Tag Archives: Kenexa

Big Data Simplicity

I have posted information and comments recently on our Talent Insights product and described how it uses cognitive analytics from Watson to support HR professionals. John Medicke is our IBM Distinguished Engineer working in this area. In the post below John adds a Big Data perspective to HR Analytics. Big Data has become an overused term in HR analytics and John brings some clarity to how we can think about Big Data, Cognitive Computing, and how it all works for HR professionals.

Headshot - John Medicke
John Medicke, IBM

Big Data Simplicity

Big data does not just mean “big.”  There is much more to this transformation to big data and to the analytics around big data than just supporting ever-increasing data volumes.  A large part of what will – and is with products like IBM Kenexa Talent Insights – bring this transformation is simplification of the data analysis experience.  HR organizations, just like any other business organization, have big data already.  The problem is that much of that data is inaccessible for analysis because of the cost involved in creating analytical insights from that data.

Kenexa Talent Analytics images
IBM Kenexa Talent Analytics images

Traditionally, analytics involves creation of complex warehouse data models, construction of costly Extract, Transformation, and Load (ETL) processing, and custom built dashboards.  This is a very rigid approach in which each new analytical business requirement translates into required changes in the dashboard design, in the warehouse model, and in the ETL processing.  Changing technology alone – for instance switching from a relational data warehouse to hadoop – does not solve the problem.  Intelligence and automation need to be built into the big data analytics platform.

This is what makes the Talent Insights approach different.  The system applies advanced data analysis, statistical analysis, natural language processing, and cognitive analysis to automatically understand the data, align that data with other data, and to prepare recommended analytical views for the user.  This brings immediacy to the analytical experience for the HR business user; load your data in, and then directly onto asking questions of your data.   It empowers the HR Professional to do perform their own analysis, gaining insights without a dependency on IT to create custom analytics for them.

The Next Generation of HR and Talent Systems

I’ve invited Stefan Liesche, one of our Distinguished Engineers to talk about our Kenexa Open HR strategy , our new framework, the Kenexa Open UX Toolkit  and how this will impact the future of HR technology.


Exciting times for Talent Management Solutions! The IT Technology Landscape is rapidly evolving and undergoing change,  A new generation of solutions and innovations is entering the HR and Talent Management arena fueled by the next generation of mobile applications, cloud based solutions designed for security and social interactions, and deeper insights through data driven analytics solutions. These new applications deliver a whole new set of capabilities that were previously impossible to realize. The latest evolution in HR Tech will drive new opportunities that will evolve the workforce. These new, emerging solutions are third generation HR solutions that are not ported to the cloud, but born in the cloud.  HR departments are being faced with the need to not only support and integrate multiple existing systems, but also leverage new innovations that best support the needs of their workforce.  Only an open framework can build best-in-class solutions and deliver world class experiences to the workforce. This framework needs to be flexible and adaptable so employees, managers and HR professionals can benefit from the latest innovations.

Open talent suite

The combination of small, agile innovations and large, long established solutions requires a new approach to support HR leaders.
Key requirements include an open system that supports the following:
– Large and small solutions,
– Strategic partnerships and entrepreneurs
– Rapid change to support and energize fast innovation.
– Openness for new and emerging concepts.
– Leveraging existing standards and technologies for easy and efficient entry.
The obvious advantage of such a system is that it not only supports existing solutions but also provides a strategic platform for future growth and enablement. HR Leaders will want the ability to select components best suited to their needs and have the flexibility to consume new, innovative disruptive solutions, some of which don’t yet exist.

So why does that matter, and why am I writing about this? I wanted to share my thoughts and views as we unveil the next generation of the IBM Talent Suite which offers an Open Framework: A new, unified approach to HR solutions and systems.  The Kenexa Open HR ecosystem enables the integration of multiple solutions on the backend and the delivery of a consistent user experience on the front-end for all employees, managers and HR professionals. There is also a new Kenexa Open UX Toolkit to benefit customers, business partners and solution vendors alike providing the tools and platform to build new, innovative solutions.

HR leaders are no longer locked in to one solution with one vendor. As cloud computing and analytics bring unprecedented capability and power to the internet with a new generation of cloud solutions, there needs to be an easy way to build, integrate and deliver new solutions directly in to an open framework.

HR teams need to be able to benefit from the latest tools and technology by integrating the newest and best solutions to meet their needs. Business partners and Solution vendors should have an easy way to build and integrate their solutions with an open framework. The Kenexa Open UX toolkit uses well known, standardized technologies such as html5 css and javascript so there isn’t a steep learning curve. The result is that our customers can have a unified solution comprised of many vendors and the ability to extend it with new capabilities and features as needed. Our business partners and solution vendors can turn their ideas in to production ready solutions.

Open talent suite app integration

Thank you Kevin for the opportunity to publish as a guest here and I am looking forward to comments and feedback.

The Kenexa Open UX Toolkit Business Partner API set is already in beta and will launch shortly.  Please reach out to us today if you have a new, innovative solution that you would like to integrate. We are here to help.  Check out the IBM Social Business toolkit for building socially infused cloud based solutions and execute the solution in an innovative cloud environment. You can start exploring today by going to Bluemix to familiarize yourself with our digital innovation platform and the app dev framework.   IBM Bluemix IBM Bluemix

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


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