HR staff will be able to view employee data including skills development to help promotions

ORLANDO – Bagging a worker that can hit the ground running is always on the wish list of any human resources manager. Very often, however, things hit a snag during the initial phase of a new employee’s tenure.

At its Connect 2014 conference here IBM Corp. today announced new capabilities to its software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based Kenexa Talent Suite tool that it says will enable human resources officers not only streamline the onboarding process but also gain actionable insights from the vast amounts of data produced each day by their employees.

Craig Hayman, general manager of industry cloud solutions, said new capabilities embedded into the Talent Suite will allow human resources (HR) personnel to view large volumes of employee data such as work experience, social engagements, skills development and individual traits, to pinpoint qualities that can help managers decide on issues such as personnel placement, succession planning and training.

For recruiting purposes, for example, organizations using the SaaS tool can look for candidates through additional social recruiting suites, where job seekers matching the profiles developed through Kenexa are automatically connected to the positions in the organization that match their skills and experience.

“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 potential,” Hayman said. “By combining behaviour science, analytics in the cloud, we give businesses a clear path to empower their most valued assets – employees.”

Through Talent Suite’s analytics reporting capabilities, line of business leaders can also understand better emerging employee trends and more effectively manage each individual’s career paths in areas such as skills attainment, performance compensation, succession planning and more.

Also on Monday IBM revealed an upcoming mail suite.

Kenexa Corp., bought by IBM in 2012, provides employment and retention solutions.

The Kenexa Talent Suite features include

–Talent acquisition – includes recruitment, skills and behavioural science-based assessments and onboarding. These can be used to provide deep understanding of what best talent looks like and how to attract, hire and engage them, says IBM;

–Talent organization tools – Includes performance appraisal, succession planning and compensation planning;

–Social networking capabilities – Provides a portal where employees can connect with each other or create communities where they can share experiences, ideas and best practices

In an interview Matt Mullen, senior analyst for digital marketing and customer acquisition technology at 451 Research, said the move by IBM to highlight the integration of social media tools, big data, behavioural analytics and mobility in Talent Suite illustrates characterizes a shift in IBM’s focus towards a software and services delivery model.

He also said that its signal’s the business world’s changing view of social networking technology.

“Before, social was just a channel. Today we see social as a layer,” said Mullen. “Organizations are layering it over business practices or existing workflow. For instance, internal and external communications has a layer of Twitter or Facebook over it.”

What IBM [NYSE: IBM] is doing, is offering an enterprise-grade alternative to this, he said.

IBM customers employing Talent Suite can also complement it with Watson Foundation, an integrated set of big data and analytics tools. Hayman said this will help users find relevant data – regardless of source or type – and apply it to a full range of analytics.

For example, users can conduct deeper talent analysis on key workforce-related data, pinpoint trends in the workplace, understand their causes and predict future trends. Executives can also search work profiles and performance records of top employees and determine appropriate rewards that will encourage better engagement, said Rudy Karsan, CEO of Kenexa.

According to an IBM C-suite survey of 342 chief human resources officers representing 18 industries many businesses are not taking full advantage of the insights available from workforce big data and analytics.

The study found that over half of organizations are using workforce analytics but only seven per cent are using predictive analytics to aid decision making in sourcing and recruiting, just nine per cent of respondents are using analytics for employee engagements and commitment, 10 per cent for talent development and 15 per cent for talent retention.

“Years ago data was used primarily in a managerial and hierarchical model,” he said. “Today we are providing the opportunity to use it in a way that will help an individual improve their performance and become more engage with the organization.”

 

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