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5 Talent Priorities for IBM in 2019

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(5 min read)

Kevin Blair, IBM’s Head of Global Talent Acquisition, has recently spoken at various HR and Talent events and conferences around the world on the state of IBM’s talent transformation journey.

With so many disruptions to the business and talent experience, we realized early on that IBM needed to reinvent its talent acquisition function and upskill the organization. So far, we’ve been able to better support changing business models and maximize our competitive advantage. This reinvention has been vital to sustaining market leadership, driving more value to the business, delivering consumer grade experiences to candidates, and closing skills gaps.

In this new digital era of artificial intelligence and automation, talent will play a critical role in the success of a company. Harnessing the latest disruptive technology, recruiters and other talent leaders and professionals have a great opportunity to deepen candidate relationships and serve as trusted advisors for the business as workforce dynamics shift across the globe.

We’ve had a very productive first quarter in 2019 as artificial intelligence and data continue to be leveraged to deliver smarter and faster outcomes, make better predictions for performance success, and advance diversity and inclusion by reducing unconscious bias in the end-to-end talent process.

Read more from Kevin on his top 5 talent priorities for IBM Talent Acquisition for the remainder of 2019.

1) Augment our workflow technologies
The first thing we asked was how can we augment our workflow technologies? We’ve recently integrated a bunch of AI technologies into our talent function. For example, recruiters now utilize our Cognitive Interviewer, which enables facial recognition and personality insights during live interviews to reduce unconscious bias. Candidates can also utilize our Watson Candidate Assistant chatbot, infused with AI, that personalizes their experience on our career website by asking them questions and giving them job recommendations. Yes, these technologies are cutting edge, but they are not yet optimal. So our first priority for 2019 is to enhance the technologies embedded in our workflow and prime them for optimization and more external use.

2) Strengthen partnerships for more growth
Next, we asked ourselves: how can we seek opportunities for further growth? We realized we need to strengthen our partnerships with both our internal consulting and solutions groups to understand how we can build better internal offerings. With a premium put on partnership-building activities with these businesses, we can craft and evolve what the future of talent acquisition will look like from a process, technology, and experience perspective.

3) Be more precisely aligned with business priorities
Third, we thought, how can we reaffirm our aim to fulfill strategic priorities of the business? We can do this by working closer with business units earlier in the process to identify, and even predict, their short-term and long-term challenges. With our data insights, we can differentiate and customize services to better target their priorities. This will allow us to pinpoint exactly where our impact is in IBM’s revenue stream. Then we’ll know where we should push harder to better service areas of the business not currently receiving high levels of direct impact.

4) Improve predictability of talent needs
Fourth, we questioned how we’ll prioritize our ability to predict needs. We have so much data – historical data, external data, and internal market data. Why not use a combination of all three to help us better predict the future of the industry and implement the necessary processes and infrastructure to prepare for it? This is exactly where we want to be; leading the industry with our ability to anticipate future needs of our businesses.

5) Continue to promote continuous learning
Finally, we asked ourselves how we will keep uncovering learning and growth opportunities. IBM has a culture of continuously evaluating what we could do differently and how we can change to be better. These opportunities require investments in time, resources, and capitol. But through smart and calculated investments, we eventually receive notable returns that far outweigh the initial investments.

If you want to hear more from Kevin, IBM’s Global Head of Talent Acquisition, follow him on LinkedIn here.

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