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What is a talent advisor: a detailed explanation

Talent Advisors have a long term focus on talent acquisition and work together with hiring managers and the heads of departments to improve hiring strategy.

September 29, 2020
Yuma Heymans
May 9, 2024

Talent Advisors are the key to bridging the gap between the more operational side of recruitment and the long term objectives of the organization when it comes to acquiring and retaining talent.

The role of a talent advisor has become increasingly important in recent years as the war for top talent has intensified. With so many companies fighting for the attention of the best and brightest, those that are able to gain a competitive advantage in the talent marketplace will be well-positioned for success.

What do talent advisors do?

A talent advisor works closely with internal clients to understand their business goals and then develops and implements hiring strategies that will help them acquire the right talent over typically a longer period of time. 

The longer term focus of talent advisors makes for a more strategic role than regular recruiters would have in the organization.

The main responsibilities of talent advisors are:

  • Inquiring the demand for talent across departments
  • Making long term hiring plans
  • Identifying new sources of high-quality candidates
  • Doing talent market mapping
  • Developing an inbound and outbound recruiting strategy
  • Redesigning incentive programs to better attract and retain top performers
  • Proving advise for retention strategy

The goal of the talent advisor is to help the client company gain a competitive edge in the battle for top talent.

A typical day for a talent advisor might involve meeting with internal clients to discuss their hiring needs, conducting research on the latest trends in recruiting and retention, developing presentation materials for client pitches and leading a training session on effective recruiting practices.

The Difference Between a Talent Advisor and a Recruitment Consultant

There is a notable difference between the talent advisor and recruiter role. The biggest difference is that a talent advisor is more concerned with the long term health and progress of the talent organization where recruiters are more focused on filling a position.

Talent Advisors

A talent advisor is responsible for advising internal stakeholders like hiring managers, head of people and in some cases the CEO of how to attract and retain the right talent for the organization.

They work with hiring managers to identify staffing needs, create sourcing strategies and advice on hiring plans. 

Talent advisors typically have a deep understanding of the company's culture, values and strategic plans and can provide guidance on finding candidates that will be a good fit for the organization.

Recruitment Consultants

Recruitment consultants are typically responsible for filling a position by executing an existing sourcing and recruiting process. In some cases, recruitment consultants may be responsible for managing the entire recruiting process, but this is not always the case. It is common for recruitment consultants to specialize in one specific area of recruiting, like a certain set of roles they hire for. 

Recruitment consultants are typically more transactional and process oriented than talent advisors. 

Talent advisors do not typically work day-to-day to fill positions, but rather focus on providing advice and guidance to the organization in terms of talent acquisition. 

What are the requirements to become a successful talent advisor?

The successful talent advisor brings a broad skill set since they are translating their direct operation experience to more strategic (long term) hiring objectives of the organization.

These are the skills that talent advisors bring:

  • Hands on recruitment skills
  • Analytical ability
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills

Hands on recruitment skills

Although the talent advisor does not work to fill positions day in day out, they must have a good understanding and experience in the recruiting process. They need to have the wits and scars of finding, screening and engaging talent.

They bring these skills from recruitment:

  • Search: find the right candidate for the job
  • Sales: selling the company and position
  • Negotiation: negotiate job offers and emphasizing benefits over rejections
  • Building relationships: strong interpersonal skills, genuine interest, etc.

Analytical ability

Because a talent advisor has to develop a more strategic view on the organization and its hiring goals, they have to be able to synthesize a lot of different sources of information and be able to quickly create insight to inform strategic decisions.

The analytical ability of the talent advisor includes skills like:

  • Quantitative analysis: analyzing financials related to employees and salaries, analyzing data regarding metrics like time to hire, retention, funnel conversions…
  • Qualitative analysis: analyzing information like hiring documentation, strategies, candidate experience reviews…
  • Orchestration: bringing different sources of information and analyses together in digestible pieces of information for stakeholders

Exceptional interpersonal skills

Talent advisors work with a lot of different stakeholders within the organization to determine the future of hiring. Talent advisors work with the hiring managers, head of people, department heads and in some cases the CEO (depending on the size of the company).

The interpersonal skills of the talent advisor include:

  • Communication: being able to communicate with a variety of people with different backgrounds, preferences and interests
  • Convincement: being able to influence the right stakeholders, drive decisions and get things done
  • Objection handling: being able to manage expectations of different stakeholders and tie interests together to unified objectives and strategies

What does a talent advisor typically make?

The median salary for a Talent Advisor is $85,000 per year. The salary range for Talent Advisors falls between $75,000 and $110,000 per year in the United States, but can vary significantly per country, with a median bonus of $5,000 per year.

Find the full salary breakdown for talent advisors here:

How much do talent advisors make (2023)

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