IBM Kenexa Helps Orgs Tap Top Talent, Grow Social Business via Big Data

by Darryl K. Taft
IBM Kenexa Helps Orgs Tap Top Talent, Grow Social Business via Big Data

IBM's Kenexa Talent Suite helps companies find and retain top talent and become more social through big data analytics.

ORLANDO, Fla.—At its Connect 2014 conference here, IBM announced a software-as-service (SaaS)-based IBM Kenexa Talent Suite that enables chief human resources officers (CHROs) and C-suite executives to gain insights into the deluge of data created every day by their workforce.

The new suite is the latest solution IBM has generated from its 2012 $1.3 billion acquisition of Kenexa, which uses big data analytics to help companies find qualified job candidates and increase employee retention. Using this new suite, organizations can now streamline, modernize and add precision to hiring practices; increase workforce productivity; and connect employees in ways that impact business results, IBM said.

With the IBM Kenexa Talent Suite, human resource (HR) professionals can look at large volumes of employee data—such as work experience, social engagement, skills development and individual traits—to identify the qualities that make top performers successful. Organizations and teams can then use those models to pursue candidates through additional targeted social marketing on social recruiting sites, where job seekers matching the profile are automatically connected with opportunities matching their skills.

The IBM Kenexa Talent Suite features talent acquisition, talent optimization and social networking capabilities.

Meanwhile, customers can accelerate the onboarding and the integration of new hires through IBM Connections capabilities. This helps employees share information and find the right experts to accelerate learning and increase productivity and engagement, while at the same time providing a way for leaders to more effectively manage their teams. Through analytics and reporting, line-of-business leaders can better understand emerging employee trends and more effectively manage each individual career path in areas like skill attainment, performance appraisals, compensation, succession planning and more.

"We know people are the lifeblood of an organization, and business success on today's stage requires not just talent but social capabilities that can energize, empower and nurture each team member so they can reach their full potential," said Craig Hayman, general manager of Industry Cloud Solutions at IBM, in a statement. "By combining social, behavioral science and analytics in the cloud, we give businesses a clear path to empower their most valued asset—employees."

IBM said customers can complement the new Kenexa suite with Watson Foundations, an integrated set of big data and analytics capabilities that enable clients to find and capitalize on actionable insights. Watson Foundations provides the tools and capabilities to tap into relevant data and apply analytics to gain fresh insights in real time, securely across an enterprise.


Moreover, using Watson Foundations, customers will be able to conduct a deeper level of analysis on key workforce-related data, identify trends within the workforce, understand their causes, predict future trends and proactively take action. Executives can also look at the work profiles and performance of their top employees and determine the appropriate type of rewards needed to keep them engaged.

According to an upcoming IBM C-Suite study that surveyed 342 CHROs representing 18 industries, many businesses are not taking full advantage of the insights delivered by workforce big data and analytics.

IBM said leading businesses such as the AMC entertainment company are benefiting from IBM talent management software. AMC uses recruitment technologies from IBM to gain an understanding through data analytics of what it takes to succeed at the organization. AMC then uses that knowledge to attract candidates who are more likely to succeed once they're hired.  

"Harnessing the power of data gives us a better picture of what top talent looks like in our industry," said Heather Jacox, director of Diversity, Recruitment & Development at AMC, in a statement. "IBM's talent management solutions allow us to use data in new ways so we can make better informed decisions that have a greater impact on our business."

Advertising powerhouse Leo Burnett Worldwide, another major customer, is using IBM's workforce talent management software to analyze people surveys, strengthen its global workforce, drive revenue and increase retention. 

Through IBM's data analytics, Leo Burnett is able to glean valuable insights from its annual global people survey to better understand the needs of the workforce. Leo Burnett partnered with IBM's Smarter Workforce consultants, who use employee engagement analytics software to look at what drives their people to contribute to agency accomplishments. The information collected provided insights that helped generate suggestions that the agency can implement to better engage their people and improve productivity.

Leo Burnett used IBM's analytics solutions to survey their more than 8,500 people and applied IBM's analytics to synthesize the perspectives their people shared regarding agency strengths and weaknesses. The company then identified those agency characteristics that lead to an engaged workforce. Additionally, the results helped Leo Burnett's senior executives identify the most engaged agencies.

 "With IBM, we now have the ability to more fully understand the perceptions that our people share about working in the agency," said Sidney Chapon, executive vice president of Leo Burnett, in a statement. As a result, we're able to use that information to improve our agency work environment and, ultimately, our business."

"The success of any organization rides on having a talented and engaged workforce. By investing in behavioral analytics, organizations can truly tap into the pulse of their employees," said Jonathan Ferrar, vice president of Smarter Workforce at IBM, in a statement. "Using the insights gained from analyzing comments from employees, companies not only attract top talent, but assemble a more enduring and engaged workforce that can lead to success over time."

Meanwhile, IBM announced strong momentum for its SaaS-based social business offerings from partners, clients and developers. As part of today's news, IBM is also highlighting its continued investment in its social business and cloud technologies.

According to a recent IBM study of more than 800 business decision makers worldwide, organizations that use software delivered as a service through the cloud reported two and a half times higher profit than their peers. In addition, organizations that adopt cloud-based solutions are 79 percent more likely to drive increased collaboration across their organization, and twice as likely to leverage analytics to unlock greater insight about their business, IBM said.

A growing list of businesses, such as Codorniu, Princess Cruise Lines, SIKA, SafeGuard, Shanks and Verisure, have taken their business into the cloud, IBM said.

"We've seen amazing demand over the past year as clients adopt and partners extend the capabilities we've been delivering through the cloud," said Jeff Schick, vice president of Social Software at IBM, in a statement. "Over this period, we have spurred new innovation by integrating social capabilities into an organization's business processes. This has been made possible through our open and extensible APIs that have let us unleash the power of cloud and help organizations collaborate and increase workforce productivity."

At the conference Big Blue announced the rebranding of its mail, chat, meetings, office productivity and content capabilities, making them part of IBM's Connections brand in 2014. As part of this effort, IBM plans to expand the Connections portfolio to include high-fidelity, high-definition video based on its Sametime 9 technology.

In addition, IBM is also announcing its next-generation Web mail experience. This new mail offering, planned for availability in both the cloud and on premises, will use analytics to deliver task-level focus and inbox management capabilities that let employees easily track the content and messages needed to do their job.

"IBM's new web mail experience is very intuitive and integrated with key social business capabilities," said Berry van der Schans, information and communication technology manager for Shanks Group Plc, in a statement.

IBM also plans to introduce Domino Applications in the cloud through a ready-made platform-as-a-service offering built on IBM SoftLayer. Partners will have a faster path for bringing their new Domino applications to the cloud and getting them to market more quickly.

Moreover, IBM is teaming with business partner Parallels to integrate with Parallels' cloud automation platform, making it easier for partners that distribute IBM products to assemble and sell unique cloud offerings. For example, a telecommunications company can use IBM's new plug-in to easily combine and provision its cloud offerings from IBM and other Parallels-ready vendors, such as Sugar CRM. This streamlines the business process of delivering cloud services through a reseller channel.

IBM is also introducing a new certified set of global partners that provide on-boarding services, making it easier than ever for clients to deploy their mail to the cloud.

Furthermore, IBM's independent software vendor (ISV) partner ecosystem continues to grow. To date, hundreds of unique Connections-based applications have been developed using APIs from the IBM Social Business Toolkit. For example, ISVs, such as AppFusions, Flow, HootSuite, Kaltura and Shoutlet, have built entirely new applications on the IBM Connections platform—both in the cloud and on premises.

HootSuite, for example, created a new social application integrating IBM Connections capabilities and content into the HootSuite dashboard. This allows data from corporate social networks to be viewed alongside social media data from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other networks so employees can be even more empowered, connected and informed.


Originally published on eWeek.
  This article was originally published on Monday Jan 27th 2014
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