Last week I attended Eightfold’s Cultivate event in San Francisco. It was an impressive two days focused on the trends impacting HR Technology and the future of work, including skills, AI, and talent intelligence. One theme that stood out was the need to embrace change. With the shifts in the labor market and economic uncertainty, companies need to innovate and rethink traditional processes and technology. Companies at this event were asking the tough questions, finding a better way, and creating agile workforce strategies that harness skills and the power of AI.
Eightfold has set the pace for change and transformation in HR Tech. Its skills-based approach gives companies a complete view of talent while empowering individuals to control their career paths. Its platform includes solutions across talent acquisition, talent management, and contingent workforce management (Flex). These pillars are built on a talent intelligence platform which includes a skills matrix, explainable AI, and talent insights. And last week, Eightfold launched its Skills-Based Talent Planning- allowing companies to stay prepared and agile in determining short and long-term talent needs.
With over 1B profiles, 1M skills, and 1M titles, Eightfold has access to more data and intelligence than most of its competitors. Here are my top takeaways from Cultivate.
A Skills-Based Approach to Talent is Not Optional: Every company attending this conference was focused on a skills-based approach to talent. Skills are not a passing trend. It is the number one conversation happening in HR Technology today, and organizations that adopt a skills-first approach will be included. CEO Ashutosh Garg kicked off the event by discussing how skills and the power of AI are changing the nature of work. A skills-based approach can help connect talent to the right opportunities, personalize the experience, and provide more visibility into the workforce’s capabilities. Employers benefit from improved efficiency and stronger talent pools, while individuals benefit from greater opportunities to control their career paths. Skills provide a roadmap for the future and a bridge between talent acquisition and talent management. Aptitude Research found that companies that invest in skills development are:
● Twice as likely to improve retention
● Twenty-eight percent (28%) more likely to improve DEI initiatives
Skill-Based Talent Planning: One of the most exciting takeaways from the event was the announcement of Eightfold’s Skills-Based Talent Planning. This product was heavily influenced by customer input and direction and aimed to give companies the data and action they needed to plan. Many companies do not have visibility into talent, and workforce planning uses Excel spreadsheets once a year. As a result, decisions are made rapidly without any data or insights, often resulting in losing quality talent, layoffs, and missed opportunities. A skills-based approach to strategic workforce planning allows business leaders to understand how macro trends impact the needs of their organization. Eightfold feeds this insight into its Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, and Talent Flex solutions, allowing organizations to execute skills-based talent strategies at scale. Our latest study on strategic workforce planning found that although 85% of companies are investing the same or increasing their investment, only 14% take a strategic, long-term approach to their workforce planning initiatives. A skills-based approach is a game changer. It goes beyond providing insights and gives companies an action plan. Some of the benefits and differentiators include:
- Scenario planning for the time required for skills and proficiency to develop in existing and emerging areas;
- Redesign roles for the future and plan for how organizations should evolve over time;
- Capture progress and fully execute on a coordinated talent plan by integrating with Eightfold Talent Acquisition, Career Hub, and the entire Talent Intelligence Platform.
Companies Need to Consider Providers with a Strong Commitment to Responsible AI: Companies invest in AI in talent acquisition and management, but not all AI providers are the same. Companies must consider ethical AI as they evaluate providers and understand if products operate transparently, are backed by explanations, describe the methodology, and frequently publish data. In addition, responsible AI builds confidence with employers and candidates who want to understand how their data is used. Scott Sumner with the Defense Innovation Unit under the Department of Defense (DoD) shared how responsible AI was an important consideration when evaluating Eightfold as the provider for its GigEagle program. GigEagle using Eightfold’s AI matching will increase DoD’s ability to effectively leverage its abundance of talent currently locked into supporting singular units. In addition, GigEagle will focus on staffing short-term “gig” project needs, ranging from four hours to several months, many of which can be staffed remotely.
Partnerships are Helping to Drive Change: Eightfold and its clients are not operating in a vacuum. They are part of a larger ecosystem that drives change and transformation in how companies recruit and retain talent. Partners that include Deloitte, EY, and Magnit are partnering with Eightfold to provide a skills strategy for clients to ensure they are changing their mindset and optimizing their technology investments.
It is an exciting time to be in HR Tech!