Driving User Adoption to Maximize Value Creation through Talent Insights

Sean Wilkes
4 min readNov 24, 2020


This is the first in a planned three-part blog series. Over this series, I’ll talk a little about driving adoption and adding value to your business through experimentation in the capture of talent intelligence.

Many businesses don’t have a culture that encourages innovation and experimentation. Failure is a key part of experimentation and that can be a hard sell in most businesses. Building a culture that encourages testing and experimentation can be incredibly powerful and will have a significant impact on your technology adoption and the value that you get from those tools.

There are two broad labels applied to the intelligence gathered by Executive Search Businesses. Human (lead) Intelligence or HUMINT and Open Source Intelligence or OSINT. The technology you have implemented can and should be at the heart of managing any operational requirements of your business. Our clients are always capturing meaningful intelligence on the talent in their networks, the big question is whether this HUMINT is being documented in a systematic way. Executive Search firms are uniquely positioned to trade in the secrets they discover. Having your finger on the pulse of the flow of talent in the markets that you serve will result in a greater strategic partnership forged with the customers that you serve. Those companies that can find a path to organizing and drawing insight from these secrets will be able to differentiate themselves, and therefore increase their bottom line.

Business versus User Adoption

Executive Search is a relationship-based industry, and no tool can replace that. However, organizing those relationships and documenting who you know and when you last spoke to them is in itself very powerful. Very few people will argue against the importance of having a robust solution for running their business and creating a single source of truth.

Business Adoption is reaching a critical mass of user adoption so that your business processes are effectively managed in the platform. This can be achieved without full User Adoption. The maximum value is achieved through as high a level of User Adoption as possible.

While people often use business software because they are told to, true adoption at a user level requires each user to find their ‘why.’ Understanding ‘what’s in it for me’ will result in a more rapid adoption cycle. High levels of User Adoption results in a truly transformative outcome through everyone contributing to and benefiting from the data that is being captured.

At Invenias, we’ve spent 15 years innovating. As the industry and our customer base have evolved, we’ve been experimenting constantly to deploy updates to our platform and the functionality in our applications. We’ve discovered through that process that there continues to be real value in finding easy ways to draw simple insights out of the heads of those who discover it, so others can leverage it.

For many of our customers, focusing on doing the basics really well and organizing their outreach is why they came to us in the first place. To avoid overwhelming Users when they first go live, it’s also common for customers to recognize that there will be a gap between their use of Invenias on day one and their ambition for potential future use of the Invenias platform.

But for so many, this is as far as their ambition reaches. The enthusiasm for continuing to maximize the value extracted from that technology tails off, rather than a mindset being adopted to think constantly about what’s next. The customers whose adoption curve most closely tracks with the pace at which we’re shipping new features are those who are getting the greatest return on their investment.

As a business, we love data. There are two standout trends on the topic of adoption from some of the data we’ve reviewed:

  1. We found through our annual GRID survey that well-defined, consistent, simple functionality drives greater adoption at all levels of the business which in turn results in greater efficiency and an increase in profitability. Customers across Bullhorn, including Invenias, who have the highest levels of business adoption are outpacing the rest when it comes to measurable increases in revenue.
  2. Through interviews with customers who achieve the highest levels of user adoption on Invenias, we’ve identified that a common theme is having representatives from across the whole business tasked with maximizing the value the business gets from its technology stack. Tasking a diverse group to drive constant innovation and optimization will result in user adoption gathering momentum.

User Adoption is like a flywheel. The more value you get from the platform, the more your Users will realize what’s in it for them. This will, in turn, lead to more freedom to experiment, which results in more value being created and the momentum builds.

So what action can you take?

  • Develop a growth mindset in everything that could positively impact your business, including experimenting with your use of technology to create value
  • Include many different voices in your organization to identify what would be useful
  • Encourage consistency across the business
  • Focus on gathering intelligence where the data has multiple use cases because this will make achieving high levels of user adoption easier
  • Identify the best from “best practice” within your organization and do more of it.



Sean Wilkes

One time Recruiter, now implementing and supporting Talent Lifecycle Management and CRM software to Talent First organisations.