Connecting the Data: 4 Key Lessons from IBM Connect for HR Professionals

Attending IBM Connect last week, I was struck by this sobering statistic shared by Ed Crowe, sales and solution leader for IBM Talent Acquisition and Optimization: “Sixty percent of the new jobs created will require the skills that only 20 percent of the population actually has.” So if the majority of the candidate pool falls into the inferior pile, what can recruiters be doing to drive better business outcomes? What is the HR world missing?

1. Cognitive tools are competitive intelligence.

Using cognitive data, HR professionals have the power to acquire and retain top talent. “As practitioners we’re getting demand from the C-suite to provide strategic data so that they can make decisions,” Crowe said, speaking on the need for recruiters to utilize analytics to personalize the hiring process. Crowe envisions four areas that will reimagine the landscape for finding the right talent: cloud, IoT, mobile and cognitive.

2. Your recruiting strategy is an extension of the brand.

I look back to the times when I felt the most nurtured, the most engaged, the most valued, and the times, well, when I just wasn’t. I could slice those lacking experiences many different ways—the moments recruiters left me in the email waiting room for months after initially coming on so strong, a stakeholder’s dismay that my resume missed x skill (Isn’t it a recruiter’s job to vet?), a rocky onboarding process. Had my HR contacts had the proper data at their fingertips to properly audit my candidate profile, might it have gone better for us both? Don’t risk candidates walking away with a sour view of the business, as it’s likely they were consumers of the brand to begin with. “Cognitive is going to help HR personalize, augment and provide a better experience,” Crowe said.

3.  Even with cognitive data, humans are still in control of the decision making.

Cognitive computing enhances the quality of work. It isn’t meant to replace the professionals      behind the work. “I’m not asking Watson to make a hiring decision,” said Mario Del Angel, a sales and solutions consultant for IBM, who demonstrated Watson Talent Insights, Watson Career Coach and Watson Analytics for HR at Connect. “I’m asking Watson to help me go through the data to surface the cream of the crop.”

4. Employee engagement needs to be built into the employee experience.

Today’s workplace challenges demand that employees be lifelong learners. When work feels like a dead end, it’s time to rethink organizational goals, and how they can be applied to individual employees. “We need to focus on creating an energetic experience for employees from day one,” said Leo Brajkovich, Worldwide Executive, IBM Talent Management Advisor. With tools that can predict a candidate’s future success, map out an employee’s career path and connect him or her with other team members with specific expertise, businesses can equip their entire organizations with the data to succeed.

To learn how to drive your own cognitive HR transformation, visit IBM Watson Talent’s solutions page.

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