May 9, 2023 By Parul Mishra 4 min read

The world is changing faster than ever, and the way we work needs to keep up with the possibilities that new technologies bring to our day-to-day work. Companies that want to stay competitive need to help their employees quickly build new skill sets and adapt to changing market conditions.

Workforce demographic trends compel us to reimagine how we work. A large share of the worker population—Millennials and Generation Z—grew up using technology in their day-to-day lives, and they expect the technology they use at work to function the same as it does in their personal lives.

Those businesses that do not adapt may be overly exposed to worker shortages and productivity. An analysis from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the U.S. labor force participation rate is projected to decline from 61.7% in 2021 to 60.1 % in 2031, fueled by the aging population trend reflected across the world.

Sport Clips Haircuts reimagines talent acquisition

Sport Clips Haircuts—a leading hair salon with almost 1,900 stores in the U.S.—recognizes the modern-day challenges of staffing and employee retention. CEO Edward Logan has put technology at the forefront of the company and considers AI and automation to be a great way to support franchise owners, which is a top priority for the company.

Customer demand is high and every chair without a stylist at Sport Clips is a lost opportunity to make a customer happy. However, recruiting for the stylist role and finding the right talent can be challenging. Sport Clips wanted to help reduce the recruiting burden on franchise owners by expanding their qualified talent pool and streamlining outreach to passive candidates, which led them to reach out to IBM and ThisWay® Global—a candidate sourcing and matching platform with an expansive network of over 8,500 communities.

Franchise owners were onboarded to the solutions in under an hour and now have the ability to manage their end-to-end recruiting process through a single user interface. Through chat-style interactions, users are able to initiate automations (known as skills), including the following:

  • Create a new job requisition from commonly posted positions.
  • Socialize the job listing on job boards like Indeed and LinkedIn (paid subscriptions may be required).
  • Identify qualified passive candidates using ThisWay Global and email up to 300 candidates within minutes to invite them to apply.

“Driving transformation for our franchisee owners is a top priority. Can we make a process easier, faster and with fewer errors to help them be successful? With IBM watsonx Orchestrate, we streamlined passive candidate outreach. What used to take three hours can now be done in just a few minutes,” said Edward Logan, CEO & President of Sport Clips Haircuts.

Introducing IBM watsonx Orchestrate Enterprise Edition

IBM watsonx Orchestrate is a cloud-based solution that helps companies empower their people to change the nature of their day-to-day work. The new Enterprise Edition includes an expanded set of skills and a new ability to import existing automations, including those from IBM Robotic Process Automation. The release introduces digression—the ability for Orchestrate to multi-task so it can handle multiple requests at the same time.

Get work done quickly with pre-built skills

Skills are foundational to the watsonx Orchestrate platform—think of them as units of automation. It can be as simple as adding a row to Excel or as complex as onboarding a new employee with the many tasks involved— collecting I-9 information, ordering a new computer and even setting up a welcome meeting with the team. The new IBM watsonx Orchestrate Enterprise Edition offers over 30 new pre-built/pre-trained skills for SAP SuccessFactors, Oracle HCM and Workday.

Reuse existing automations

IBM watsonx Orchestrate can help you get the most out of your prior automation investments. Easily import existing automations that use the OpenAPI specification. These automations can be from IBM or other third-party vendors. After importing, developers can train skills and define natural language utterance phrases quickly.

Support more use cases with IBM Robotic Process Automation

IBM watsonx Orchestrate Enterprise Edition comes with entitlements to IBM Robotic Process Automation (RPA) to facilitate automating unique use cases across your organization. IBM watsonx Orchestrate can sequence your custom skills with pre-built flows or create new workflows dynamically.

How many things can you do at once?

Multi-tasking—it’s essential in today’s work environment. To truly transform work, we need tools that can keep up. IBM watsonx Orchestrate can now work multiple requests in parallel. For example, a recruiter can ask Orchestrate to schedule interviews and then continue work with Orchestrate while the task is being worked in the background.

Beyond the chatbot

IBM watsonx Orchestrate isn’t a chatbot, which typically executes dialog trees that terminate when the user response cannot be found in the tree. Orchestrate has an advanced natural language processor to understand intent, break down requests and guide you through a dynamically generated sequence of steps to complete a task. If Orchestrate needs more information or to clarify ambiguity, it asks. When unable to find a skill, it will guide users to find a new skill or import an existing skill to complete that task.

Let’s build the future workforce today

Technology has made large strides, and experiences that were previously impossible are now a reality. It’s time to reimagine work and leave repetitive tasks behind with IBM watsonx Orchestrate. Empower your team with a tool that works alongside them, understands them, guides them and learns from them as they do their work.

What can the watsonx solution do for you? Schedule a demo today.

More from

IBM continues to support OpenSource AsyncAPI in breaking the boundaries of event driven architectures

3 min read - IBM® Event Automation’s event endpoint management capability makes it easy to describe and document your Kafka topics (event sources) according to the open source AsyncAPI Specification. Why is this important? AsyncAPI already fuels clarity, standardization, interoperability, real-time responsiveness and beyond. Event endpoint management brings this to your ecosystem and helps you seamlessly manage the complexities of modern applications and systems. The immense utility of Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) and API management are already widely recognized as it enables developers to collaborate…

10 ways artificial intelligence is transforming operations management 

5 min read - Operations management is about finding ways to do things more efficiently, precisely and smoothly. It includes a broad range of activities, such as planning, organizing, inventory and supply chain management, production scheduling, quality control, logistics and the effective running of processes and asset maintenance. Today, these functions share a common thread: they’re ripe for improvement through artificial intelligence (AI).  AI, the technology that enables computers and machines to simulate human intelligence and problem-solving capabilities, is transforming industries. In fact, 94%…

Generative AI meets application modernization

2 min read - According to a survey of more than 400 top IT executives across industries in North America, three in four respondents say they still have disparate systems using traditional technologies and tools in their organizations. Furthermore, the survey finds that most executives report being in the planning or preliminary stages of modernization. Maintaining these traditional, legacy technologies and tools, often referred to as “technical debt,” for too long can have serious consequences, such as stalled development projects, cybersecurity exposures and operational…

IBM Newsletters

Get our newsletters and topic updates that deliver the latest thought leadership and insights on emerging trends.
Subscribe now More newsletters