Spring HR Tech Number of the Day: internal talent marketplaces

1.5 billion: Number of data points talent management platform Eightfold uses to map candidate skills

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With industry analysts like Josh Bersin predicting a boom in the labor market on the horizon, employers are examining their talent strategies, with some turning inward for the expected influx of hiring needs.

In a Wednesday session at Spring HR Tech, the team behind AI-driven talent management platform Eightfold shared how their tool is helping organizations rely first on their internal talent before putting out job reqs for external candidates.

The platform utilizes 1.5 billion data points drawn from resumes and job profiles around the globe to inform the AI that helps employers match internal talent to new positions and projects. One way for hiring managers to find candidates is by searching the platform for a particular skill–such as SQL used in programming, in an example offered by Quin Adler, senior solutions engineer at Eightfold. Using that term, Adler found 1,600 employees who stated specific SQL experience on their job profiles at a particular client company; however, that type of data is “fairly table stakes,” he said. Eightfold enables employers to learn who else in the workforce is capable of learning a particular skill by mapping similar skills and experiences. In the example given, the tool was able to identify an additional 1,100 employees, showing where those capabilities are by job title, level and geographic location as well.

What it means to HR leaders

By expanding internal searches to larger pools, such as through identifying capabilities for learning, Adler says, organizations can “maximize the likelihood they hire the right person for an individual role, not just by looking at keywords on a resume.”

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That’s particularly relevant for rooting out unconscious bias, as certain groups are likely to be more or less verbose about their skills on resumes and job profiles, Adler noted.

The approach allows employers to “be filtering in potential talent, not filtering people out for not having the right keyword in their profile,” added Mihir Gandhi, vice president of marketing at Eightfold.

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Tom Banton, vice president of solutions engineering and enablement at Eightfold, noted that a robust internal talent strategy will be increasingly important in the coming months.

As employers are “bracing for a potential recovery” and jumpstarted hiring, they should first “give [employees] the ability to be promoted and grow in the company” before hiring outside talent. Often, however, employers don’t know much about their workers beyond job titles and basic job responsibilities, Banton said.

An internal talent platform like Eightfold, he said, can help employers learn about employee skills and potential, filling in gaps in resumes and even accounting for self-limiting bias that causes some to omit skills and capabilities from profiles.

“This is exactly what AI is specifically and uniquely talented to solve,” said Gandhi, “to rationalize large data sets that are too large and complex for any human to rationalize and to then deliver insights that we can actually use.”

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Jen Colletta
Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at [email protected].