Tag Archives: IBM

Hiring mistakes can be costly

Hiring mistakes can be costly in so many ways. According to recent a recent WorkTrends survey from Sheri Feinzig at the IBM Smarter Workforce Institute, many hiring mistakes are being made.

They asked 6,200 managers and HR professionals who have hired in the past two years: “if you had it to do over again, what percent of your new hires would you rehire?” On average, only 61% would be rehired. That means nearly four in ten hires were mistakes. The full post can be read here: Study: Don’t be fooled by the wrong metrics

Workforce analytics

-Kevin Cavanaugh

Predicting best fit for high value roles

Successfully engaging employees starts with hiring the right people that are the best fit for the job. It also means understanding how your best employees are doing their work and using that info to screen new people.

The IBM Talent Suite includes scientifically proven behavioral assessments that ensures candidates are well suited to the needs of the job by using analytics and workforce science to predict “best fit” for high value roles, and help people do meaningful work. Hiring the right people is not easy but better testing and tools are yielding some positive results with employers reporting better fit, lower attrition rates and happier teams.
The WSJ had a full page article on this on last week where our very own Jay Dorio talks a little about his work in this area:
WSJ: Today’s Personality Tests Raise the Bar for Job Seekers


IBM Talent Suite as a System of Engagement

The latest McKinsey quarterly study entitled “Digital hives: Creating a surge around change” discusses the benefits of using social technology to bring about meaningful change in an organization. Online communities are one proven approach to help companies engage with employees to accelerate change and the paper discussed several others. Given the way people work and communicate today in the professional and personal lives, social technology enables new opportunities to complement offline, real world events.

The IBM Talent Suite was designed from the bottom up for social. It incorporates IBM Connections, the leading enterprise social platform. This provides social capabilities to enable new hires, recruiters, managers and employees with tools to collaborate, communicate and problem solve.

As I talk to HR leaders they are often skittish about getting involved in the deployment of social tools. In some cases they have security or content management concerns. In others they think it is just not their job. They think need to wait on overall corporate decisions for the CIOs team to get going.

The beauty of social in a cloud based talent suite is you can use what you want and use it for the specific purposes that you think are important. You don’t have to make some long thought out corporate decision. You don’t have to solve every use case. You pick a place to start and get going. Different companies will choose different starting points.

For example:

Recruiters can tap existing employees and their networks to find people with the relevant career interests and expertise. This benefits not only the recruiters but employees can easily learn about career growth opportunities for themselves and can also recommend their peers inside the organization. Some organizations can start with social in this way.

New hires can benefit from social onboarding by connecting with their manager early in the process – as soon as an offer is accepted questions can be answered quickly and the employee can move through the process more easily. They also get some insight in to their team, colleagues and company culture so they can hit the ground running when they start. Some organizations find that this is the right place to begin.

But social can extend beyond new hires. Managers can work with their teams and peers more effectively with alerts about what is going on with their team, news when a new member is joining and better insight and awareness to everything going on that is relevant to the team and its mission. Many organizations will decide this is a great way to build engagement and to follow up on an engagement survey. Companies make significant investments in survey employees to judge engagement. Following up through social tools is a great way to get full value out of that investment.

Our Smarter workforce blog has more info on our solutions and I welcome your questions and comments.

IBM analytics helping the current and future workforce

On St. Patrick’s day, I had the pleasure of attending the Science Foundation of Ireland (SFI)  event in Washington DC. IBM has been deeply involved with the research community in Ireland. I was very proud that we were mentioned by the Irish Prime Minister, Enda Kenny, in his lunch talk for the work we are doing at the INFANT Centre University College Cork.

Irish Prime Minister and team
Left to Right: Dr Anthony Morrisey (Centre Manager, INFANT).Prof Louise Kenny (Centre Director INFANT), An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. Robert McCarthy (Leader Business Development, Innovation & Operations IBM Ireland Lab) and Prof Mark Ferguson (Director General of Science Foundation Ireland).

Speaking at the lunch hosted by Science Foundation Ireland to celebrate scientific collaboration between Ireland and the United States An Taoiseach (Irish for Prime Minister), Enda Kenny TD, said, “I congratulate both IBM and the Infant Research Centre for collaborating on LEANBH. The project demonstrates the value of collaboration between industry and academia. LEANBH has the potential to have a global impact on the medical care offered to expectant mothers”.

This month we announced this collaboration between IBM Ireland and the INFANT Centre (Irish Centre for Fetal and Neonatal Translational Research) at University College Cork (UCC). ‘LEANBH’ is a pilot research project providing remote healthcare monitoring to expectant mothers to improve the detection and treatment of hypertension and pre-eclampsia during pregnancy. Pre-eclampsia is a pregnancy complication that affects approximately 5% of all pregnancies. Hypertension, one indicator of pre-eclampsia, is more common in all expectant mothers.

The vision for LEANBH is to manage hypertension and pre-eclampsia care in the home using remote monitoring of the medical data of the at-risk expectant mothers. By doing so, the project aims to reduce the number of unnecessary follow-on hospital visits, lowering the additional stress and cost of visits to both the patients, and the healthcare system. LEANBH will focus on enabling faster responses and a higher quality of care through automated alerts to doctors. Whilst also improving data sharing among the healthcare team members and offering the ability to integrate with electronic healthcare records.

This is one of several collaborations between IBM Analytics and the INFANT Centre.

LEANBH will develop remote monitoring that will be combined with IBM predictive analytics and data modelling capability.

This is the same technology that our Kenexa Smarter Workforce products are using to analyze recruiting and workforce performance. It is gratifying to see our work make a difference not only to today’s workers, but to the youngest among us who will be the workers of tomorrow and support us in our retirement.

IBM Talent Insights: Behind the Scenes

Traditional Business Intelligence approaches have significant drawbacks. By the time an HR Analyst identifies desirable insights into data and IT has built the required ETL processes, data marts, and dashboards considerable time has been spent and the value of the insight may have been lost. The resulting dashboard may not even fully satisfy the original requirement or it may not have the flexibility to further explore data.

Business Intelligence (BI)  generally satisfies the scenario where Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are required but does not allow users to explore or unearth all the data has to offer. Talent Insights is an evolution on BI, designed to empower users to get instant insights into data by asking questions or conversing with the data in natural language. Talent Insights also suggests statistically interesting visualizations to uncover insights from data that would traditionally have gone unnoticed and this is even based on the context of the data that a user is currently looking at. These evolutions on data analysis make it possible for the whole HR organization to delve into the realm normally reserved for the HR Analyst. As Talent Insights evolves we’re also introducing more functionality to bring data science and predictive analytics to a wider community. This will speed the identification of the best data and most interesting conclusions.

Talent Insights dashboard

How is it different from Watson Analytics?

While Talent Insights is built on Watson Analytics, its function is differentiated.  Kenexa’s wealth of experience in the HR domain further enhances the Watson Analytics experience. The cognitive experience is tailored for the HR domain, a customizable interface for defining frequently used questions is included and access control on datasets is provided. Talent Insights enables the HR Organization to provide data for the HR team for analysis without the constraints of a pre-built dashboard. However,  we  provide  templated input datasets to accelerate time to value for Applicant Tracking Systems and HRIS.  We’ll be adding templates for other systems like performance management, learning, and surveys in the future.

Users can still upload and work with their own data and join this with the data provided as part of Talent Insights for  deeper exploration.

This all sounds great, but surely the data still needs some processing?

Yes, this is true but to a lesser extent. Datasets do need to be prepared so that column names and data values are presented in a human-consumable form which generally means transforming internal database column names into a readable form so that they can be interpreted. Some consideration is also needed for the way data is structured and split into files. Talent Insights is then exceptionally good at resolving users’ questions to the appropriate dataset or datasets to answer the questions asked.

Talent Insights been available since November 204. Talk to your Kenexa sales or support contact  to see how you can begin to use this with your own data. See  Jonathan Ferrar’s discussions on Workforce science to learn more about how this fits in to your overall strategy.

You can also check out our latest video on Talent Insights.

Engagement Surveys… hello from Lincoln, NE

Boston has been hammered by snow this month. Just under 5 feet so far in February for a winter total of 8 feet (2.5 meters). However, I have managed to escape for a few respites. I was with a customer in California about 10 days ago and in Lincoln, Nebraska last week. Almost no snow left on the ground in Lincoln and temperatures hovering just around freezing.

The IBM team in Lincoln has a long history and a deep involvement with survey research. Specifically, they create and implement engagement surveys for companies. They measure employee engagement and make recommendations on how to improve productivity by improving engagement. We have done over 30 million surveys in the last 10 years, about 7 million last year.  We have done this work in over 140 different languages. We maintain a normative database that allows our customers to calibrate their results against those of other companies both inside and outside their industry segments.

Our core development  team in Lincoln started working together in 1999.  In those days, we primarily processed paper surveys.  The printers were on the first floor and there were times where our current development managers, who were entry level developers at the time, would “man” the printer by replacing ink or filling paper, and have the horrible task of throwing away thousands of paper surveys if there were ever a mistake found after printing had begun. Their jobs are very different today.

Today we are integrating IBM’s analytical tools with our survey software and normative database. We are using the cognitive capabilities of Watson analytics to explore survey results and drive new insights from surveys and/or normative data. We are replacing a lot of ‘manual labor’ with tools that allow us to gain insight in real time and help our customers get a more accurate and up-to-date view of their workforce and take corrective actions more quickly. More statistics and algorithms than paper and ink.  Here’s a preview of the new mobile experience. We’ve come a long way from paper….

Engagement_survey_mobile2Engagement survey_mobile

Check out some of our videos on engagement surveys on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffIljvm2DqI

Mobile BrassRing

We have a new Mobile First user experience for BrassRing making the most common tasks for a hiring manager and recruiter available on any device including smart phones, tablets, laptops and desktops. The new mobile responsive design detects and adjusts to any mobile device to provide an optimal user experience for hiring managers and recruiters on-the-go. This offers the same BrassRing configuration with support for the most common workflows and actions with easy quick search for candidates and requisitions and type ahead functionality.

All of our clients have the opportunity to preview this new experience. To try it out, click on the new button in the top right corner of the Brass Ring home screen. The link will redirect you to our new mobile first experience and will respect the users existing configuration setting and privileges including single sign-on (SSO) support.

This is a new pattern for our new and upcoming releases We want our customers to try it out as soon as it’s available and share their feedback.

iPhone image showing the landing pageIpad image showing the landing page

Want to learn more?  Norm Lord has more info on how to get access to the new experience.

Norm Photo
Norm Lord, Director of Smarterworkforce Talent Acquisition Engineering

1. How can clients leverage the new experience ?
Existing clients can log onto  BrassRing and see a new link “Try Beta” in the top right hand corner. Clicking on this link will bring them to the new experience.

Try Me button

2. How can they adopt it?
Very easily. The new user experience is designed to be responsive across all devices and provides a marked improvement on the desktop experience too. This new design is mobile responsive and will detect the device type to deliver an optimal user experience. Additionally, on desktop devices you can switch back and forth between the new and old experience. This will be the new default experience for those accessing BrassRing from mobile devices.  We have an FAQ and video posted in the User Resource Center to help customers learn more about this new experience.

3. When is it available? This is available now, to all  BrassRing users!

4. How can customers provide feedback?
In the new UI experience, there’s a Feedback link in the home page footer  All feedback will be reviewed by the IBM Customer Support and Product Management teams.

5. How can they switch between old experience and new experience?
Easily, You can switch between the old and new experience using the links in header of each experience.

Call to action: On Thursday, February 12th, make sure to check out the new design by clicking on the “Try beta” link in the top corner.

Here’s a preview:

Technology and Innovation in HR

Mobile devices and analytics are transforming the ways companies interact with their employees and employees with their companies. Mobile devices allow people to work from anywhere and keep up with information and tasks at an accelerated pace.

Analytics give workers new ways to assess their skills, develop new skills and find coworkers who can help on projects.  Analytics give employers new insights in to how to best  recruit, retain, develop and deploy workers productively.

As the leader of the Kenexa Smarter Workforce Engineering team at IBM, I have a chance to see,  evaluate and deploy a wide range of innovation from across IBM development and IBM Research labs.  I’m looking forward to sharing what I learn, discussing our plans and learning more about how these technologies can transform HR systems and work itself.

Join me in this process, meet some of my colleagues who will be guest bloggers, and see what I discover as I travel to visit our labs and customers around the world.

I look forward to your comments.

For more info on IBM Smarterworkforce and Kenexa: http://www-01.ibm.com/software/smarterworkforce/

Next up: A glimpse in to Mobile BrassRing