruiters with actionable insights but it does not go far enough in embedding a culture of internal alignment and consistent external awareness to drive recruitment decisions. 

The key difference between recruitment intelligence and recruitment enablement is that recruitment intelligence is not applied in the flow of work and does not consist of a cultural internal change in the same way that enablement does. 

With recruitment intelligence, recruitment functions can gain access to the data and insights but without the additional steps, they will face barriers as they lack the proper internal structures and access to these insights on their day-to-day. 


Why Data isn’t enough

Data-driven recruitment has been a buzzword in recruitment for years and there is a lot of merit in it. From its earliest applications in analyzing data around recruitment funnels to recognizing bottlenecks and obstacles, through to applying analysis to successful candidates and employees to understand why they were hired and more recently, the application of AI to discover best-fit job seekers and qualified candidates, obtain data trends internally and externally and beyond. 

There is no doubt that data is playing an ever-increasing role in recruitment and helping recruiters better understand their own recruitment processes and where they can improve as well as have more insights on markets and be more effective in identifying candidates. 

Ultimately though, access to data isn’t enough and recruiters should move from being data-driven to knowledge-led. 


Creating a knowledge-led recruitment function through enablement

Having the access to some data is a great start but recruitment functions need to have the right context around it to be able to act on it and get value from it. This is where recruitment enablement comes in. 

As we mentioned before, “Recruitment Enablement is the activities, systems, processes, and information that support and promote knowledge-based recruitment interactions with candidates and internal stakeholders.” 

Information, data, and intelligence are a core part of it but they should be tied in with the right activities, structures, and processes. 

This starts with the internal structures. 

Recruitment functions need to be included and aligned with the relevant executive stakeholders to understand the wider business context and strategy. 

Recruiters and talent professionals can apply this business knowledge to the insights they have on the company’s employees, hiring plans and market conditions and make informed decisions around that. This might help managers understand how a role may be best filled from within or suggest accelerated hiring in certain areas ahead of schedule to take advantage of certain market conditions. 

Equally, recruiters need to be aligned with the other relevant stakeholders and functions in HR, compensation and benefits and marketing. Recruiters are being increasingly armed with intelligence and information that can have an impact on working structures, compensation expectations, employer branding and beyond. The ability to work with the relevant complementary functions to act on this is essential and allows this intelligence to be applied and for the recruiters and the business to enjoy the benefits. 

Externally, recruitment enablement is about creating a knowledge process and system that allows recruiters to access the right insights and data in their flow of work so that it becomes contextual knowledge for that moment. 

This is achieved in a few ways typically, firstly it is important to have tooling and systems that connect recruiters with data and insights as they are working and encourage them to leverage it to make smarter decisions. Recruiters should be able to leverage the right information through the recruitment lifecycle from initial role kickoff and hiring manager engagement, strategy and content development and finally to candidate sourcing, engagement and management. It is not a case of the data being viewed once in isolation but being an active part of their process and being accurate and timely. 


Secondarily, it is layering intelligence and data together so that it becomes knowledge rather than noise. To do this, the data and information need to be grouped together appropriately so that they can be best leveraged and allow recruiters to go on knowledge journeys. Additionally, it should be acted upon and updated, information and knowledge is not static and it is essential that the information is consistently updated and improved upon and that recruiters add their own insights and thoughts to it to create added value. 


Finally, recruitment enablement focuses on creating a company’s second mind through being knowledge-led as a function and breaking down silos. Recruitment enablement truly gains value when the knowledge is accessible by all and allows recruiters to quickly onboard and ramp up to new roles and responsibilities. This is achieved through active knowledge sharing, management and collaboration. Rather than a recruiter in isolation taking data and applying it themselves there is a focus on sharing best practices and knowledge with colleagues by creating “Recruiter Playbooks” leading to an ever-increasing corporate memory that drives hiring into the future. 

Recruiting intelligence is gaining in popularity as a term in recent times as we see more and more recruiting tools emerge enhanced by AI and the surge in popularity and awareness of LLM and generative AI tools like ChatGPT. 

The increasing adoption of AI and analytics tools by the recruitment industry isn’t a negative by any means but it is only a step on the journey. 

For recruitment functions and recruiters to unlock the true value of these solutions they need to think about the structural, cultural and process changes that need to accompany them and how they look to be knowledge-led rather than just armed with data. 

Recruitment enablement is the bridge to this. It is focused on creating the overall environment and mindset that allows recruiters to leverage data and intelligence as they work. 

It will be the companies that look at evolving this environment rather than just feeding more data to recruiters that will reap the rewards and emerge as leaders in years to come. 

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