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Posts from the ‘eightfold.ai’ Category

How An AI Platform Is Matching Employees And Opportunities

How An AI Platform Is Matching Employees And Opportunities

Instead of relying on data-driven signals of past accomplishments, Eightfold.ai is using AI to discover the innate capabilities of people and matching them to new opportunities in their own companies.

Bottom Line: Eightfold.ai’s innovative approach of combining their own AI and virtual hackathons to create and launch new additions to their Project Marketplace rapidly is a model enterprises need to consider emulating.

Eightfold.ai was founded with the mission that there is a right career for everyone in the world. Since its founding in 2016, Eightfold.ai’s Talent Intelligence Platform continues to see rapid global growth, attracting customers across four continents and 25 countries, supporting 15 languages with users in 110 countries. Their Talent Intelligence Platform is built to assist enterprises with Talent Acquisition and Management holistically.

What’s noteworthy about Eightfold.ai’s approach is how they have successfully created a platform that aggregates all available data on people across an enterprise – from applicants to alumni – to create a comprehensive Talent Network. Instead of relying on data-driven signals of past accomplishments, Eightfold.ai is using AI to discover the innate capabilities of people and matching them to new opportunities in their own companies. Eightfold’s AI and machine learning algorithms are continuously learning from enterprise and individual performance to better predict role, performance and career options for employees based on capabilities.

How Eightfold Sets A Quick Pace Innovating Their Marketplace

Recently Eightfold.ai announced Project Marketplace, an AI-based solution for enterprises that align employees seeking new opportunities and companies’ need to reskill and upskill their employees with capabilities that line up well with new business imperatives. Eightfold wanted to provide employees with opportunities to gain new skills through experiential learning, network with their colleagues, join project teams and also attain the satisfaction of helping flatten the unemployment curve outside. Project Marketplace helps employers find hidden talent, improve retention strategies and gain new knowledge of who has specific capabilities and skills. The following is a screen from the Marketplace that provides employees the flexibility of browsing all projects their unique capabilities qualify them for:

How An AI Platform Is Matching Employees And Opportunities

Employees select a project of interest and are immediately shown how strong of a match they are with the open position. Eightfold provides insights into relevant skills that an employee already has, why they are a strong match and the rest of the project team members – often a carrot in itself. Keeping focused on expanding employee’s capabilities, Eightfold also provides guidance of which skills an employee will learn. The following is an example of what an open project positions looks like:

How An AI Platform Is Matching Employees And Opportunities

How An AI Platform Is Matching Employees And Opportunities

Employee applicants can also view all the projects they currently have open from the My Projects view shown below:

How An AI Platform Is Matching Employees And Opportunities

Project Marketplace is the win/win every employee has yearned for as they start to feel less challenged in their current position and start looking for a new one, often outside their companies. I recently spoke with Ashutosh Garg, CEO and Co-Founder and Kamal Ahluwalia, Eightfold’s President, to see how they successfully ran a virtual hackathon across three continents to keep the Marketplace platform fresh with new features and responsive to the market.

How to Run A Virtual Hackathon

Starting with the hackathon, Eightfold relied on its own Talent Intelligence Platform to define the teams across all three continents, based on their employees’ combined mix of capabilities. Ashutosh, Kamal and the senior management team defined three goals of the hackathon:

  1. Solve problems customers are asking about with solutions that are not on the roadmap yet.
  2. Accelerate time to value for customers with new approaches no one has thought of before.
  3. Find new features and unique strengths that further strengthen the company’s mission of finding the right career for everyone in the world.

It’s fascinating to see how AI, cybersecurity and revenue management software companies continue to innovate at a fast pace delivering complex apps with everyone being remote. I asked Ashutosh how he and his management team approached the challenge of having a hackathon spanning three continents deliver results. Here’s what I learned from our discussion and these lessons are directly applicable to any virtual hackathon today:

  1. Define the hackathon’s purpose clearly and link it to the company mission, explaining what’s at stake for customers, employees and the millions of people looking for work today – all served by the Talent Intelligence Platform broadening its base of features.
  2. Realize that what you are building during the hackathon will help set some employees free from stagnating skills allowing them to be more employable with their new capabilities.
  3. The hackathon is a chance to master new skills through experiential learning, further strengthening their capabilities as well. And often learning from some of the experts in the company by joining their teams.
  4. Reward risk-taking and new innovative ideas that initially appear to be edge cases, but can potentially be game changers for customers.

I’ve been interviewing CEOs from startups to established enterprise software companies about how they kept innovation alive during the lockdown. CEOs have mentioned agile development, extensive use of Slack channels and daily virtual stand-ups. Ashutosh Garg is the only one to mention how putting intrinsic motivation into practice, along with these core techniques, binds hackathon teams together fast. Dan Pink’s classic TED Talk, The Puzzle of Motivation, explains intrinsic motivators briefly and it’s clear they have implications on a hackathon succeeding or not.

Measuring Results Of the Hackathon

Within a weekend, Project Marketplace revealed several new rock stars amongst the Eightfold hackathon teams. Instead of doing side projects for people who had time on their hands, this Hackathon was about making Eightfold’s everyday projects better and faster. Their best Engineers and Services team members took a step back, re-looked at the current approaches and competed with each other to find better and innovative ways. And they all voted for the most popular projects and solutions – ultimate reward in gaining the respect of your peers. As well as the most “prolific coder” for those who couldn’t resist working on multiple teams.

Conclusion

Remote work is creating daunting challenges for individuals at home as well as for companies. Business models need to change and innovation cannot take a back seat while most companies have employees working from home for the foreseeable future. Running a hackathon during a global lockdown and making it deliver valuable new insights and features that benefit customers now is achievable as Eightfold’s track record shows. Project marketplace may prove to be a useful ally for employees and companies looking to stay true to their mission and help each other grow – even in a pandemic. This will create better job security, a culture of continuous learning, loyalty and more jobs. AI will change how we look at our work – and this is a great example of inspiring innovation.

 

Remote Recruiting In A Post COVID-19 World

Remote Recruiting In A Post COVID-19 World

Bottom Line: Virtual career fairs and events, fully-remote recruiting, more personalized career paths, and greater insights into candidate experiences are quickly becoming the new normal in a post-COVID-19 world.

The COVID-19 pandemic is quickly changing how every organization is attracting, recruiting, and retaining employees on their virtual teams, making remote work the new normal. Recruiting systems, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), and talent management systems were designed for one-on-one personal interactions, not virtual ones. Legacy Human Resource Management (HRM) systems are already showing signs of not being able to scale and meet the challenges of the brave, new post-COVID-19 world. The majority of legacy systems are built for transaction scale and can’t see candidate potential. Closing the gaps between legacy talent management systems and new virtual event recruiting and AI-based talent management platforms are changing that by putting candidate potential at the center of their architectures.

Closing The Virtual Event Recruiting Gap Needs To Happen First

Many organizations during this time of year prioritize recruiting the best and brightest college seniors they can attract during in-person interviews on campus. That’s no longer an option today. College recruiters are resorting to individual Skype or Zoom sessions with candidates while attempting to keep track of interviews the best they can with Excel, Google Sheets, and e-mail. Recruiters trying to recruit for mid-level and senior positions are under increasing pressure from hiring managers to arrange interviews with the highest quality candidates possible.

Seeing an opportunity to help organizations find, engage, and recruit using online events, Eightfold.ai has created and launched Virtual Event Recruiting. Eightfold.ai is best-known for its Talent Intelligence Platform™, the first AI-powered solution and most effective way for companies to identify promising candidates, reach diversity hiring goals, retain top performers, and engage talent. Eightfold.ai’s recent webinar How To Hold Virtual Recruiting Events is worth checking out if you’re interested in how Virtual Event Recruiting is evolving..

What Does Success Look Like In Virtual Event Recruiting?

The table stakes for any Virtual Event Recruiting solution need include support for students just starting their careers, veterans, return-to-work mothers, and experienced professionals. For a solution to be effective, it also needs to enable companies and job seekers to connect, giving companies greater scale than is possible for physical recruiting events. Ideally, any virtual event recruiting system needs to provide the following:

  • The ability to upload resume books and use AI to find the highest quality matches for open positions in real-time. Machine learning algorithms excel at pattern matching and can save recruiters thousands of hours of drudgery by immediately seeing the highest quality matches for open positions.
  • Provide a planning center that also serves a company’s specific talent community and provide tools to grow it by tailoring events to their specific interests while seeking the best-qualified candidates for open positions. Creating, launching, and tracking recruiting campaigns from the same dashboard that tracks invitations, registrations, and open positions being filled gives recruiters the end-to-end visibility they need to succeed with a virtual event. It’s important to have Assessments included in every virtual event to measure candidates’ experiences and see what’s going well and which areas need to improve. The following is an example of what Eightfold’s planning center looks like:

Remote Recruiting In a Post COVID-19 World

  • Rely on AI to match high-potential candidates with the best possible virtual events to increase opt-in and participation rates. For a virtual event recruiting solution to be effective, high-potential candidates need to be matched with positions they will most excel in. A first step to making this happen is using AI to understand every candidate’s strengths and inviting them to the virtual events that will help them the most in choosing the best position given their potential.

Remote Recruiting In a Post COVID-19 World

  • Guide candidates to the positions that best match their existing capabilities and future potential. Instead of relying on keyword matching from resumes alone, virtual event recruiting applications need to suggest those positions high-potential candidates have the greatest potential to excel at. Using AI to combine all available data on a candidate, so their existing capabilities and future potential are taken into account is key to making more successful hires. Integrating job recommendations with virtual event recruiting is a must-have for any organization looking to add staff in 2020 and beyond.

Remote Recruiting In a Post COVID-19 World

  • After the virtual event, all potential candidates for an open position need to be stacked-ranked so recruiters can prioritize who they contact. By providing personalization at scale to every candidate by providing them recommendations for the positions they are the strongest match for, recruiters will find following-up is easier to accomplish than cold-calling a candidate found on LinkedIn, for example. Stack ranking needs to include members of the existing talent community and organization is cultivating as well. An excellent example of how this could work is shown below:

Remote Recruiting In a Post COVID-19 World

Conclusion

University campuses need to consider partnering with Eightfold.ai to make it easier for their graduating students to find best available careers, perhaps across a much broader range of companies than ever visited any individual campus. And there is no reason this paradigm can’t be applied to other job fairs and recruiting events like Grace Hopper.

Improving event virtual recruiting needs to be the priority recruiters and HR professionals take action on first to stay competitive from a talent management standpoint. Organizations that will win the war for talent in this new remote, distributed workforce era are already looking at how to excel at virtual recruiting. Having a talent intelligence platform that can provide end-to-end visibility and personalization at scale is the future of talent management.

 

How To Reduce The Unemployment Gap With AI

How To Reduce The Unemployment Gap With AI

It’s time for AI startups to step up and use their formidable technology expertise in AI to help get more Americans back to work now.

Bottom Line: A.I.’s ability to predict and recommend job matches will help get more Americans back to work, helping to reduce the 22 million unemployed today.

One in ten Americans is out of work today based latest U.S. Department of Labor data. They’re primarily from the travel and hospitality, food services, and retail trade and manufacturing industries, with many other affected sectors. McKinsey & Company’s recent article, A new AI-powered network, is helping workers displaced by the coronavirus crisis provides context around the scope of challenges involved in closing the unemployment gap. McKinsey, Eightfold A.I., and the FMI – The Food Industry Association combined efforts to create the Talent Exchange, powered by Eightfold.ai in a matter of weeks. McKinsey insights across a broad base of industries to help Eightfold and FMI create the Talent Exchange in record time. “In talking with clients across the U.S., it became very clear that there is a huge labor mismatch, and individuals are being affected very differently—from retailers furloughing tens of thousands of workers to other organizations needing to hire more than 100,000 workers quickly. We’re excited to help bring a scalable offering to the market,” said McKinsey partner Andrew Davis. McKinsey and FMI collaborating with Eightfold speak volumes to how Americans are coming together to combat the COVID-19 fallout as a team.

And with the food & agriculture, transportation, and logistics industries considered essential, critical infrastructure by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), demand for workers is more urgent than ever. Eightfold’s Talent Exchange launched last weekend and already has more than 600,000 jobs uploaded that employers need to fill and is available in 15 languages. Eightfold is making the Talent Exchange available free of charge through the COVID-19 epidemic. The Talent Exchange is also being extended to other industries and eco-systems, illustrating how the Eightfold A.I. platform can provide transferability of skills across roles and industries.

Getting Americans Back To Work Using A.I.

Earlier this week Eightfold, FMI – The Food Industry Association and Josh Bersin, the noted global research analyst, public speaker, and writer on many aspects of human resources and talent management, hosted the webinar, COVID-19: Helping the food industry on the front lines with A.I. It’s available to watch here and includes a walk-through of the Eightfold Talent Exchange. The following graphic explains how the Talent Exchange addresses the needs of downsizing companies, impacted workers and hiring companies:

How To Reduce The Unemployment Gap With AI

Eightfold’s Talent Exchange Is A Model For How To Use A.I. For Good

Eightfold’s Talent Exchange uses A.I. algorithms to match candidates with available roles, based on each individual’s skills and previous experience.

Current employers who have to furlough or lay off employees can invite employees to participate in the program. Eightfold also designed in a useful feature that enables employers to add lists of impacted employees and send them a link to register for the Exchange. Employers can view their entire impacted workforce in a single dashboard and can filter by role, department, or location to see details about the talent needs from hiring companies and how their impacted employees are getting placed in new roles. The following is the Talent Exchange dashboard  for current employers showing progress in placing employees with furlough and outplacement partners, including the number of offers accepted by each:

How To Reduce The Unemployment Gap With AI

Employees impacted by a furlough or lay-off can create and update profiles free on the Talent Exchange, defining their job preferences, skills, and experience. That’s invaluable data for hiring companies relying on the platform to make offers and fill positions quickly.  How current employers handle furloughs and lay-offs today will be their identity for years to come, a point John Bersin made during the webinar saying “employers who thrive in the future are going to build long-term relationships with employees today.” Employees receive the following when their current employer adds their name to the Eightfold Talent Exchange. The fictional Company Travel Air is used for this example:

Hiring companies see candidate matches generated by the Exchange, so they can contact these prospects or immediately offer them new jobs. Eightfold’s A.I. engineering teams have automated and personalized this contact as well, expediting the process even further. Hiring companies can add onboarding instructions to allow new hires to start as soon as they are ready and have real-time views of their hiring dashboard shown below:

How To Reduce The Unemployment Gap With AI

Conclusion

Combining A.I.’s innate strengths with H.R. and talent management professionals’ expertise and insights is closing the unemployment gap today. Employers furloughing or laying off employees need to look out for them and get their profile data on the Talent Exchange, helping them find new jobs with hiring companies. As was so well-said by Josh Bersin during the webinar this week, “smart employers should think of their hourly workers as talent, not fungible, replaceable bodies.” For hiring companies in a war for proven employees with talent today, that mindset is more important than ever.

Predicting How AI Will Improve Talent Management In 2020

Predicting How AI Will Improve Talent Management In 2020

47% of U.S.-based enterprises are using AI today for recruitment, leading all countries in the survey. U.S.-based enterprises’’ adoption of AI for recruitment soared in the last year, jumping from 22% in 2018 to 47% this year based on last years’ Harris Interactive Talent Intelligence and Management Report 2018.

  • 73% of U.S. CEOs and CHROs plan to use more AI in the next three years to improve talent management.
  • U.S.-based enterprises’’ adoption of AI for recruitment soared in the last year, jumping from 22% in 2018 to 47% this year.
  • U.S.-based enterprises lead in the use of AI to automate repetitive tasks (44%) and employee retention (42%).

These and many other fascinating insights are from a recent study completed by Harris Interactive in collaboration with Eightfold titled Talent Intelligence And Management Report 2019-2020, which provides insights into how CHROs are adopting AI today and in the future. You can download a copy here. A total of 1,350 CEOs and CHROs from the U.S., France, Germany, and the U.K. responded to the survey. One of the most noteworthy findings is how U.S-based CEOs and CHROs lead the world in prioritizing and taking action on improving their teams and their own AI skills. The more expertise they and their teams have with AI, the more effective they will be achieving operational improvements while taming the bias beast. The following graphic provides insights into how the four nations surveyed vary by their CEOs’ and CHROs’ perception of new technologies having had positive impacts, their plans for using AI in three years, and employee’s concerns about AI:

Predicting How AI Will Improve Talent Management In 2020

Predicting The Future Of AI In Talent Management

Four leading experts who are actively advising clients, implementing, and using AI to solve talent management challenges shared their predictions of how AI will improve talent management in 2020. The panel includes Kelly O. Kay, Partner, Heidrick & Struggles, Jared Lucas, Chief People Officer at MobileIron, Mandy Sebel, Senior Vice President, People at UiPath and David Windley CEO, IQTalent Partners. Mr. Kay leads the Software Practice for Heidrick & Struggles, a leading executive search and consulting firm commented: “As we all know, the talent crisis of 2019 is real and Eightfold’s application of AI on today is the most impactful approach I’ve seen and the outcomes they deliver eliminate unconscious bias, increases transparency and improves matching supply and demand of talent.” The following are their predictions of how AI will improve the following areas of talent management in 2020:

  • “Pertaining to talent attraction & acquisition-as adoption of intelligent automation and AI tools increases hiring managers and recruiters more easily uncover and surface overlooked talent pools,” said Mandy Sebel, Senior Vice President, People at UiPath.
  • “I predict that AI will become a requirement for companies in the screening of candidates due to the pervasive need to find higher-quality candidates at a faster pace,” said Jared Lucas, Chief People Officer at MobileIron.
  • “I believe the use of AI in the talent acquisition space will begin to hit critical mass in 2020. We are still in the early adopter phase, but the use of AI to match potential candidates to job profiles is catching on. Especially the use of AI for rediscovering candidates in ATS systems of larger corporations. Companies like Eightfold, Hiretual, and Atipica are leading the way,” said David Windley CEO, IQTalent Partners.
  • “Fear of job replacement will also subside, and more focus on job/role evolution as teams are experiencing firsthand how respective task elimination allows them to do more meaningful work,” commented Mandy Sebel, Senior Vice President, People at UiPath.
  • AI will provide the insights needed for CHROs to retain and grow their best talent, according to Jared Lucas, Chief People Officer at MobileIron. “I predict that AI will drive better internal mobility and internal candidate identification as companies are better able to mine their internal talent to fill critical roles,” he said.
  • Having gained credibility for executive and senior management recruiting, AI platforms’ use will continue to proliferate in 2020. “Private Equity is beginning to commercialize how AI can help select executives for roles based on competencies and experiences, which is exciting!” said Kelly O. Kay, Partner, Heidrick & Struggles.

What’s Next For You? How AI Is Transforming Talent Management

Bottom Line: Taking on the talent crisis with greater intelligence and insight, delivering a consistently excellent candidate experience, and making diversity and inclusion a part of their DNA differentiates growing businesses who are attracting and retaining employees. The book What’s Next For You? by Ashutosh Garg, CEO and Co-Founder and Kamal Ahluwalia, President of eightfold.ai provide valuable insights and a data-driven roadmap of how AI is helping to solve the talent crisis for any business.

The Talent Crisis Is Real

  • 78% of CEOs and Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) say talent programs are important, with 56% say their current programs are ineffective.
  • 83% of employees want a new job yet only 53% want to leave for a new company.
  • 57% of employees say diversity and inclusion initiatives aren’t working, and 40% say their companies lack qualified diverse talent.
  • Nearly 50% of an organizations’ top talent will leave their jobs in the first two years of being hired.
  • 28% of open positions today won’t be filled in the next 12 months.

The above findings are just a sample of the depth of data-driven content and roadmap the book What’s Next For You? delivers. Co-authors Ashutosh Garg’s and Kamal Ahluwalia’s expertise in applying AI and machine learning to talent management problems with a strong data-first mindset is evident throughout the book. What makes the book noteworthy is how the authors write from the heart first with empathy for applicants and hiring managers, supporting key points with data. The empathetic, data-driven tone of the book makes the talent crisis relatable while also illustrating how AI can help any business make better talent management decisions.

“Businesses are having to adapt to technology changes and changes in customer expectations roughly every 10 years – a timeframe that is continuing to shrink. As a result, business leaders need to really focus on rethinking their business strategy and the associated talent strategy, so they have the organizational capability to transform and capitalize on the inevitable technology shifts,” writes John Thompson, Venture Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners and Chairman of the Board at Microsoft in the forward.

The book cites talent management researchers and experts who say “our current knowledge base has a half-life of about two years, and the speed of technology is outperforming us as humans because of what it can do quickly and effectively“ (p.64). John Thompson’s observations in the forward that the time available for adapting to change is shrinking is a unifying thread that ties this book together. One of the most convincing is the fact that using today’s Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and hiring processes prone to biases, there’s a 30% chance a new hire will not make it through their first year. If the new hire is a cloud computing professional, this equates to a median salary of $146,350 and taking best-case 46 days to find their replacement. The cost and time loss of losing just one recruited cloud computing professional can derail a project for months. It will cost at least $219,000 or more to replace just that one engineer. Any manager who has lost a new hire within a year can relate to how real the talent crisis is and how urgent it is to solve it.

The Half-Life Of Skills Is Shrinking Fast

The most compelling chapter of the book illustrates how today’s talent crisis can be solved by taking an AI-enabled approach to every aspect of talent management. Chapter 4, The Half-Life Of Skills Is Shrinking Fast, delves into how AI can find candidates who can unlearn old concepts, and quickly master new ones. The book calls out this attribute of any potential new hire as being essential for them to adapt.  Using higher quality data than is available in traditional ATS systems, the authors illustrate how AI-based systems can be used for evaluating both the potential and experiences of applicants to match them with positions they will excel in. The authors make a convincing argument that AI can increase the probability of new candidate success. They cite a well-known Leadership IQ statistic of 46% of all new employee hires failing to adapt within 18 months, and the Harvard Business Review study finding between 40% to 60% of new upper management hires fail within 18 months. The authors contend that even Leonardo Da Vinci, one of the primary architects of the Renaissance, would have trouble finding work using a traditional resume entered into an ATS system today because his exceptional capabilities and potential would have never been discovered. When our existing process of recruiting is based on practices over 500 years old, as this copy of Leonardo Da Vinci’s resume illustrates, it’s time to put AI to work matching peoples’ potential with unique position requirements.

When Employees Achieve Their Potential, Companies Do Too   

Attracting the highest potential employees possible and retaining them is the cornerstone of any digital business’ growth strategy today and in the future. The book addresses the roadblocks companies face in attaining that goal, with bias being one of the strongest. “For example, McKinsey & Co., a top consulting agency, studied over 1,000 companies across 12 countries and found that firms in the top quartile of gender diversity were a fifth more likely to have above-average profits than those in the bottom quartile,” (p. 105). Further, “diverse executive boards generate better financial returns, and gender-diverse teams are more creative, more productive and more confident.” (p. 105).

In conclusion, consider this book a roadmap of how hiring and talent management can change for the better based on AI. The authors successfully illustrate how combining talent, personalization at scale, and machine learning can help employees achieve their potential, enabling companies to achieve theirs in the process.

10 Ways Machine Learning Is Revolutionizing Sales

  • Sales teams adopting AI are seeing an increase in leads and appointments of more than 50%, cost reductions of 40%–60%, and call time reductions of 60%–70% according to the Harvard Business Review article Why Salespeople Need to Develop Machine Intelligence.
  • 62% of highest performing salespeople predict guided selling adoption will accelerate based on its ability rank potential opportunities by value and suggest next steps according to Salesforces’ latest State of Sales research study.
  • By 2020, 30% of all B2B companies will employ AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes according to Gartner.
  • High-performing sales teams are 4.1X more likely to use AI and machine learning applications than their peers according to the State of Sales published by Salesforce.
  • Intelligent forecasting, opportunity insights, and lead prioritization are the top three AI and machine learning use cases in sales.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning show the potential to reduce the most time-consuming, manual tasks that keep sales teams away from spending more time with customers. Automating account-based marketing support with predictive analytics and supporting account-centered research, forecasting, reporting, and recommending which customers to upsell first are all techniques freeing sales teams from manually intensive tasks.

The Race for Sales-Focused AI & Machine Learning Patents Is On

CRM and Configure, Price & Quote (CPQ) providers continue to develop and fine-tune their digital assistants, which are specifically designed to help the sales team get the most value from AI and machine learning. Salesforces’ Einstein supports voice-activation commands from Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, and Google. Salesforce and other enterprise software companies continue aggressively invest in Research & Development (R&D). For the nine months ended October 31, 2018, Salesforce spent $1.3B or 14% of total revenues compared to $1.1B or 15% of total revenues, during the same period a year ago, an increase of $211M according to the company’s 10Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The race for AI and machine learning patents that streamline selling is getting more competitive every month. Expect to see the race of sales-focused AI and machine learning patents flourish in 2019. The National Bureau of Economic Research published a study last July from the Stanford Institute For Economic Policy Research titled Some Facts On High Tech Patenting. The study finds that patenting in machine learning has seen exponential growth since 2010 and Microsoft had the greatest number of patents in the 2000 to 2015 timeframe. Using patent analytics from PatentSight and ipsearchIAM published an analysis last month showing Microsoft as the global leader in machine learning patents with 2,075.  The study relied on PatentSight’s Patent Asset Index to rank machine learning patent creators and owners, revealing Microsoft and Alphabet are dominating today. Salesforce investing over $1B a year in R&D reflects how competitive the race for patents and intellectual property is.

10 Ways Machine Learning Is Revolutionizing Sales

Fueled by the proliferation of patents and the integration of AI and machine learning code into CRM, CPQ, Customer Service, Predictive Analytics and a wide variety of Sales Enablement applications, use cases are flourishing today. Presented below are the ten ways machine learning is most revolutionizing selling today:

 

  1. AI and machine learning technologies excel at pattern recognition, enabling sales teams to find the highest potential new prospects by matching data profiles with their most valuable customers. Nearly all AI-enabled CRM applications are providing the ability to define a series of attributes, characteristics and their specific values that pinpoint the highest potential prospects. Selecting and prioritizing new prospects using this approach saves sales teams thousands of hours a year.
  2. Lead scoring and nurturing based on AI and machine learning algorithms help guide sales and marketing teams to turn Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL) into Sales Qualified Leads (SQL), strengthening sales pipelines in the process. One of the most important areas of collaboration between sales and marketing is lead nurturing strategies that move prospects through the pipeline. AI and machine learning are enriching the collaboration with insights from third-party data, prospect’s activity at events and on the website, and from previous conversations with salespeople. Lead scoring and nurturing relies heavily on natural language generation (NLG) and natural-language processing (NLP) to help improve each lead’s score.
  3. Combining historical selling, pricing and buying data in a single machine learning model improves the accuracy and scale of sales forecasts. Factoring in differences inherent in every account given their previous history and product and service purchasing cycles is invaluable in accurately predicting their future buying levels. AI and machine learning algorithms integrated into CRM, sales management and sales planning applications can explain variations in forecasts, provided they have the data available. Forecasting demand for new products and services is an area where AI and machine learning are reducing the risk of investing in entirely new selling strategies for new products.
  4. Knowing the propensity of a given customer to churn versus renew is invaluable in improving Customer Lifetime Value. Analyzing a diverse series of factors to see which customers are going to churn or leave versus those that will renew is among the most valuable insights AI and machine learning is delivering today. Being able to complete a Customer Lifetime Value Analysis for every customer a company has provides a prioritized roadmap of where the health of client relationships are excellent versus those that need attention. Many companies are using Customer Lifetime Value Analysis as a proxy for a customer health score that gets reviewed monthly.
  5. Knowing the strategies, techniques and time management approaches the top 10% of salespeople to rely on to excel far beyond quota and scaling those practices across the sales team based on AI-driven insights. All sales managers and leaders think about this often, especially in sales teams where performance levels vary widely. Knowing the capabilities of the highest-achieving salespeople, then selectively recruiting those sales team candidates who have comparable capabilities delivers solid results. Leaders in the field of applying AI to talent management include Eightfold whose approach to talent management is refining recruiting and every phase of managing an employee’s potential. Please see the recent New York Times feature of them here.
  6. Guided Selling is progressing rapidly from a personalization-driven selling strategy to one that capitalized on data-driven insights, further revolutionizing sales. AI- and machine learning-based guided selling is based on prescriptive analytics that provides recommendations to salespeople of which products, services, and bundles to offer at which price. 62% of highest performing salespeople predict guided selling adoption will accelerate based on its ability rank potential opportunities by value and suggest next steps according to Salesforces’ latest State of Sales research study.
  7. Improving the sales team’s productivity by using AI and machine learning to analyze the most effective actions and behaviors that lead to more closed sales. AI and machine learning-based sales contact and customer predictive analytics take into account all sources of contacts with customers and determine which are the most effective. Knowing which actions and behaviors are correlated with the highest close rates, sales managers can use these insights to scale their sales teams to higher performance.
  8. Sales and marketing are better able to define a price optimization strategy using all available data analyzing using AI and machine learning algorithms. Pricing continues to be an area the majority of sales and marketing teams learn to do through trial and error. Being able to analyze pricing data, purchasing history, discounts are taken, promotional programs participated in and many other factors, AI and machine learning can calculate the price elasticity for a given customer, making an optimized price more achievable.
  9. Personalizing sales and marketing content that moves prospects from MQLs to SQLs is continually improving thanks to AI and machine learning. Marketing Automation applications including HubSpot and many others have for years been able to define which content asset needs to be presented to a given prospect at a given time. What’s changed is the interactive, personalized nature of the content itself. Combining analytics, personalization and machine learning, marketing automation applications are now able to tailor content and assets that move opportunities forward.
  10. Solving the many challenges of sales engineering scheduling, sales enablement support and dedicating the greatest amount of time to the most high-value accounts is getting solved with machine learning. CRM applications including Salesforce can define a salesperson’s schedule based on the value of the potential sale combined with the strength of the sales lead, based on its lead score. AI and machine learning optimize a salesperson’s time so they can go from one customer meeting to the next, dedicating their time to the most valuable prospects.

Using Machine Learning To Find Employees Who Can Scale With Your Business

  • Eightfold’s analysis of hiring data has found the half-life of technical, marketable skills is 5 to 7 years, making the ability to unlearn and learn new concepts essential for career survival.
  • Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) don’t capture applicants’ drive and intensity to unlearn and learn or their innate capabilities for growth.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning are proving adept at discovering candidates’ innate capabilities to unlearn, learn and reinvent themselves throughout their careers.

Hiring managers in search of qualified job candidates who can scale with and contribute to their growing businesses are facing a crisis today. They’re not finding the right or in many cases, any candidates at all using resumes alone, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) or online job recruitment sites designed for employers’ convenience first and candidates last. These outmoded approaches to recruiting aren’t designed to find those candidates with the strongest capabilities. Add to this dynamic the fact that machine learning is making resumes obsolete by enabling employers to find candidates with precisely the right balance of capabilities needed and its unbiased data-driven approach selecting candidates works. Resumes, job recruitment sites and ATS platforms force hiring managers to bet on the probability they make a great hire instead of being completely certain they are by basing their decisions on solid data.

Playing The Probability Hiring Game Versus Making Data-Driven Decisions

Many hiring managers and HR recruiters are playing the probability hiring game. It’s betting that the new hire chosen using imprecise methods will work out. And like any bet, it gets expensive quickly when a wrong choice is made. There’s a 30% chance the new hire will make it through one year, and if they don’t, it will cost at least 1.5 times their salary to replace them. When the median salary for a cloud computing professional is $146,350, and it takes the best case 46 days to find them, the cost and time loss of losing just one recruited cloud computing professional can derail a project for months. It will cost at least $219,000 or more to replace just that one engineer. The average size of an engineering team is ten people so only three will remain in 12 months. These are the high costs of playing the probability hiring game, fueled by unconscious and conscious biases and systems that game recruiters into believing they are making progress when they’re automating mediocre or worse decisions. Hiring managers will have better luck betting in Las Vegas or playing Powerball than hiring the best possible candidate if they rely on systems that only deliver a marginal probability of success at best.

Betting on solid data and personalization at scale, on the other hand, delivers real results. Real data slices through the probabilities and is the best equalizer there is at eradicating conscious and unconscious biases from hiring decisions. Hiring managers, HR recruiters, directors and Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) vow they are strong believers in diversity. Many are abandoning the probability hiring game for AI- and machine learning-based approaches to talent management that strip away any extraneous data that could lead to bias-driven hiring decisions. Now candidates get evaluated on their capabilities and innate strengths and how strong a match they are to ideal candidates for specific roles.

A Data-Driven Approach To Finding Employees Who Can Scale

Personalization at scale is more than just a recruiting strategy; it’s a talent management strategy intended to flex across the longevity of every employees’ tenure. Attaining personalization at scale is essential if any growing business is going to succeed in attracting, acquiring and growing talent that can support their growth goals and strategies. Eightfold’s approach makes it possible to scale personalized responses to specific candidates in a company’s candidate community while defining the ideal candidate for each open position. Personalization at scale has succeeded in helping companies find the right person to the right role at the right time and, for the first time, personalize every phase of recruitment, retention and talent management at scale.

Eightfold is pioneering the use of a self-updating corporate candidate database. Profiles in the system are now continually updated using external data gathering, without applicants reapplying or submitting updated profiles. The taxonomies supported in the corporate candidate database make it possible for hiring managers to define the optimal set of capabilities, innate skills, and strengths they need to fill open positions.

Lessons Learned at PARC
Russell Williams, former Vice President of Human Resources at PARC, says the best strategy he has found is to define the ideal attributes of high performers and look to match those profiles with potential candidates. “We’re finding that there are many more attributes that define a successful employee in our most in-demand positions including data scientist that are evident from just reviewing a resume and with AI, I want to do it at scale,” Russell said. Ashutosh Garg, Eightfold founder, added: “that’s one of the greatest paradoxes that HR departments face, which is the need to know the contextual intelligence of a given candidate far beyond what a resume and existing recruiting systems can provide.”  One of the most valuable lessons learned from PARC is that it’s possible to find the find candidates who excel at unlearning, learning, defining and diligently pursuing their learning roadmaps that lead to reinventing their skills, strengths, and marketability.

Conclusion

Machine learning algorithms capable of completing millions of pattern matching comparisons per second provides valuable new insights, enabling companies to find those who excel at reinventing themselves. The most valuable employees who can scale any business see themselves as learning entrepreneurs and have an inner drive to master new knowledge and skills. And that select group of candidates is the catalyst most often responsible for making the greatest contributions to a company’s growth.

How AI & Machine Learning Are Redefining The War For Talent

These and many other fascinating insights are from Gartner’s recent research note, Cool Vendors in Human Capital Management for Talent Acquisition (PDF, 13 pp., client access reqd.) that illustrates how AI and machine learning are fundamentally redefining the war for talent. Gartner selected five companies that are setting a rapid pace of innovation in talent management, taking on Human Capital Management’s (HCM) most complex challenges. The five vendors Gartner mentions in the research note are AllyO, Eightfold, jobpal, Knack, and Vettd. Each has concentrated on creating and launching differentiated applications that address urgent needs enterprises have across the talent acquisition landscape. Gartner’s interpretation of the expanding Talent Acquisition Landscape is shown below (please click on the graphic to expand):

Source: Gartner, Cool Vendors in Human Capital Management for Talent Acquisition, Written by Jason Cerrato, Jeff Freyermuth, John Kostoulas, Helen Poitevin, Ron Hanscome. 7 September 2018

Company Growth Plans Are Accelerating The War For Talent

The average employee’s tenure at a cloud-based enterprise software company is 19 months; in the Silicon Valley, this trends to 14 months due to intense competition for talent according to C-level executives leading these companies. Fast-growing enterprise cloud computing companies and many other businesses like them need specific capabilities, skill sets, and associates who know how to unlearn old concepts and learn new ones. Today across tech and many other industries, every company’s growth strategy is predicated on how well they attract, engage, screen, interview, select and manage talent over associates’ lifecycles.

Of the five companies Gartner names as Cool Vendors in the field of Human Capital Management for Talent Acquisition, Eightfold is the only one achieving personalization at scale today. Attaining personalization at scale is essential if any growing business is going to succeed in attracting, acquiring and growing talent that can support their growth goals and strategies. Eightfold’s approach makes it possible to scale personalized responses to specific candidates in a company’s candidate community while defining the ideal candidate for each open position.

Gartner finds Eightfold noteworthy for its AI-based Talent Intelligence Platform that combines analysis of publicly available data, internal data repositories, HCM systems, ATS tools, and spreadsheets then creates ontologies based on organization-specific success criteria. Each ontology, or area of talent management interest, is customizable for further queries using the app’s easily understood and navigated user interface. Gartner also finds that Eightfold.ai is one of the first examples of a self-updating corporate candidate database. Profiles in the system are now continually updated using external data gathering, without applicants reapplying or submitting updated profiles. The Eightfold.ai Talent Intelligence Platform is shown below:

Taking A Data-Driven Approach to Improve Diversity

AI and machine learning have the potential to remove conscious and unconscious biases from hiring decisions, leading to hiring decisions based on capabilities and innate skills. Many CEOs and senior management teams are enthusiastically endorsing diversity programs yet struggling to make progress. AI and machine learning-based approaches like Eightfold’s can help to accelerate them to their diversity goals and attain a more egalitarian workplace. Data is the great equalizer, with a proven ability to eradicate conscious and unconscious biases from hiring decisions and enable true diversity by equally evaluating candidates based on their experience, growth potential and strengths.

Conclusion

At the center of every growing business’ growth plans is the need to attract, engage, recruit, and retain the highest quality employees possible. As future research in the field of HCM will show, the field is in crisis because it’s relying more on biases than solid data. Breaking through the barrier of conscious and unconscious biases will provide contextual intelligence of an applicant’s unique skills, capabilities and growth trajectories that are far beyond the scope of any resume or what an ATS can provide. The war for talent is being won today with data and insights that strip away biases to provide prospects who are ready for the challenges of helping their hiring companies grow.

How To Close The Talent Gap With Machine Learning

  • 80% of the positions open in the U.S. alone were due to attrition. On an average, it costs $5,000 to fill an open position and takes on average of 2 months to find a new employee. Reducing attrition removes a major impediment to any company’s productivity.
  • The average employee’s tenure at a cloud-based enterprise software company is 19 months; in the Silicon Valley this trends to 14 months due to intense competition for talent according to C-level executives.
  • Eightfold.ai can quantify hiring bias and has found it occurs 35% of the time within in-person interviews and 10% during online or virtual interview sessions.
  • Adroll Group launched nurture campaigns leveraging the insights gained using Eightfold.ai for a data scientist open position and attained a 48% open rate, nearly double what they observed from other channels.
  • A leading cloud services provider has seen response rates to recruiting campaigns soar from 20% to 50% using AI-based candidate targeting in the company’s community.

The essence of every company’s revenue growth plan is based on how well they attract, nurture, hire, grow and challenge the best employees they can find. Often relying on manual techniques and systems decades old, companies are struggling to find the right employees to help them grow. Anyone who has hired and managed people can appreciate the upside potential of talent management today.

How AI and Machine Learning Are Revolutionizing Talent Management

Strip away the hype swirling around AI in talent management and what’s left is the urgent, unmet needs companies have for greater contextual intelligence and knowledge about every phase of talent management. Many CEOs are also making greater diversity and inclusion their highest priority. Using advanced AI and machine learning techniques, a company founded by former Google and Facebook AI Scientists is showing potential in meeting these challenges. Founders Ashutosh Garg and Varun Kacholia have over 6000+ research citations and 80+ search and personalization patents. Together they founded Eightfold.ai as Varun says “to help companies find and match the right person to the right role at the right time and, for the first time, personalize the recommendations at scale.” Varun added that “historically, companies have not been able to recognize people’s core capabilities and have unnecessarily exacerbated the talent crisis,” said Varun Kacholia, CTO, and Co-Founder of Eightfold.ai.

What makes Eightfold.ai noteworthy is that it’s the first AI-based Talent Intelligence Platform that combines analysis of publicly available data, internal data repositories, Human Capital Resource Management (HRM) systems, ATS tools and spreadsheets then creates ontologies based on organization-specific success criteria. Each ontology, or area of talent management interest, is customizable for further queries using the app’s easily understood and navigated user interface.

Based on conversations with customers, its clear integration is one of the company’s core strengths. Eightfold.ai relies on an API-based integration strategy to connect with legacy back-end systems. The company averages between 2 to 3 system integrations per customer and supports 20 unique system integrations today with more planned. The following diagram explains how the Eightfold Talent Intelligence Platform is constructed and how it works.

For all the sophisticated analysis, algorithms, system integration connections, and mathematics powering the Eightfold.ai platform, the company’s founders have done an amazing job creating a simple, easily understood user interface. The elegant simplicity of the Eightfold.ai interface reflects the same precision of the AI and machine learning code powering this platform.

I had a chance to speak with Adroll Group and DigitalOcean regarding their experiences using Eightfold.ai. Both said being able to connect the dots between their candidate communities, diversity and inclusion goals, and end-to-end talent management objectives were important goals that the streamlined user experience was helping enable. The following is a drill-down of a candidate profile, showing the depth of external and internal data integration that provides contextual intelligence throughout the Eightfold.ai platform.

Talent Management’s Inflection Point Has Arrived 

Every interaction with a candidate, current associate, and high-potential employee is a learning event for the system.

AI and machine learning make it possible to shift focus away from being transactional and more on building relationships. AdRoll Group and DigitalOcean both mentioned how Eightfold.ai’s advanced analytics and machine learning helps them create and fine-tune nurturing campaigns to keep candidates in high-demand fields aware of opportunities in their companies. AdRoll Group used this technique of concentrating on insights to build relationships with potential Data Scientists and ultimately made a hire assisted by the Eightold.ai platform. DigitalOcean is also active using nurturing campaigns to recruit for their most in-demand positions. “As DigitalOcean continues to experience rapid growth, it’s critical we move fast to secure top talent, while taking time to nurture the phenomenal candidates already in our community,” said Olivia Melman, Manager, Recruiting Operations at DigitalOcean. “Eightfold.ai’s platform helps us improve operational efficiencies so we can quickly engage with high quality candidates and match past applicants to new openings.”

In companies of all sizes, talent management reaches its full potential when accountability and collaboration are aligned to a common set of goals. Business strategies and new business models are created and the specific amount of hires by month and quarter are set. Accountability for results is shared between business and talent management organizations, as is the case at AdRoll Group and DigitalOcean, both of which are making solid contributions to the growth of their businesses. When accountability and collaboration are not aligned, there are unpredictable, less than optimal results.

AI makes it possible to scale personalized responses to specific candidates in a company’s candidate community while defining the ideal candidate for each open position. The company’s founders call this aspect of their platform personalization at scale. “Our platform takes a holistic approach to talent management by meaningfully connecting the dots between the individual and the business. At Eightfold.ai, we are going far beyond keyword and Boolean searches to help companies and employees alike make more fulfilling decisions about ‘what’s next, “ commented Ashutosh Garg, CEO, and Co-Founder of Eightfold.ai.

Every hiring manager knows what excellence looks like in the positions they’re hiring for. Recruiters gather hundreds of resumes and use their best judgment to find close matches to hiring manager needs. Using AI and machine learning, talent management teams save hundreds of hours screening resumes manually and calibrate job requirements to the available candidates in a company’s candidate community. This graphic below shows how the Talent Intelligence Platform (TIP) helps companies calibrate job descriptions. During my test drive, I found that it’s as straightforward as pointing to the profile of ideal candidate and asking TIP to find similar candidates.

Achieving Greater Equality With A Data-Driven Approach To Diversity

Eightfold.ai can quantify hiring bias and has found it occurs 35% of the time within in-person interviews and 10% during online or virtual interview sessions. They’ve also analyzed hiring data and found that women are 11% less like to make it through application reviews, 19% less likely through recruiter screens, 12% through assessments and a shocking 30% from onsite interviews. Conscious and unconscious biases of recruiters and hiring managers often play a more dominant role than a woman’s qualifications in many hiring situations. For the organizations who are enthusiastically endorsing diversity programs yet struggling to make progress, AI and machine learning are helping to accelerate them to the goals they want to accomplish.

AI and machine learning can’t make an impact in this area quickly enough. Imagine the lost brainpower from not having a way to evaluate candidates based on their innate skills and potential to excel in the role and the need for far greater inclusion across the communities companies operate in. AdRoll Group’s CEO is addressing this directly and has made attaining greater diversity and inclusion a top company objective for the year. Daniel Doody, Global Head of Talent at AdRoll Group says “We’re very deliberate in our efforts to uncover and nurture more diverse talent while also identifying individuals who have engaged with our talent brand to include them” he said. Daniel Doody continued, “Eightfold.ai has helped us gain greater precision in our nurturing campaigns designed to bring more diverse talent to Adroll Group globally.”

Kelly O. Kay, Managing Partner, Global Managing Partner, Software & Internet Practice at Heidrick & Struggles agrees. “Eightfold.ai levels the playing field for diversity hiring by using pattern matching based on human behavior, which is fascinating,” Mr. Kay said. He added, “I’m 100% supportive of using AI and machine learning to provide everyone equal footing in pursuing and attaining their career goals.” He added that the Eightfold.ai’s greatest strength is how brilliantly it takes on the challenge of removing unconscious bias from hiring decisions, further ensuring greater diversity in hiring, retention and growth decisions.

Eightfold.ai has a unique approach to presenting potential candidates to recruiters and hiring managers. They can remove any gender-specific identification of a candidate and have them evaluated purely on expertise, experiences, merit, and skills. And the platform also can create gender-neutral job descriptions in seconds too. With these advances in AI and machine learning, long-held biases of tech companies who only want to hire from Cal-Berkeley, Stanford or MIT are being challenged when they see the quality of candidates from just as prestigious Indian, Asian, and European universities as well. Daniel Doody of Adroll Group says the insights gained from the Eightfold.ai platform “are helping to make managers and recruiters more aware of their own hiring biases while at the same time assisting in nurturing potential candidates via less obvious channels.”

How To Close The Talent Gap

Based on conversations with customers, it’s apparent that Eightfold.ai’s Talent Intelligence Platform (TIP) provides enterprises the ability to accelerate time to hire, reduce the cost to hire and increase the quality of hire. Eightfold.ai customers are also seeing how TIP enables their companies to reduce employee attrition, saving on hiring and training costs and minimizing the impact of lost productivity. Today more CEOs and CFOs than ever are making diversity and talent initiatives their highest priority. Based on conversations with Eightfold.ai customers it’s clear their TIP provides the needed insights for C-level executives to reach their goals.

Another aspect of the TIP that customers are just beginning to explore is how to identify employees who are the most likely to leave, and take proactive steps to align their jobs with their aspirations, extending the most valuable employees’ tenure at their companies. At the same time, customers already see good results from using TIP to identify top talent that fits open positions who are likely to join them and put campaigns in place to recruit and hire them before they begin an active job search. Every Eightfold.ai customer spoken with attested to the platform’s ability to help them in their strategic imperatives around talent.

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