Talent & Engagement

Cognitive augments the “human” in human resources

Technology advances have changed the retail industry,  enhancing  convenience as well as the client experience. Everything from personalization, recommendation engines, targeting, beacons, social platforms, referral incentives and customer retention are being used daily to sell everything from diapers to diamonds. Fortune 500 executives are being advised to treat talent as they would customers—understand their behavior  design recruiting strategies that meet them where they are and then create a plan to retain them.

So what’s stopping us from adopting these innovations in HR? According to a recent IBM Cognitive HR Study, 46% of senior HR executives believe cognitive technology will completely transform their talent acquisition capability, and 42% believe it will bring substantial operational efficiencies to this key area. But deciding where to begin with cognitive solutions continues to be a daunting task—though one that opens unprecedented opportunities for us all.

Cognitive solutions provide an opportunity to take a revolutionary approach for HR—one that can provide significant benefits both to organizations and their employees. Cognitive systems process and act on data—understanding, reasoning and constantly learning—and can make sense of vast quantities of data, then swiftly turn it into actionable insights. Within the HR domain, three areas are poised to take full advantage of cognitive solutions unique capabilities: talent acquisition and onboarding, talent development and engagement, and HR operations.

With cognitive solutions, candidates who have a better fit of skills and a higher likelihood of success can be matched to job openings. Cognitive solutions can also provide recruiters with unique insights into how they can select the best potential candidates. Using the ability to read unstructured data, recruiters can tap into digital interviews, cover letters, resumes, assessment tests, social media and other data sources to develop a truly comprehensive picture of an applicant. This profile can be then compared to successful incumbents who are already performing the role to help make a final decision. Capabilities such as natural language processing can be important in situations where repetitive interactions with the employee population are required, while the tone analyzer can detect engagement issues or personality mismatch between the job and the candidate.

Organizations are already deploying LinkedIn algorithms, and using Twitter followers’ and Snapchat geo-location filters to attract the best talent. In an era when we can give professionals all the data they need to make the best decision, every time—and never forget it—HR professionals can dedicate less time to collecting data, and more time to empowering their employees to become their very best at everything they do. That’s progress, with IBM Watson®.

Download our latest executive report to learn how cognitive computing is transforming HR and the employee experience.

General Manager, IBM Business Consulting

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