Since the 80s, management at all levels has possessed the ability to run sophisticated “what-if” scenarios with spread sheets and similar tools. Properly forecasting staffing needs and location requirements is one of the most important variables with which C-Level executives have to grapple. It is, in fact, an essential element of competitiveness in today’s business environment.

Unfortunately, this is often a frustrating experience because most existing HR software only provides raw personnel numbers by categories, and only in a historic perspective. While this is a starting point, it provides little insight into the actual, real-time talent base and talent needs of the organization, much less the related costs of recruitment, development and retention activities.

Adding Meaning and Depth to the Numbers

Recognizing this and other significant deficiencies in automating the needs of the human capital supply chain, Spire Innovations has developed the solutions. By combining the transformative power of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in a Contextual Intelligence platform, the SPIRE TalentSHIP© empowers decision-makers like no other HR product. This comprehensive ability to proactively address your Talent Base needs and forecasting delivers a true competitive edge.

The Contextual Talent Science and AI Platform provide by Spire delivers unprecedented accuracy when evaluating your inputs from any format, type and source of talent content. This alone provides unequalled insights to the HR process and delivers real, quantifiable benefits. However, this is only the beginning of the talent intelligence you are provided. The insights and analytics you gain when using our five integrated solutions allow both top-down and bottom up assessment and management of the entire Talent Base.

The Spire Contextual Platform’s dashboard delivers this accurate, integrated and real-time data-rich information and analytics through a single window into your current and future Talent Base. Even more, our solution integrates a sophisticated location planner to aid in choosing preferred locations and evaluating cost optimization options.

Our field-tested and innovative approach to critical HR challenges delivers a number of benefits to the areas of talent forecasting. However, there is much more. The forecasts you will work with are integrated with other corporate needs such as:

• Goal versus capability mapping

• Organizational restructuring

• Proactive risk mitigation

• ROI analysis for investments in the human capital chain relative to various goals

Proactive and comprehensive talent forecasting and location planning cannot be left to guesswork and historic numbers. Enhance your competitive positioning by contacting us today and learn how companies have produced greater revenue at lower costs and generated higher profits with Spire. We’ll be pleased to provide demos and case studies that provide specific examples of how the Spire Contextual Talent Science and AI Platform brings your HR capabilities into the 21st century.

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Mar 06, 2017

As companies seek to survive and grow in an increasingly competitive environment, sufficient access to adequate talent becomes ever more determinative of success. As a result identifying, hiring, developing and retaining the best possible Talent Base is now a C-Level priority. Unfortunately, far too many HR departments do not have the capabilities or resources to assure success in this vital area of competitiveness.

Supporting Local, National and Global Growth

Compounding these challenges is the reality that many companies must now support organic growth with internal resources. While the situation opens up many new opportunities for team members, including global openings, it also strains the human capital supply chain.

The concept of Internal Mobility has evolved to address this global environment. The thinking behind the idea of spreading talent around an organization and developing greater mobility of the talent base is well intentioned. However, lacking the necessary insights and analytics of your organizations Talent Base can make such mobility a major source of tension and operational efficiency.

Recognizing this as just one of the modern challenges to HR departments and C-Level executive, Spire Innovations has stepped into the growing gap. With its SPIRE TalentSHIP© suite of products, Spire is the leading provider of contextual-driven human capital management solutions. The suite of transformative products that comprise the Spire Contextual Talent Science & AI Platform provide real-time analytics and top-down insights into every aspect of talent management and development.

That is the specific information needed, but usually unavailable, to optimize decisions related to mobility and staffing at all levels. With Spire’s innovative marriage of Contextual Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence, you have granular information and data that merges into a holistic view of your total talent picture. This includes today’s status as well as a detailed look into the future in all aspects of your talent resources, including Talent Deployment and Mobility.

Taking a Proactive Stance

You now have the ability to manage your human capital and resources, rather than being constantly confounded by challenges in that area. We love providing struggling companies with data on the results our clients have achieved with the Spire Contextual Platform. We can show you how to achieve efficiencies in all areas of your HR efforts,like a 75% reduction in Talent Deployment time and 50% reduction in Talent Deployment costs .

As importantly, the SPIRE TalentSHIP offers significant operational benefits in the area of increase revenue, reduced costs, and enhanced profits. Contact us today and we will provide you with case studies that clearly illustrate how you can achieve the benefits of Internal Mobility as a plus for your organization.

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Mar 03, 2017

If the old bromide of haystacks and needles didn’t exist, the one of a flood of prospects and the ideal candidate would serve as a replacement. Specifically, today’s recruiters are overwhelmed with a veritable mountain of resumes and CVs coming in from multiple sources.

Moreover, they have inadequate resources to efficiently and effectively identify company needs with the CVs they do evaluate. Antiquated HR software uses flat keyword searches that both produce irrelevant matches and miss prime candidates.

Technology to the Rescue

Just as the magnet can solve the needle problem, the Spire TalentSHIP’s Acqura™ technology offers a transformative solution to the recruiting and hiring process. Our Contextual Search and Intelligence Platform empowers recruiters by producing an innovative Richness Index. This technology actually ranks candidates with a never-before-available accuracy and efficiency.

The Acqura solution uses smart algorithms and contextual intelligence to search out specific skill sets in individual resumes, profiles and even cover letters. It then evaluates and weights those skills against job descriptions while assigning a Profile Richness index score. Instead of those mere keywords, Acqura can assess 1,300 discrete parameters with 95 percent accuracy, all in mere seconds.

Only Spire’s technology allows you to scan and convert thousands of resumes into sorted and ranked data that identifies relevant candidates in just a few hours. Instead of relying on guess work and luck, recruiters are freed to nurture and curate those candidates who are the best candidates for each available position.

This capability alone provides unmatchable ROI in any HR department. However, significant as this capability is, it is just one component of the advanced solutions available with the Spire TalentSHIP® suite of products. Our mission is to empower you in each aspect of managing your human capital supply chain.

We achieve that goal by marrying the capabilities inherent in Machine Learning, artificial intelligence, and contextual analysis. Together, these technologies allow you to take multiple forms of unstructured data and information and reduce them to useful, contextual and accurate insights to your talent base and needs.

Whether you are seeking to add specific capabilities from external recruits or develop those skills internally, our Contextual Platform allows you to optimize those decisions. Our clients report significant improvements in hard performance numbers and overall HR efficiencies. For example, the operational improvements reported by Spire clients include metrics such as:

• 1% increase in top line revenue

• 50% reduction in recruiter effort

• 40% reduction in Time to hire

These are numbers that change an organization’s competitive stance, and we would be pleased to provide you with case studies that show just how Spire can help you achieve such results. Contact us to day and learn more about the transformative power of our Spire TalentSHIP® suite of products.

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Feb 22, 2017

One of the fundamental issues that face executives in critical positions is that of “Buy or Build.” For example, choosing the right balance between acquisitions and investing in organic growth is a standard strategic challenge for C-Level executives.

Analogously, HR professionals face the pivotal question: Do I seek out seasoned personnel and bring them in, or do I develop the talent I need internally. The more aggressive the growth path of an organization, the more vital it is to get this answer right.

However, the simple fact is that most HR departments and corporate executives do not have the data and insights they need to drive this decision-making process efficiently. Traditional HR solutions are one-dimensional and fragmented, unable to provide a contextual or holistic view of the existing talent base.

For example, the only way to properly address this human capital management and investment quandary is to have answers to such essential questions as:

• Do any current team members have the skills required for new or needed positions?

• If not, does the need allow enough time to develop a current employee sufficiently and affordably to take on this role?

• Is it reasonable to expect even a talented individual to acquire and gain proficiency with the needed skills in the time available?

• If it is possible, what are the costs and total investment of such training and development efforts?

These and other important questions, such as what alternatives are available in the marketplace, must be answered if the solution is to be optimized. Unfortunately, while these are straightforward elements of information that every HR department should have, it is a rarity that they do.

Recognizing this critical need, Spire Innovations has developed the tools to address this, and a full range of similar challenges faced by today’s HR departments. We take pride in providing the most comprehensive and accurate Talent Intelligence available. That is only one of the many benefits you’ll find exclusively in our SPIRE TalentSHIP® suite of products.

We also enjoy backing up this bold promise by providing you with case studies and hard data from some of the most competitive businesses in the marketplace. Our Contextual Talent Science and AI Platform innovatively combines the power of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to completely transform the entire talent acquisition, development and management process.

The contextual analytics and real-time data provided by our Platform takes the guesswork out of the above questions. The answers you have access to make it easy to determine if current team members can be adequately leveraged. At the same time, if there is a shortfall, you know exactly the skill set you must recruit – and have the specific and actionable data to provide your recruiters.

When you are called on to answer the Buy or Build question, rely on the Spire solution to help you choose with confidence and assurance.

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Feb 18, 2017

The progress and ongoing positive news in cloning organisms is exciting. It has also caused more than one HR managers and C-Level executive to dream about the ability to use that technology to replicate key performers and top talent.

Solving the Talent DNA Equation

While the literal act of recreating cells is still the magic of laboratories, our transformative work at Spire is producing near-miracles in HR departments. Our commitment to integrating and applying the latest advances in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Contextual Intelligence to the human capital management process is the power behind these advances.

The SPIRE TalentSHIP© is a suite of five talent management products that empower HR departments with unprecedented accuracy in evaluating talent content. Working with multiple sources of internal information of any type and in any format, you are provided with Talent Intelligence that starts with identifying the best recruits and nurturing them through the hiring process. This advantage alone provides a competitive advantage and ROI available from no other HR offering.

Replicating the Best, Eliminating the Worst

However, the ongoing management of your Talent Database provides both top-down and granular insights that facilitate talent development, advancement and retention. Through this entire process, you are provided specific metrics and analytics that identify top performers and the elements that support their success. This is where the concept of “cloning” that talent becomes a reasonable objective.

With this information, you can identify the skills, training, knowledge and experiences that create and reinforce your best performers. Importantly, those insights and hard numbers are also invaluable in identifying skills and training gaps in the rest of your talent base. This knowledge facilitates the effort to set and raise the bar for your other team members.

Of course, you can see that not only does the power of the SPIRE TalentSHIP© Contextual Talent Science & AI Platform help you develop your top performers; it provides the same analytics for the other side of the equation. The Contextual Talent Analytics identify the poor performers, and they help you decide if additional investment in development is warranted.

Leveraging this power one further dimension, the information your Talent Platform is acquiring is continually tailored and modified to your specific needs and environment. The Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence fuel a constantly refined feedback loop to your recruiters to focus on the best hires and avoid those who you know won’t work out.

Fortunately for you, this is not the fantasy technology you see in movies and read in books. Rather, we have numerous clients who provide solid evidence of improvements such as:

• Increased revenues

• Lowered costs

• Enhanced profits

Contact us today and we will provide you with case studies that illustrate SPIRE TalentSHIP©The work and news in cloning organisms has caused more than one HR managers and C-Level executive to dream about the ability to use that technology to replicate key performers and top talent.

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Feb 16, 2017

One of the earliest boons to management flexibility was the introduction of the spreadsheet “What-If” function. This provided the ability to run endless scenarios against a base set of assumptions, supporting the search for an optimal solution.

Likewise, gaming advances now allow individuals to create and test different realities and permutations of a plot line. While these games have grown to incredibly complex forms of entertainment, they have inspired powerful real-world applications for business.

HR technology has largely failed to keep up with these new capabilities, but the technology that Spire Technologies has built helps to bridge this significant gap between the existing HR technology and HR department requirements.

We approached the challenge with a vision to create a talent management framework that takes advantage of these and other state-of-the-art advances in technology. Our unprecedented efforts have provided the HR world with SPIRE TalentSHIP® to transform the entire human capital management chain.

The suite of five products in the Contextual Talent Science & AI Platform provides an integrated approach to all aspects of the HR continuum. From empowering the recruitment process to developing talent to more efficiently deploying available resources, SPIRE TalentSHIP® delivers accuracy and context for any type, format or source of talent content.

However, we didn’t stop at providing this remarkable evolutionary leap in the HR space. Our unequalled platform also introduces advanced simulation and modelling to HR and C-level executives. Spire’s platform provides a never-before- available top-down view of an organization’s total talent capital portfolio management with usable and real-time HR analytics.

This detailed data structured in a usable format allows the evaluation of multiple scenarios to address existing skills and talent gaps, performance metrics, and varied planning scenarios. By allowing a comparison of costs involved with various scenarios it is possible to react to dynamic situations for relocations, talent rotations, restructuring and even downsizing.

Prior to the empowerment of Spire’s transformative products management was handicapped with trial-and-error and incremental efforts to deal with an ever-changing business environment. Our simulation capabilities allow the HR function to be approached in a proactive, rather than reactive manner.

Using the structured data created by the Contextual Talent Science & AI Platform makes it possible to simulate and update strategic and tactical directions without the usual guesswork. The cost savings are significant, and helps in improving any organization’s competitive positioning, Spire delivers even more. With more efficient recruiting, targeted talent development, and greatly improved talent retention HR departments report savings of as much as 50%.

As these results show, HR is not a game to our team at Spire. Contact us today and we will provide field-tested case studies that show how you can bring your HR capabilities to an entirely new level.

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Feb 10, 2017

Many executives still see the hiring process as a necessary evil foisted off to the HR department. Those who have this attitude are committing one of the gravest management errors possible. These same executives demand great care and diligence be invested in finding quality vendors and seeking the best customers.

However, the true source of competitive advantage lies in a company’s talent base, and the hiring process is the gateway to the entirety of that critical resource. As the first critical step in the human capital chain, the process of identifying, curating and bringing on board the best possible candidates demands the best possible resources and procedures.

Our team at Spire has made the entire talent management task our priority. As a result, our concept starts with the goal of making hiring the most efficient and productive investment a company makes.

That goal is achievable due to the power of the SPIRE TalentSHIP® suite of products. From managing prospect resumes to handling the development of training to planning for organizational growth, TalentSHIP provides you with the tools, analytics, and context for making the right talent decisions and investments.

This power is rooted in the unique synergy derived from our integration of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in a contextual framework, creating the Spire Contextual Talent Science & AI Platform. This unique and unequalled platform allows you to utilize our 5 integrated talent transformation products in all aspects of your talent acquisition, development and management.

Importantly, the SPIRE TalentSHIP is not just some cold and limited computer database you find with many other HR products. Quite the opposite, our Data Analytics provide a personalized dimension to your HR function you will find in no other product. We don’t stop at automating the HR process – we empower the HR department and all other executives with the ability to see talent in a contextual framework.

Even more important, that context is continually refined and updated to the specific culture and needs of your own organization. This is made possible by the Machine Learning capabilities and other technologies included in our platform.

Far too many HR departments today are locked in a data death spiral. With the Internet and multiplying sources, they are attempting to filter and manage an overwhelming number of recruits and data elements. Only then are they faced with the next challenge; interpreting a mass of data and matching that with specific organizational talent needs.

From providing the data analytics to find and nurture the best possible talent to ensuring the long-term retention of that talent, SPIRE TalentSHIP has the capability to convert HR from a reluctant expense to a competitive advantage.

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Feb 08, 2017

Internal mobility is commonly understood as the process of identifying and moving talent within the organization at all levels to achieve company goals. Having a successful internal mobility program enables companies to not only shift resources where they are most needed but also reduces disengagement or early departure by identifying and promoting a company’s best talent.

The importance of a strong internal mobility program:

Using internal mobility analytics, such as the one offered by Spire’s Contextual Talent Science and AI Platform, companies can leverage their employee base to achieve performance goals and allocate human resources where they will perform the best within the organization. Following are the most important reasons for having internal mobility:

• Labour shortages of qualified workers are forecasted to increase, resulting in more need to retain current qualified and experienced personnel.

• Internal mobility offers greater flexibility and agility of assigning/ reassigning top talent, while unclogging the talent pipeline, allowing employees with the right skills and experience to advance forward.

• It also minimizes gaps in leadership and retention caused by failure to develop and offer leadership opportunities to the right people.

• A global workforce is need in the global economy, with a seamless transition between deployments so that key employees gain the necessary international experience.

How talent analytics enhances internal mobility:

Predictive talent analytics offers recruiters and management a better view of a company’s talent portfolio, with metrics that more accurately measure employee skills and performance as well as identify gaps and deficiencies to help recruiters plan and place personnel where they are best suited. No matter what the goals, internal talent deployment and redeployment requires talent intelligence to match employee talent with open positions to help companies remain competitive.

Advantages of using talent analytics for internal mobility:

• Reduced costs of talent acquisition

• Streamlined flow of metrics and other relevant information

• Reduced intelligence leaks to competition

• Better engagement and retention of employees

• Improved team leadership

• Higher returns on financial performance

The takeaway:

Spire’s Contextual Talent Science and AI Platform helps deploy and utilize talent in various dynamic circumstances such as job rotations, relocations, restructuring and resizing. Hence, making it a part of corporate standard recruiting practice pays handsomely on several fronts such as financial gains, personnel utilization and performance rewards for employees and their organizations that adopt them.

Image Courtesy Freepik

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Feb 03, 2017

Even as technology has made the process of finding the ideal candidate easier in some respects, it has raised significant new hurdles as well. While the recruiter now has access to thousands of prospects from both internal and web-based sources, this sheer volume of information overwhelms outdated ATS and HR systems

Sorting through the Haystack

Without any ability to organize and prioritize the information provided by resumes and other sources, the recruiter faces a nearly impossible task. This is the reason so many outsource candidate screening to outside agencies and, in the end, must rely on guesswork and instincts.

In addition to the human bias and inaccuracies introduced by this process, it has no assurance of matching candidates to organizational needs. Moreover, there is little likelihood of finding the best candidates with such a limited ability to sort through candidate qualifications and experiences.

Fortunately, today’s most competitive companies have access to a solution to this problem. Spire Technologies has developed the magnet to find that needle within the recruitment haystack.

Applying Sophisticated Technology Solutions to the HR Problem

You will find SPIRE TalentSHIP© provides the best and most comprehensive solution today for the challenges of human capital management. We have combined the unique attributes and power of Machine Learning and artificial intelligence with a contextual intelligence framework in an unmatched Talent Science Platform. Our suite of five talent transformation products produces insights and real-time analytics to provide your organization with unprecedented Talent Intelligence.

Our innovative approach and technology allows you to possess and utilize contextual information that is produced using your HR data along with any level of external input. Even more significantly, this contextual artificial intelligence utilizes Machine Learning concepts that continually develops, refines and enhances your specific HR algorithms. This analysis of your data and information produces analytics that facilitate increasingly accurate matches and insights.

These capabilities allow SPIRE TalentSHIP© to turn that great influx of external data into a competitive advantage rather than an administrative burden. Our state-of-the-art technology synergies empower your HR processes as never before. You are able to carefully and comprehensively screen all available candidates and inputs, precisely screening and matching them against your specified needs by talent, experience and other criteria. Thus, it gives you the ability to find the right candidate quickly, engage with and hire that individual, and then manage & develop that talent.

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Jan 31, 2017

Among an organization’s most critical decisions made by its management team are those that involve the evaluation of personnel skill sets when restructuring the organization as well as day-to-day project management. The real challenge is how to anticipate the company’s personnel needs, often far in advance of new production or project implementation. Waiting until the last minute to make hiring decisions can cost organizations time and money and perhaps the project itself.

Contextual analytics helps managers find more intelligent ways to manage projects

Is it possible, just by daily interaction with employees, for managers to accurately determine who has the skills and experience necessary to enable the company to maintain its competitive edge? As we learn more about the role of contextual analytics, the answer to that question is increasingly “no”: there’s much more to performance than what most managers see on the surface.

For example, it is common for managers and others to make assumptions about employees that turn out to be false, once the true context is fully examined, especially when involved in other group projects. If viewed only through the eyes of a particular group, the employee may appear less dedicated or efficient working on a given project. However, once viewed more closely in context, the reasons for a less than satisfactory performance may become more apparent: total time spent on all projects may exceed 100% or the employee may be experiencing time management issues.

How does contextual analytics help with these decisions?

One key metric in determining whether to hire or use existing personnel for a future project or production planning is the ability to identify positions and skills needed not just for today but into the near (two to three-year) future. Use of scenario planning and predictive and contextual analytics enables planners to more accurately predict future as well as current talent needs. Contextual analytics help visualize all possible outcomes, including identifying skills and assessing risks and costs through simulated scenarios.

Contextual analytics clarifies the role of retention in talent planning

When a company accurately tracks employee engagement and satisfaction level metrics, it can link the measurements to retention levels and assess hiring demand. Contextual analytics can zero in on employee job performance and satisfaction levels, measure attrition levels and better estimate their effect on corporate retention levels, which in turn provides data necessary for assessing current and future staffing needs.

The bottom line, as Margaret King, director of the Centre for Cultural Studies & Analysis remarked in a recent interview: “Context is the key to everything humans do. Where (we) are at the moment dominates, and directs every decision we make.”

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Jan 27, 2017

There is a great deal of confusion in the marketplace over the difference between over discrimination and natural biases. The simple reality is that even when there is a conscious effort to avoid inappropriate discrimination, we all struggle with our inborne biases. Significantly, there are actually a number of factors which can affect a recruiter’s decisions that fall into the category of bias.

Maximizing Your Recruitment ROI

There is a significant conundrum in today’s heavy investment in the recruiting phase of the human capital chain. Because the cost of each hire continues to escalate, there is more pressure to find the ideal candidates and hires to justify the investment.

On the other hand, new technologies and the focus on recruiting usually generates large volume of prospects and applicants. Pressured and overburdened recruiters, especially those with old ATS and unstructured HR data, are uniformly overwhelmed.

This means even the best of the recruiters often turn to guesswork and a “follow the gut” instinct to help manage their time. This is especially the case in early screening of the lead funnel, when top candidates may be eliminated by that bias tendency.

Whether it is cultural, personal, life experience or other factors, recruiters rely on their subjective assessment when the objective information is lacking or inaccessible.

The Power of Context and Intelligence

One of the core missions of our work at Spire Technologies is to help HR professionals address this issue of real and/or perceived bias. Tackling this serious problem is only possible by providing your recruiters with the most relevant and usable data on both candidates and your organization’s talent needs.

Our SPIRE TalentSHIP© represents the most powerful integration of the latest technology you will find in the HR space. We set out and succeeded in bringing to one human capital management solution, the unique capabilities of Machine Learning, artificial intelligence, and contextual analysis.

These powerful technologies are significant as standalone tools, but when married to the SPIRE TalentSHIP© approach they become transformational agents. You get results based on contextually matching all available data with unmatched accuracy. This provides your recruiters (and all aspects of your talent management process) with real-time and contextual information they can access and use. Perhaps as important, these results are free of those normal human bias issues and influences.

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Jan 24, 2017

You may be one of the millions who love the speech recognition function on your smartphone, play sophisticated digital chess on your computer, or are looking forward to riding in a driverless vehicle. If so, you are already enjoying just a few of the myriad benefits due to advances in artificial intelligence.

The Role of Intelligent Machines

All intelligent machines incorporate the technology we refer to as artificial intelligence. The code of such machines and tools incorporate programming that guides the unit to react to differing circumstances and react in a variety of ways. This approach allows such machines to incorporate and utilize one or more characteristics such as reasoning, learning, planning and problem solving.

Combined, these and other capabilities have supported the development of Machine Learning. A major advantage of this concept is that a computer continually improves its own performance. It does this by deducing certain conclusions, identifying patterns, enhancing classification systems, and other human-like processes.

While AI is actually a subset of the field of computer science, it is also made of a number of subsets, such as strong, weak, narrow and general AI. While these are fascinating areas to study, our focus at Spire Technologies is to continually identify and integrate the best of these concepts into our human capital management software.

Moving HR beyond Filling Cabinets and Traditional Databases

The demands placed on today’s HR departments continue to grow and become more complex. At the same time, many of these vital parts of growing companies grapple daily with antiquated ATS and data systems not much better than rolodexes. On the other hand, properly used AI offers a ten-fold increase in performance of many HR tasks.

Our team at Spire recognized these coming changes, and we adopted the mission of responding to them with the latest in technology and concepts. The result is an industry-leading approach that integrates the power behind artificial intelligence and Machine Learning with the unique capabilities of contextual intelligence. The innovative and transformative result of these efforts is our Spire TalentSHIP© Contextual Talent Science and AI Platform.

This may seem to be a complex name, yet it is the shortest way to introduce the HR industry’s most advanced and state-of-the-art suite of talent management product.

The TalentSHIP products address all dimensions of the human capital chain. For example, instead of an unstructured digital file of CVs, our platform can instantly sort through and screen thousands of candidates and produce a ranked list of most qualified and relevant candidates.

Importantly, our use of technologies such as AI establish relevance to your organization’s specific need and talent requirements. Your brand is enhanced when the pool of talent you most desire experiences an engagement process that is personalized, focused and productive for both sides.

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Jan 20, 2017

The growth in the use of social media provides today’s recruiters with a wealth of new sources to identify and nurture exceptional talent, but, the challenge is finding the best ways to approach this highly unstructured world of information. These social media channels provide the recruiter with an aggregate pool of more than 500 million users to filter.

A Source You Can’t Ignore

In fact, the growing importance of social media makes it an area you simply cannot ignore. The newest generations of potential recruits see the power of social media as a two-way street. You can find them, but they also expect to find you and be accessible via their most comfortable form of communication. Not only is social media a repository of vital information and contacts, it is the real-time form of nurturing which these candidates expect.

Instead of the traditional outbound search for potential hires, the concept of social media creates an environment of two-way communication. This creates a level of engagement that recruiters can leverage in an extremely effective manner.

However, as with other HR data, this immense pool of candidates also creates a disadvantage when it comes to identifying and cultivating the best and most relevant candidates. Much as recruiters who rely on first-generation ATS are at a tremendous disadvantage, those who attempt to troll the social media oceans face real obstacles.

Using Modern Technology to Capitalize on Social Media

Our focus at Spire has always been on using technology intelligently. In fulfilling our mission, we have succeeded in marrying the power of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning with Contextual Intelligence to create transformative products. Our suite of solutions provided in SPIRE TalentSHIP© provides you with the unprecedented ability to accurately match available talent with talent needs.

Our innovative approach to managing the human capital chain starts at the point of recruitment and carries our clients through all aspects of hiring, training, development and talent management. You are given the analytics and structured data that provides the best matches between your talent resources and organizational needs.

Of course, our tools are proven to be exceptionally effective at the recruiting level of the talent acquisition challenge. Your recruiters are empowered to use that massive amount of talent available through social media, other sources, and your internal talent base to identify the most relevant candidates for each specific position. Thus, equipped with the best options, the recruiter can initiate immediate contact and begin the nurturing process.

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Dec 29, 2016

As never before, each organization’s HR has the potential of accessing significant data and analytics to aid in human capital management. Properly leveraging the concept of Big Data provides guidance at every step of talent management from recruiting to development. Possessing this relevant and precise information empowers managers and enables strategic decision makers.

Rather than relying on guesswork and traditional criteria, HR planners and managers can use these metrics and analytics to more efficiently oversee all aspects of the training and development cycle, starting with Training Need Identification. These capabilities extend to the ability to effectively evaluate and monitor the training programs and procedures used.

Mining and Processing the Data

The reality, of course, is that simply having massive amounts of information achieves very little. The power of Big Data lies in the effective evaluation and utilization of that potential treasure of information.

We have long understood this potential of Big Data to transform the HR mission and execution. To capture that potential, we have married the latest in several technologies to provide a powerful suite of five unique products in our Spire TalentSHIP©. These products employ the latest advances in:

• Artificial Intelligence

• Machine Learning

• Contextual Intelligence

While we show great pride in how these tools are combined to provide our Contextual Talent Science Platform, the real excitement we feel is in the way this technology empowers our clients.

The application of our platform in the field has provided us with solid examples of objective improvements in the competitiveness and productivity of our clients. These remarkable results are made possible using our contextual intelligence approach through all aspects of the talent identification, recruitment, hiring, training, and development process.

These insights are the long-awaited Holy Grail of talent management that allows more efficient development and deployment of talent in all areas of the organization as well as making wiser near-term staffing and training decisions. The Spire approach addresses the long-term concerns about talent and Learning Development Programs.

With contextual intelligence and accurate analytics, you can address everything from tracking and developing high-potential personnel. Our platform also makes the process of succession planning more realistic and effective.

A combination of contextual intelligence and HR analytics can give a complete visual dashboard of skills and competencies of entire organization's talent for smarter deployment and intra-company career path analysis.

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Dec 23, 2016

While C-level responsibilities have evolved rapidly for all executives, the many challenges of the Chief Human Resource Officer are unique. Ever-changing regulations, shifting corporate talent needs and priorities, increasingly competitive space for critical positions are all just a few of the plates the CHRO has to keep spinning.

Aladdin’s Lamp or a Magic Wand?

If you are in that vital role, it’s easy to understand how you might fantasize about finding a way to grant just a few wishes to get the job done. These might include:

• Having a top-down view of your entire organizational talent database, with details of each employee’s skills, experience, capabilities and skill gaps.

• Ensuring that each hire is just the right individual with just the right skills for each position.

• Providing management with the strategic insights they need for corporate growth, restructuring, and/or talent deployment.

• Exploring social media and all relevant external sources to maximize your qualified talent pool and keep candidates engaged.

Fortunately, you no longer have to fantasize about having black magic at hand. While some of the capabilities we offer at Spire Technologies may seem nearly miraculous, they are instead based on solid science.

The Power of Contextual Intelligence

Our goal at Spire has been to develop the industry’s most comprehensive approach to managing the human capital chain. Our efforts have produced the Spire TalentSHIP© Contextual Talent Science and AI Platform. You’ll find this suite of five talent transformation products serves as effectively as any magic wand in granting your wishes – and much more.

The problem for today’s CHRO isn’t information. In fact, it is easy to be overwhelmed with the massive amounts of unstructured and random data available about every candidate you might consider. The real challenge is providing contextual analytics that make sense out of that data overload.

The effectiveness of the unmatched Spire approach lies in our successful integration of Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Contextual Technologies. Not only does the Spire TalentSHIP© holistic approach give you immediate and usable results, it improves with every use. Your existing HR textual information is the base from which a true talent management platform is built.

The “magic” that our platform delivers is the result of our careful design to provide you with the relevant and structured data you need in the context of your specific functional areas of recruitment, training, development and every aspect of talent management.

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Dec 20, 2016

Any executive who has managed growth in a successful company understands the critical issue of matching team members with specific job descriptions and task needs. In fact, there is a vast difference between simply hiring good candidates and instead finding, hiring and developing the right candidate with the right skills for specific jobs.

Finding the Proverbial Needle

Today’s hyper-competitive environment finds significant and increasing investments made in recruiting and staffing by growing and successful organizations. This investment taps into many sources of resumes, data and information on candidates. Accordingly, it is not hard to build a talent bank of thousands of potentially qualified applicants.

However, that large volume of data is most often unstructured and overwhelming. The real challenge is not in getting a large number of applicants but rather finding those candidates who are most relevant to a specific job description. The challenge of finding that prime candidate in the “haystack” of data becomes increasingly unattainable with antiquated ATS and methods.

It is the ability to remove that information-matching obstacle which excites our clients when they implement our Spire TalentSHIP©. This suite of 5 powerful talent transformation modules provides full clarity and focus in the recruitment process. Even more, we have designed and delivered this Contextual Talent Science Platform as the holistic solution to the human capital management challenge.

The Marriage of Multiple Technological Advances

While we are sensitive to the reality that you want a solution, not a technology, we take a great deal of pride in pointing out why Spire TalentSHIP is such a transformative technological solution.

Our platform integrates the power of Artificial Intelligence and Contextual Search to provide your recruiters and managers with pinpointed, most relevant matches between applicants and very specific job descriptions.

We have an 80-95 percent accuracy levels in our matches, a level no other provider comes close to. More importantly, we back up this claim with empirical results from our many highly-satisfied clients – organizations that have truly transformed their talent management ecosystem.

By developing an ever more comprehensive talent bank, TalentSHIP can evaluate the richness of skills required for each position. It then precisely matches those criteria with applicants, ensuring the best use of all available talent.

This breakthrough platform provides recruiters with specific insights to the most relevant candidates. This allows early contact and engagement with targeted applicants, and the ability to nurture the best candidates through multiple hiring cycles.

There is a strong ROI that comes with less reliance on external agencies by maximizing the effectiveness of your HR department and recruiters through maintaining a robust talent bank. If you seek this increased competitiveness, you owe it to yourself and your organization to call us today.

We will provide you with case studies and examples that clearly demonstrate with solid analytics what Spire TalentSHIP will do for your human capital management.

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Dec 17, 2016

In just a little over one decade, the recruiting industry has become dependent on the Internet and digital resumes. It is as inconceivable today for someone to not use email as it was to ignore the “new-fangled telephone” a century ago.

Burdened by Legacy Systems

In spite of these advances, far too many recruiters and HR departments are still relying on what are now antiquated ATS technologies. Not only are the systems inherently limited, they are unable to integrate many of the new tools and technologies available today. While they were a major leap forward in the 20th century, these systems still rely on “dumb” keyword searches and unstructured data from multiple sources.

The simple reality is the now-indispensable digital gateway has also created the recruiter’s biggest challenge – sifting through thousands of applicants from candidates. Compounding the problem is the fact that these potential hires are commonly from the global job pool, not just local job-seekers.

While it would seem that greatly increasing the job pool would lead to better quality of hires, the opposite is often the case without empowerment from advanced technology. The flood of resumes limits the time each one receives. This means cursory reviews of only a few seconds that fail to provide the insights needed to match aspirants precisely with the talent needed for each positon.

Additionally, the multiple sources of information – external, internal and web-based job boards – further aggravate the situation by adding to the volume of data without any context or analysis.

Technology that Transforms Talent Acquisition

While this paints a dreary picture for recruiters, we at Spire Technologies take pride in shining a bright light solution to that situation. Rather than seeking incremental improvement on last century’s approach to ATS and all phases of the human capital chain, we’ve transformed the entire process.

We have taken the catalytic technologies of artificial intelligence and machine learning and combined them with a contextual intelligence framework. This innovative construct has produced our SPIRE TalentSHIP©. This AI based Contextual Talent Science Platform provides a comprehensive solution to the tasks of talent acquisition, development, management and retention.

These combined technologies provide both a structure and context to any type HR data from any source. The result provides never-before-available tools to your recruiter. However, the benefits and capabilities go far beyond this initial HR requirement. This platform provides you with a seamless transfer of information from applicant to new hire to employee.

While it is common to look at HR investments only from the expense side of the P&L, Spire’s solution provides positive contributions to revenue, profits, and overall productivity.

If the concept of contextual intelligence is new to you, we can demonstrate what this technology means to your company’s human capital chain and ongoing market success. Call us today for a case study that demonstrates how our clients use our Contextual Talent Science Platform to stand above their competitors.

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Dec 08, 2016

Unfortunately, from a talent perspective, the future of many companies today is resting on antiquated recruiting methods. If the stakeholders of those companies were to understand the consequences of that reality, most would have trouble getting a good night’s sleep.

Recruiters: When the Funnel’s Result is Based on One Person’s Judgment

If your company is like most, you are facing a growing need to identify, recruit, hire and develop the right talent for the right positions. This challenge means you invest heavily in HR and the recruitment process. Unfortunately, that significant investment often produces results far below what you expect and require.

We understand this conundrum at Spire Technologies, and we constantly find companies who have entrusted their futures to overworked, inexperienced and ill-equipped recruiters. This often includes the use of an ATS that is little more than a souped-up contact manager. With the immense numbers of resumes made possible by online submissions, most recruiters have mere seconds to glance at each application.

Moreover, most recruiters are unaware of specific talent requirements within the organization, relying on one-dimensional job descriptions to match with potential hires. In fact, a recent LinkedIn article notes, “76% of recruiters surveyed at the end of 2015 said locating candidates with skillsets which matched the criteria that their clients were looking for was the biggest challenge they faced.”

Empowering Recruiters with Contextual Data to Facilitate the Right Decision

The issue of finding the right experience and skill set dominates much of the hiring process today. Solving that problem is only one of the many capabilities brought to your HR efforts with the Spire TalentSHIP© suite of solutions utilizing contextual technology and machine learning.

Our approach and technology provides your recruiters with talent intelligence organized in the context of your organizational needs. The quantitative information drawn from your internal files and external data sources is presented to recruiters in the context of specific talent requirements. Spire's Contextual Search and Match works purely based on the richness of skills and capabilities of candidates eliminating the guesswork and all possible bias in the selection process.

Our clients have provided us with abundant evidence that the Spire TalentSHIP© solution provides noticeable improvements and solid results. We are pleased to provide you with case studies and use cases that support our claims of such achievements as:

• Revenue increases of 9 percent

• Cost savings of 7 percent

• Profit increases of 5.4 percent

The use of our contextual technology dramatically streamlines the HR process, and brings management of human capital into the 21st century. Of course, the core benefit to the entire process is ensuring your recruitment and hiring process matches the best available talent to the specific requirements your organization defines. This maximizes productivity and greatly improves employee retention.

Let us help you bring contextual technology to your talent acquisition, development and management process. Call today to discuss how we can eliminate guesswork from you hiring process.

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Dec 05, 2016

One of the most important aspects of today's incredible technology is how it is so often transparent to us while we are using it. One of the most important capabilities that make that possible is the rapidly growing implementation of Machine Learning.

Providing Results without Explicit Programming

For decades, computers were only as good as the specific program giving them the instructions on how to function. However, advances in the concept of Machine Learning now allow many applications to get the job done effectively by learning and adapting to the task that is assigned.

It is Machine Learning that makes the idea of automated automobiles practical, and the same technology that provides us with more powerful search engines.

We at Spire, are experts at utilizing Machine Learning technology in our SpireTalentSHIP platform. However, we have taken that capability and made it transformative in Human Capital management by integrating it with contextual intelligence.

The SpireTalentSHIP provides our clients with a cloud-based Contextual Intelligence (CI) Platform which uses machine learning to comprehend unstructured textual data. Additionally, the innovative tools we provide analyze the data it collects in an intelligent and contextual manner.

What this means to you and your talent acquisition, development and management process is nothing less than revolutionary. The combination of these two technologies has the power to provide you with structured, contextual talent data. In addition to that, the platform gains even more intelligence as you use it, thus increasing its ability to efficiently match your HR data in the context of specific organizational talent needs and requirements.

Eliminating the Barriers to Talent Optimization

If you are relying on an outdated ATS and other limited tools, you know the obstacles to doing your job effectively, including:

- Inadequate access to all the needed sources of data, resumes, and applicants

- Unstructured and ineffective data that you have to try and sort through

- Inability to effectively match the best candidate with the best position

- Lack of overall flow to the total HR picture

We have designed our Contextual Talent Science Platform to not only eliminate those and other barriers, but to also provide you with much more. Our clients access a suite of five applications that literally transform your approach to managing the human capital chain.

While we speak of technology here to make you aware of why this platform is so innovative, the real news is in the concrete results that it allows you to achieve. The benefits are extensive and quantitative. Just a sampling of how Spire changes your HR world includes:

- 80% improvement in bi-directional mapping

- 95% accuracy in contextual search

- Enhanced use of the Internet as a talent source

- Significant improvements in talent forecasting

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Nov 30, 2016

If you are in-charge of hiring, you face the challenge of sorting through a great deal of data to find all you can about top applicants. In fact, you will find several excellent sources providing tips on how to find the best candidates.

A number of these sources will refer you to professional recruiting agencies or other outsourced resources. Others will make the point that social media is now an essential part of the intelligence-gathering process.

Make-Do or Make it Happen

The reality is that these sources are effectively acknowledging that most companies are relying on antiquated ATS and fragmented recruiting processes. The need to turn to multiple sources for information on candidate’s leads to an inefficient and cumbersome approach to finding vetting the best possible hires.

This situation also often forces HR departments to rely on those expensive external agencies and services to aid in the process of finding and screening candidates. Unfortunately, even when potential hires are identified there is still no holistic way to match each candidate to the best possible position.

In simple terms, this antiquated approach does not utilize the capabilities of modern technology. The lack of front-end intelligence in the process severely limits the prospects of success. Thankfully, there is now a solution that does leap over those hurdles to effective recruitment and hiring.

Creating the Perfect Storm of Data and the Way to Tame It

That solution, and a great deal more, is found in our Spire TalentSHIP© contextual talent science platform. We have developed a suite of 5 unique applications that give you the power of talent transformation – through the entire human capital chain.

These products work together and are empowered with the science of Machine Learning. This capability allows you to not only access multiple levels of data, but also to utilize built-in algorithms that provide unmatched accuracy. Even more powerful, that accuracy improves over time with the intelligence of Machine Learning.

Think for a moment of how many sources you attempt to tap when you use those tips predicated with non-intelligent ATS. Then imagine the power and simplicity of efficiently access resumes and applications from:

• Your organizational data

• Internet social media

• External sources such as job boards and databases

With this information, all on one screen, you start ahead of the game. Then, with your access to the Spire TalentSHIP© platform, that data is transformed into optimal matches between talent and positions.

The benefits to using such advanced technology provide quantifiable benefits to your HR process (up to 40% time saved and 73% improvement in interview-to-select metrics) and the entire organization. We can show you results that yield:

• Cost savings of 9%

• Revenue increases of 9%

• Profit enhancement of 5.4%

Why try to do your job with unstructured and subjective data? We have the technology and applications that take that data and allows you to mine it for the hidden talent gold. Call us and we can provide case studies and use cases to answer any of your questions.

Start transforming your talent acquisition and management process today.

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Nov 23, 2016

A lot of new buzzwords have entered the HR universe in the past decade. While we understand many of those, there is a larger number of those we do not know much about. That is because many of the traditional theories or concepts of Human resources have undergone a significant change in how they are defined. At the heart of that change is one of the most essential roles of HR – Talent Management.

Talent management as we knew it is has acquired a new meaning that is more relevant for our new workforce and workplace. We cannot start the process of managing talent after an individual is hired, has performed and been evaluated. That approach is outdated in the world of rapidly shifting talent equations and paradigms. Talent management starts as early as your decision to evaluate and choose a recruitment software. The moment you start assessing available options for what they offer, you have indirectly or subconsciously factored in parameters that you will be choosing your talent on – because that is the kind of software that you will choose.

Therefore, we need to re-align our thought process to understand that we start our process of managing talent when we define parameters for the type of talent we want in our organization. That is followed by the approach we believe is best suited to help us find this talent from a vast pool of people in the marketplace, and the implementation of that approach.

So for the HR professional, the change in mindset from being a recruiter to becoming accountable for talent management is critical. The importance and process of making this transition has been under-rated in the past. But, it is truly a change from being only tactical in how one views the function of recruitment, hiring and selection to becoming strategic. That is the value that HR can bring to the business. The value comes with being able to assess and articulate which kind of systems and platforms support your people as well as business goals. Spire’s TALENTSHIP enables you to articulate that as well as execute in a way that you can convert your recruitment process to a talent management one.

The moment you shift to Intelligent #TalentAcquisition you have redefined your talent management strategy to make it more inclusive and expansive beyond the older definition. How you choose to hire, has long term implications on your business areas. Which platform you use to hire, has deep-rooted results that cannot be reversed easily if it does not guide you to the right talent. Therefore the connect between talent management and recruitment is far greater today than ever.

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Nov 16, 2016

The emergency response world has been wrestling with the challenge of experience versus data for years. Numerous response managers who have come up through the ranks look at incidents, map them up quickly with experience, and throw resources at the incident based on those collective memories. However, when approached with data models, many are sceptical. Experience, obviously, has been tested and the results remembered. So, no surprise, first responder managers often rely on what seems like a better choice for accountability.

However, as more organizations start moving to digital, the availability of big data becomes more apparent in terms of potential decision-making benefits. So why should that be ignored in favour of experience? It shouldn’t, but the discussion should also not be one of comparing why or why not experience is better or data better. Instead, decision-makers should be looking at how their experience and new data tools can be married for smarter, more informed decisions altogether.

Why Data Should be Incorporated in Decision-Making

The resource is obvious and available. According to IBM, something near 2.5 exabytes of data was generated daily in 2012. One can only wonder what that figure is now four years later. As David Greenberg of BankMobile notes, some entities already have up to 99 percent of the data they need stored somewhere. So not using data already collected inside a company is literally leaving money on the table for waste and inefficiency. However, the data also needs to be correct and unbiased, otherwise it’s a waste of time to filter through as well. This inherently means that the tools used to collect the data need to be reliable, accurate, and robust. A one-off spreadsheet is likely not going to fly. A database worth of data crunched with objective metrics may be far more reliable when utilized and updated regularly, followed by producing ongoing reports people can use on the fly.

What are the Correct Measuring Tools?

The specific tools applied depend on the data being measured and the output desired. However, at a minimum, data use should be based on accepted statistical principles, typically using measures of central tendency (averages, variances, standard deviations, etc.). More importantly, however, decision-makers and those preparing the data reports should both have good grounding in how to read statistics-based reports correctly. Numbers and numbers that are important can be worlds apart. So, quantification needs to be accurate, easy to apply, and quick to operate consistently every time they are used. Too often decision-makers and their staff get caught up in fancy tools that aren’t used correctly or, worse, report the wrong data. As former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates pointed out, "I have wasted more money on IT than anyone in history." Then bad decisions occur, and the entire project is thrown out the window with the bath water.

At Spire, we have pioneered contextual intelligence technology, which can be applied to any part of the human capital supply chain. With 5,200 GB of data per person on earth expected by 2020, accessing information correctly will be in high demand, and data literacy will be essential as a result. Our platform searches, understands and interprets 'data' contextually, deducing analytics for valuable insights. These tools help reduce costs, reduce time, increase revenue, and increase operational value. Contextual search & intelligence technology computes data faster as well. It gives a 95% accuracy in contextual search and 80% accuracy in demand-supply mapping. And, more importantly, the data is interpreted and analyzed in the unique context of your business, not a general industry. Make Spire your next step in evolved decision-making.

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Nov 09, 2016

The growth of the Internet has spurred a revolution in the hiring process. Posting resumes online and reviewing large number of digital applicants is now the norm for many job-seekers and companies. However, this first phase of the digital hiring revolution has also introduced a number of shortcomings.

While 73 percent of individuals in the age group of 18-34 years report that they found their current job via social networks, less than 2 percent of today’s applicants even get to the point of an interview. Even resumes that are viewed average less than six seconds of attention from recruiters. The numbers made possible by online posting are daunting, with one site reporting 427,000 new resumes , are posted every week of the year.

And even when candidates do get to the interview process, it is often a demoralizing and unsuccessful step. Applicants will encounter:

• Recruiters who schedule pointless interviews to meet their numbers, not the needs or talent of the applicant.

• Managers who are not properly trained or focused on the process of conducting interviews.

• Outdated ATS systems that don’t properly match candidates with job descriptions.

Making the Process Productive

Recruiting and hiring is a necessity for any growing and competitive organization. It is also a process that requires a great deal of money and human resources. However, at Spire we constantly find organizations using formerly state-of-the-art ATS recruiting systems. Unfortunately, these programs are primitive by the standards of today’s capabilities, such as you will find in our TalentSHIP® Contextual Talent Science Platform.

The contextual technology that underlies our approach to effective HR management provides real-time data and results from intelligent searches of all candidate resumes. Far more advanced than mere keyword tags, our platform provides relevant matches based on candidate experience, skills and training with specific job descriptions.

The results of this automated search provide recruiters with qualified prospects. Likewise, those candidates are not subjected to pointless and counterproductive interviews.

In addition to providing the core advantage of using contextual intelligence to match candidates with job descriptions, Spire adds new power to existing ATS platforms. Social media is an increasingly essential part of the recruitment process. To ensure our clients are taking full advantage of that trend, we enable recruiters to engage with candidates at several levels with our contextual #TalentSocial network.

Today’s HR world is often the perfect representation of having too much data and too little relevant information. Our contextual intelligence eliminates the dumb data and replaces it with real-time and relevant insights and actionable information.

The demands for intelligent HR are here today and affect job-seekers, employees and all levels of management. Spire brings machine learning and artificial intelligence to the process to create a win-win for all concerned.

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Nov 05, 2016

The aforesaid topic can be substantiated by a few data points and a different perspective. Globally, staffing and recruiting companies have generated a turnover of $500 Billion in the year 2015. Out of this, $35 Billion revenue pertains to activities related to searching and selecting candidates for permanent employment.

Numbers speak for themselves, whether they relate to performance, either good or otherwise. In this case, these numbers showcase great performance put together by staffing and recruiting companies worldwide.

The data is encouraging for staffing companies as it reflects their increased growth. However, these growth figures are directly proportional to inefficiencies in corporate organizations worldwide.

Why is this so? Below is an elaboration.

Every organization has an HR division backed by special recruitment teams entrusted with the task to recruit. Despite having qualified and specific people for the task and supported with suitable automation systems, companies still continue to hire through placement and staffing companies.

As per research*, this trend is common across all countries. However, companies in developed countries are robbed more than those in emerging economies.

This phenomenon is prevalent across the world. A whopping $35 Billion was given away to recruiting agencies in the year 2015.

This means that organizations let go off significant amounts of money to placement companies in spite of having HR departments.

Imagine a situation where companies are generating sales with the help of representatives who are outside the company. It is but natural that the company will remove their internal sales guys. This is the usual scenario in such situations in almost all the functions of a company except in HR.

The Great Placement Robbery

HR seldom participates in board level discussions. Ever wondered why? Is it due to a lack of credibility or something else? HR departments across the world use all the latest available technologies such as SAP, Oracle, Workday, Kenexa, etc. and yet are unable to hire on their own when required. What is the point in using technologies which don’t come to use when needed?

Have you ever come across a scenario where the finance team was not able to generate invoices or balance sheets? Now, here is the real difference between HR and any other function. While all others have data which speaks, HR of course has reasons to counter.

How can organizations justify having in-house recruiting teams while spending money on external agencies? especially when hiring from such external sources is over 10% of total hiring done. Can’t we call this as robbery? While companies cannot figure out who is robbing them -internal employees or external agencies, there are intelligent tools available to fix this robbery.

Sometime we need to lose the small battles in order to win the war but this can’t be true for this instance where corporates are losing incrementally every year.

*CIETT Report 2015 and assumption of 8% CAGR

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Nov 02, 2016

One aspect could leave the top management teams shaking their heads. The constant tremendous gap between the potential of the human capital of many companies and the constant failure to develop and utilize that talent.

A Negative Return on Investment

Every large company today invests significant amounts of their annual budget into the process of searching, hiring, onboarding, developing, training programs and utilizing talented individuals. However, that very large investment often fails to achieve its core objective of properly utilizing the skills, developing them further and retaining those team members.

The great irony is that companies bring the best available into their organizations, the more likely it is that they lose them if not properly deployed and developed.

A study reviewed in Harvard Business Review describes this problem precisely, “Despite all that is known about the importance of developing talent, and despite the great sums of money dedicated to systems and processes that support talent management, an astonishing number of companies still struggle to fill key positions—which puts a considerable constraint on their potential to grow.”

The article makes the point that instead of a talent factory, such organizations suffer numerous debilitating consequences, including:

• Inability to compete and expand into new markets

• Higher attrition rates of the best performers

• Losses in productivity

Often, human resources gleefully report positive information about new hires and devising of training programs of C-level executives. Management is then expected to commit their organizations to plans and projects that require the full use of these resources. When that utilization gap is present, plans and projects underperform and often fail to achieve core objectives.

Moreover, talented individuals grow increasingly frustrated since the best of their skills remain unutilized and their capabilities remain unchallenged.

The Real-Time Contextual Solution

Contextual Intelligence based Spire Talent Platform not only addresses the complex issues of talent deployment, in addition it is a comprehensive and proven technology-based solution.

With proprietary technology processes, it gives real-time insights of talent pool in terms of in-depth skills analytics, project simulations, skill gaps and personalized training suggestions. This knowledge is at the heart of the aspiration for maximum utilization of talent. It gives actionable intelligence with unmatched accuracy levels of 80-95%. Below are listed few of the benefits.

• 75% reduction in talent deployment time

• 50% reduction in talent deployment costs

• 1% positive impact on revenue

• 8% increase in profitability

In addition to these concrete benefits, decision makers can mitigate organizational risks in advance with the help of real-time simulations (skills versus costs involved in future projects). More than anything, the system easily integrates with any existing ERP/HRMS systems.

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Oct 28, 2016

A reference point.
The why and how?
A Context!

Misunderstandings result when ‘context’ is not understood. Instead, when we listen well, search to understand, converse two-way and make the effort to see the full picture, we get hold of ‘context’. Gaps reduce. A whole lot of things change. We understand better, build better relationships, learn more and improve the quality of life.

Hence, ‘Context’ is not just a simple word whose meaning in the oxford dictionary reads -

The circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood.

The parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning.

The above is almost a mechanical way of defining ‘context’. It does not grasp how humans feel about context. However, there is an irony to this. Human intelligence can and will build Artificial Intelligence that will perform Contextual Data Analytics such that the comprehension is exactly human-like. This would be a leap in our evolution. When technology exactly mimics human ways; or behaves the way the laws of the universe do.

‘Contextualizing’ Data is a Fine Capability

Of course searching is akin to Googling in this century. When we search for something in Google, Google crawls and digs out matching results from all over the humungous web. It indexes and sorts pages by pulling out only those which contain the search strings. We are so used to getting most of our queries answered via search engines so much so that we forget that this capability itself marks a turning point in how humans use machines to get the information they want.

Contextual Search is the Next Turning Point

‘Contextualization’ in the truest and deepest way is the next leap forward in computing, imperative in conjunction with Big Data, the unprecedented amount of data that is scattered all over the world and hugely available in today’s times. Easy connectivity with internet, clouds, advent of smart phones and the unstoppable spur in Internet of Things (IoT) – all augment Big Data.

For enterprises, harnessing Big Data could make a million-dollar difference. Golden insights obtained from data mining are sure to impact business decisions. It is the time now. Humanity is on the brink wherein, in addition to Contextual Data Analysis (based on Machine Learning), many other advanced techniques of data mapping are also expected to proliferate and change the way we think, work and carry on our lives every single day. Applying information and knowledge obtained by deep diving the unexplored realms of data will inevitably change everything. A new wave of intelligence and advanced contextualization is on the way.

The irony in life is that there are two ways to obtain knowledge. One, by intuition. And the other, by ways and means of intellectualization - research, queries, interrogation ... over time. Which one is better?

Perhaps there will be a point in evolution when humans will make machines that could intuit. A great instance of human intelligence that will be!

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Oct 26, 2016

With the introduction of online recruiting and keyword searches, the average corporate recruiter’s job became easier, but there was still plenty of room for improvement. Most Recruiting CRMs (Candidate Relationship Management) systems deal with hundreds of resumes and corresponding data, but the game has changed. According to Jamie Lawrence of HRZone, the explosion of social media and other job board sites have increased available data sharply, with over 90 percent of that being unstructured and qualitative. For recruiters, no matter how experienced or adept their systems are at matching keywords, it is still very possible to miss that important nugget of information about a candidate if it is buried within raw or unstructured textual forms of data.

Accurate Data Processing is the need of the Hour

This, then, underscores the need for a more accurate, efficient and faster way to parse out information when searching for the best candidate to fill a position. Normally, much of a recruiter’s time was spent in the parsing process, extracting relevant data to populate data base fields.

Contextual, cloud-based searching catapults recruiting into the Age of Artificial Intelligence by using the kind of intuitive text-based searching which could be suitable for data mining from social media, in short the entire internet which is filled with data in unstructured formats; rather than relying on the more limited supply of structured data. By doing so, the recruiter is less likely to miss a relevant candidate and the agency isn’t losing its potential fee.

Digital Footprints reveal Candidate Information

Samantha Wallace, North America Market Leader for Korn Ferry Futurestep, believes that the importance of a candidate’s digital footprint can’t be underestimated: If a candidate’s digital footprint doesn’t show up in the ‘right’ kind of network, they could be excluded from being considered for a position. If the candidate is missing a strong online presence, a contextual search may be able to find information in available data, demonstrating whether a particular candidate may be suitable for a position.

Over a third of employers responding to a 2015 poll stated that candidates with no verifiable online information were less likely to be interviewed, let alone hired. Supporting this trend is the fact that over half of the respondents used a social networking site – up from 39 percent in 2013 – to research potential candidates.

Recruiters also searched social media and networking sites to learn what others thought about the candidates, including co-workers and past as well as present employers. Other information included confirmation of past and present employment, educational and other professional credentials as well as uncover relevant information that may have been omitted in a previous resume.

Contextual CRM for Candidate Management

Contextual CRM such as Spire TalentSHIP® utilizes a cloud-based Contextual Intelligence (CI) platform which employs Machine Learning to understand, interpret and analyse any form of textual content which HR is primarily characterized with. It has been shown to boost revenue while saving time and recruiter effort involved in the mundane processes of Talent Acquisition. Recruiters can increase interview-to-select ratio to 73% from the existing level of less than 30%. This is a significant enabler of their performance.

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Oct 22, 2016

Endless streams of Latin letters and numerals characterize the legendary motion picture Matrix. Operator Tank can process tonnes of it in seconds. Trinity takes only a few moments to learn how to ride a military M-109 helicopter when she is rescuing Morpheus along with Neo. Of course she is plugged in and Tank only has to pass on the codes to her brain. Neo is the only soul who can see the data in matrix as is, in its rawest original form. Hence he can dodge bullets and fly whenever he wishes to like no one else.

Back to real life.

What is happening with Data?

Imagine a world where all data could be processed, deciphered and converted to intelligence, i.e., knowledge for improving the quality of life, however mostly limited to the business world. This has been achieved to an extent by mankind, of up to 10% roughly by the most commonly used BI or Business Intelligence systems.

Business Intelligence systems (comprising of software, tools, applications) is what enterprises use to make sense out of their data, to make decisions that influence their overall performance. A basic example: A bunch of data such as isolated numbers means nothing unless, for example, put in the form of a graph or a report to be of use to a business enterprise. BIs convert data into useful information.

But what of data that BIs don’t understand? It is called unstructured data. Textual data such as reports, books, manuals, resumes, feedbacks, posts, tweets, … et all. How does one decipher and convert alphabetical letters into information? Data mining, Natural Language Processing (NLP), text analytics, noisy-text analytics, semantics and linguistics are various methods that help interpret unstructured data in more meaningful ways than just performing basic keyword searches.

Contextual Data Analytics

One of the emerging offshoot of data interpretation – Contextual Analytics – is bound to become the most sought method for deciphering unstructured data to gain intelligence. This new form of knowledge is so accurate and precise that it has direct impact on costs and the overall performance of especially large organizations. The reason for this is that Contextual Analytics is the closest to how humans process textual data. It mimics the same. In other words, it is based on what the world knows as Machine Learning.

A thousand tweets received in response to a business campaign – could Contextual Analytics deduce their overall emotion?

The real value and worth of Big Data can be realized only when advanced forms of Contextual Intelligence is applied to it.

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Oct 19, 2016

Finding the right talent and the right people to fill positions in your business can be a worrisome and drawn out task. Without having rightly chosen employees you may end up choosing someone that you feel is right for the job but ends up falling flat; or not really being able to handle the arduous demands of the position that you have in mind. Deployment of skills is easier said than done. There is a solution however. A Contextual Intelligence platform has the ability to weed out those workers that are going to be best for your needs and those that may not cut it.

A Contextual Intelligence platform gives in-depth skills analytics of employees or prospective candidates and helps choose the right people for the right jobs.

Simulations based on Contextual Technology

It is said that you cannot really tell how well someone is going to handle a situation until the person is placed in the particular set of circumstances. HR faces this very conundrum every day when choosing the talent to fill vacant positions. Companies also face this problem when trying to figure out how best to fit their talent in various projects.

A contextual platform first of all considers the unique business rules of a company before ranking candidates or employees based on the richness of their skills. The best part is that it deals with HR data in real-time due to which the skills analytics are accurate. Managers can test various business scenarios in terms of how many employees are required where, when along with costs involved. They can understand skills strengths and gaps. These simulations let the management to moderate and finally decide the best business scenario. This knowledge comes handy when making investment decisions or also when organizations undergoing critical restructuring processes.

Skills Analytics

Skills are the first set of decisive factors that HR departments have to consider when it comes to choosing the right talent and deciding where to allocate. Your HR department may have ten candidates with similar skills but the data which they collect and the particular individuals whom they pick make a huge difference. Employee performance directly impacts company revenue.

Talent Insights

Having the right talent insights can make a huge difference when it comes to the overall success of the chosen individual/s in their respective job roles. A Contextual platform allows HR to simulate different events, business scenarios and thereby make a huge difference by allowing HR to evaluate talent in a realistic manner without bias. This allows HR to match talent ahead of time so that companies can see which employees might turn out to be the best in their particular business situations and why.

Giving HR the Power

Contextual technology enables HR to make informed decisions without having to do guesswork or base decisions on assumptions and gut feel. This is beneficial for companies both at the time of talent acquisition and deployment. With an intelligent approach, HR can help set employees on a career path that works out in favor of their strengths, close skill gaps and make progress in career trajectory.

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Oct 15, 2016

Ever wondered if a search online could be performed in the opposite direction? Meaning, look for the search term based on the results? Any kind of search that we are familiar with is unidirectional. It happens when a search term (demand) is queried for and results (supply) are generated accordingly.

Contextual technology thinks like human mind, in both the directions

One of the most important feature of a contextual platform in helping recruiters and hiring managers improve their success rates in talent acquisition is bi-directional mapping. Simply put, bi-directional mapping allows information to be verified back and forth, matching search results with queries and vice versa.

Spire's contextual platform performs search bi-directionally! This is based on the recognition of a key fact, that data should be able to converse in both directions. This is because the meaning of words and their relationships are not limited to a rigid 'ask and give' stance. Human minds work both the ways.

Bi-directional mapping is made possible by the intuitive nature of contextual searching and quantification of relationships between sentences instead of just keywords.

Bi-directional Mapping in Recruitment

Your ATS (Application Tracking System) probably already holds thousands of resumes; however, most can only match a resume to a single job opening at one time, and not with other available positions. If the software is non-contextual, all these tools do is automate workflow tasks, but are unable to cross-reference jobs to resumes. An organization needs contextual search and match technology to take the search to the next level i.e., bi-directional mapping of the relevance of the talent to the enterprise, rather than simply running a query.

Bi-directional Mapping for Enhanced Recruiting

The Spire contextual talent platform resolves the hiring dilemmas faced by Talent Acquisition teams and Hiring Managers. The operational time and money invested in searching for candidates reduces drastically freeing up valuable time which could be to focus on core HR functions.

Benefits of using Bi-directional Mapping

1) Saves the enterprise money

Time is money!

Recruiters can increase speed, accuracy and agility involved in processing resumes, streamlining screening, shortlisting candidates, and upgrading the selection and hiring processes with a contextual platform. Anything that saves the recruiter (and company) time while enhancing search results will save money. Only the most relevant candidates are identified leading to full utilization of resume databases.

Recruiters get to shortlist only the most relevant candidates increasing the chances of a higher interview-to-select ratio, of up to 73% (existing 30%).

2) Saves time

When a job vacancy occurs or a new job opening gets created, recruiting teams need to be able to move quickly to define and review the descriptions, a process that often gets slowed down due to necessary approval processes and lack of standardization.

Spire’s contextual Talent Acquisition platform speeds up the review process with contextual search as well as ranks candidates based on the richness of their skills with measurements such as Richness Index. As a result, thousands of resumes get screened in just a few hours. With its extreme record of unmatched 80-95% accuracy levels, bi-directional mapping perfects this process.

Bi-directional mapping is based on Machine Learning which takes Talent Acquisition to the next level in the era of digital and artificial intelligence.

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Oct 12, 2016

As technology permeates in our lives at unprecedented levels, the spreadsheets that once served their purposes in organizations will have to give way to huge data bases as well as the oft-dreaded database management systems. Companies may find that they have to deal with more data than they may know what to do with.

Talent Acquisition teams in Human Resources, receive thousands and thousands of resumes. Where do all these go? Below are some of the top reasons companies fail to optimize their existing databases.

1) Time Crunches for DBAs and Managers

Database administrators and recruiters are often over-scheduled with supervisory duties and other activities, leaving little time for updating and maintaining databases.

Solution: Managers and others can take control of their schedules and increase productivity with the use of cloud-based, intuitive data management and other tools, requiring less time spent on database activities while maintaining productivity.

2) Lack of Information on available DBMS Options

Non-DBA managers in other areas, such as Sales or HR, try to “make-do” with outdated ATS (Application Tracking System) or even resort to buying LinkedIn Corp Recruiter accounts as recruiting platforms instead of effectively managing existing data.

Solution: Recruiters can turn to all-in-one solutions such as those offered by Spire TalentSHIP® which can optimize talent management by understanding and managing both contextual and unstructured data.

3) Failure to Utilize the Latest DB Technology

Many organizations see their database simply as storage and so fail to make use of advanced features in newer updates, leaving much of its capacity unused. Or, they may want to change but are concerned about cost, as well as compatibility with existing systems.

Solution: Consultation with experienced third-party vendors can educate managers and others about available database management options, tools and support.

4) Users are Unclear as to the Purpose and use of Data as well as the ATS

Not having a plan in place within the organization for data management, as well as uncertainty over how to optimally utilize available data and ATS.

Solution: Senior management, IT professionals and other frontline users need to discuss what must produce the highest returns as well as plans to assemble and integrate HR data. A contextual platform sifts large volumes of resumes and job descriptions in the context of the business of the organization.

5) Databases may be Overwhelmed by the Volume, Velocity and Variety of Data

The speed (‘velocity’), increased volume and sheer variety of data can push an infrastructure to its limits.

Solution: Managing unstructured “Big Data” requires more innovative processing solutions with the ability to accurately analyze a business’ unique data management concerns and needs.

Determining a company’s database management needs and choosing the best solution can be time-consuming and sometimes frustrating. The Spire contextual platform generates meaning out of any textual content and this can come to the rescue of organizations which need intelligent technologies to make sense from their unstructured HR data.

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Oct 07, 2016

Back in the not-so-good old days, before the advent of LinkedIn or social media in general, a job hunter would find an advertisement in the Help Wanted section of a newspaper or work with an agency recruiter, then submit a resume or fill out an application (or both) – and then wait.

Finally, he or she would get tired waiting and send out a polite inquiry on status of application. Sometimes an equally polite, if not necessarily encouraging, response would come back, but usually there was silence. There was no way, short of a follow-up call or letter, to know if the resume had even arrived much less whether the waiting game and the person in charge of hiring had seen it.

But, this continues to happen even today!

Recruiting and the Digital Age

Cut to the first decade of the 21st century, the appearance of social media as well as online application and tracking software. At least candidates now know whether their resumes have landed in the right places. But, have their resumes ever been opened and seen by the right pairs of eyes or fallen into a digital black hole? Knowing something of the ways of recruiters and SEO, candidates also try to second-guess the online application or ATS to include as many applicable keywords as possible.

The problem with keywords is that they alone don’t tell the entire story of a resume. Worse, social media and career sites themselves solicit a huge amount of candidate data and flooding HR managers’ and recruiters’ mail boxes with overwhelming numbers of resumes, threatening the capabilities even the sturdiest database systems. Organizations need to find newer, innovative and intelligent ways to manage these databases and configure their ATS accordingly.

The Cloud Rules

Recently, a new approach to data storage and retrieval has emerged. It is the era of cloud computing. Clouds enable faster and intuitive in-memory access for users.

With a contextual technology based platform, such as Spire TalentSHIP®, multiple format data, whether sourced from file systems, email, database or intranets, can be indexed and integrated even with any existing HRIS/HRIMS/HCM system.

The Spire contextual technology platform converts unstructured, qualitative, multi-format data into formats that are analyzable and comprehensible. It enables the identification and utilization of unexplored resume databases. Since resumes and skill sets exist in varying formats, the Spire system, using proprietary clouds, supports a contextual ecosystem encompassing true intuitive search, match and analytics that identify only the top quality candidates. These candidates are brought into a contextual ecosystem, or a private social network of sorts. Recruiters can run personalized engagement campaigns and initiate engagement activities. This enhances candidate experience letting them to become familiar with companies beforehand.

Within this contextual ecosystem, managers and recruiters can establish rapport with relevant candidates and convert them into active job applicants when needs arise. In this way, a readymade pipeline of qualified and engaged talent gets constructed. As a result, a qualified database of resumes is always available, especially in on-demand hiring situations. Since time gets freed up, recruiters can focus more on enhancing candidate experience.

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Oct 05, 2016

As the global economy continues to evolve, job seekers are flooding the markets with resumes. Among these will be tech-savvy Millennials, so it follows that recruiters who hope to tap into this talent pool will need to be equally adept at implementing tools that provide a more holistic concept of talent acquisition while maximizing the utilization of their already existing resume databases and ATS (Application Tracking Systems).

On the contrary, most companies typically end up neglecting the vast number of resumes which flow into their databases regularly, from job boards, career pages and references. Inadvertently, during the process of hiring, they have no time to look into these applications. It is obvious that they might easily be losing out on worthy candidates.

Here are few Benefits of Maximizing the Utilization of Existing Resumes

• Increased site traffic

• Distribution of jobs and visibility to passive job candidates

• Improved candidate response rates

• Increased online referrals and shares

• Improvements in recruiter productivity rates, especially when in-box recruiting activities are primary due to heavier requisition loads

To get the most from your existing databases, consider the following:

Understand your Current ATS, its Capabilities and Limitations

What kind of candidate data does your ATS system record and cull out and how do these mesh with your company’s needs. Critical elements should include: first and last names, mobile phone, email address, position applied for, and outcome, as well as whether they are currently employed.

Other considerations could include ATS working as CRM solutions, including compliance tracking and hiring portals supporting collaboration between agencies and corporate recruiters.

Contextual Search is key to Successful Recruiting

One of the buzzwords in recruiting and other HR databases is contextual search recruiting. Simply put, contextual searching involves a more intuitive approach which understands what the user is looking for and is able to search raw, unquantified data as well as structured data, with text-based understanding instead of just field or file names.

More than 90 percent of unanalysed data in most databases is unstructured and qualitative, making it ideal for the type of retrieval that contextual search software provides, as it avoids the usual hit-or-miss downsides of traditional keyword searches. Software developers are meeting the challenge by creating improved technology tools to enable recruiters to more accurately search-and-match a candidate’s qualities relevant to available positions.

Is your Company keeping Current Applicants Engaged?

This is especially important if a database contains high numbers of Millennials, who currently apply for over a third of available positions in the U.S.

Companies could collate all of the existing resumes in their databases, run Contextual Search and Match and pull out the most relevant resumes. These candidates could specifically be brought into a social ecosystem where recruiters can begin engaging with them. A qualified talent pipeline gets built in the process.

The Takeaway

Most companies invest huge sums into recruitment efforts to attract the most qualified personnel. By remembering that a goldmine of information already lies within a database, users can maximize that investment to the fullest while achieving hiring goals. For more information about how Spire’s solutions can help your company optimally manage its databases, contact engage@spiretogrow.com and learn how to save recruiter time and increase revenues while focusing on your top candidates.

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Oct 01, 2016

Businesses of all sizes are increasingly turning to social media as a way to identify, engage and recruit potential employees.

Research has identified the meaningful role that social media can play in building social capital. As organizations look to build sustained, deep relationships with possible future employees, there is a great advantage to having authentic, smart context as a part of your social media strategy.

Quantifying the Impact

A study by Kelly Quinn of the University of Illinois at Chicago illustrates the effect of social media on building social capital. In an online survey of 250 people, Quinn analysed the impact of context on bonding, bridging and maintaining social capital.

"This analysis demonstrates that while everyday instrumental communication is a primary contributor to the accrual of all forms of social capital, the use of social media ... to express care and concern for others and for entertainment is also important to social capital outcomes. These findings underscore the importance of considering context to understand the effects of social media use," Quinn wrote.

A similar study by SocialMediaToday.com showed that younger people are turning away from broader social media sites. Instead, they are seeking less superficial spaces "that allow them to develop relationships, give and receive advice and share experiences and opinions with other (people) around the world."

Impact on Recruiters

For recruiters, leveraging social media contextually helps to find the right candidates and potential candidates by screening more than just resumes and cover letters. Contextual search lets recruiters mine social networks, blogs, article comments and other all possible digital footprint pertaining to the candidates.

This discovery can help to round off the profile of a job candidate. In addition, it can be an effective tool for introducing a company to potential future employees. Such outreach, coupled with the right strategy to connect with passive candidates, can, in the long run, shorten the time and cost associated with future hires.

Using these tools, recruiters can become far more strategic, identifying likely future openings and planning accordingly. A sophisticated social media recruitment strategy moves well beyond spreadsheets of email addresses and piles of paper resumes.

Mature recruitment functions instead create a social strategy that goes beyond LinkedIn job postings. Instead, there is a synergy from collaborative communications and outreach efforts that helps to introduce organizations to clients and establish a corporate brand identity.

Social media recruitment at the highest levels is part of an integrated, multichannel approach, leveraging Big Data with clear analytics and KPIs.

The Spire Advantage

The Spire TalentSHIP® platform lets organizations create their own contextual ecosystems. It uses contextual search to connect organizations to the best employees and future candidates. The complex algorithms allow for searching of both structured and unstructured data. Companies can create an intimate ecosystem; locate, attract and engage talent; forge meaningful candidate relationships and use advanced social talent analytics to adjust strategies as needed.

Spire's products result in significant savings, including up to 50 percent in recruitment costs and 40 percent in time-to-hire. Spire clients see as much as a 5 percent increase in revenue, 7 percent reduction in overall costs and 5.4 percent profit growth.

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Sep 28, 2016

IDC and EMC project that data will grow to 40 zettabytes by 2020, resulting in a 50-fold growth from the beginning of 2010*. … And approximately 90% of data generated is unstructured*.

Which brings us to the Question – what is Unstructured Data?

Unstructured Data refers to information that cannot be quantified in the traditional row-column database. It is a generic label for defining information which cannot be stored in a pre-defined manner or contained in a data structure. It is usually in the form of text. Think of journals, reports, books, digital images, audio/video, tweets, posts, comments and more.

Structured Data on the other hand can be labeled, organized, quantified and stored in database formats, in rows and columns. Due to this, it can be easily entered, retrieved, queried and used for computation. Think of graphs, metrics, web logs, transactional data, financial data and more.

The next Obvious Question is - where is all this Data getting Generated?

Organizations are absolutely familiar with Structured Data. They use it all the time. Excel sheets, metrics, sales figures, calculations, statistics, investments and much more.

However, and here is the reality - organizations do have a lot of Unstructured Data as well. It is produced everywhere, through all means of communication, unattained, unknown and non-aligned. This is the data that is getting generated in our computers, servers, smartphones, cloud services, emails, resumes, job descriptions, minutes of meetings and more. Every moment! It resides everywhere – in the recesses of machines, clouds and in the air.

IDC* estimates - the volume of digital data will grow 40% to 50% per year. By 2020, the number will have reached 40,000 Exabytes or 40 Zettabytes (ZB). The world’s information is doubling every two years.

Experts at Forrester also have estimates along the same observation. Somewhere around 80% of all the data in the world in all its many forms is stored on media and in file systems not managed in a database.

What Machines Understand?

One of the fundamental difference is that Structured Data can be read and understood by machines, while Unstructured Data cannot be. Machines can efficiently turn, bend, sift, sort and compute Structured Data and give results for further actions.

On the contrary, has anyone come across a machine which could clearly summarize the contents of an email or a book? Or understand a resume the way humans do before matching it to a job requisition? A thousand tweets received in response to a business campaign – could machines deduce their overall emotion?

Finding Needles from the Haystack

The relationship between organizations and their Unstructured Data is of sheer significance. Exploration of this unknown territory is waiting to open new doors to mankind – insights and revelations of considerable value which could alter the way in which one engages in profession, business and life. We may find the needles from the haystack.

The big question is – how does one make use of the Unstructured Data and reap the benefits?

Analytics is the Future: Accuracy and Speed are the Determinants

Studies show that business data consists of 20% Structured Data and 80% Unstructured Data. This is only 20% structured enterprise data and a majority of 90% decisions are taken based on it. Only about 10% is utilized for informed decision-making.

The loss is obvious. Unstructured Data is mostly left attended today.

Analysts and strategists need new age technologies such as Machine Learning to bring life to the game. Machines need to discern data exactly the way humans do! Except that the volume of data being handled is humungous, severely layered, scattered, concatenated and encrypted in all possible forms. Speed is surely the next critical factor. By far, the biggest valuable determinant in understanding Unstructured Data is accuracy. Just how accurate could be the analytics deduced by machines to comprehend Unstructured Data? Should top honchos base their decision on gut or real-time analytics? There is no luxury of affording emotions and irrationality today. There is simply too much at stake.

Contextual Technology is the key for C-level Decisions

Predictive analytics, rule-based analytics, natural language processing, semantics… are all in the list of enablers capable of deciphering the obscure Unstructured Data. But nothing can quite match the capabilities of contextual intelligence technology.

1) Spire’s contextual platform gives context to any form of Unstructured Data in a way that is relevant to it. For example: When applied to HR, it may not necessarily pick a resume which contains the largest number of 'Java' words in it; but rather a resume which when scanned by a human recruiter would suggest that it contains more real-time 'Java' experience data instead of just the total quantity of the word 'Java'.

2) The second distinctive feature of the platform is that it gives unmatched accuracy levels - 95% in search and 80% in demand-supply mapping. The resulting analytics are measurable and auditable.

3) The platform has Machine Learning capabilities which recalibrates systems experientially. This results in analytics with sharper insights for informed decision making.

References

* Wikipedia

* http://www.vcloudnews.com/every-day-big-data-statistics-2-5-quintillion-bytes-of-data-created-daily/

* http://www-01.ibm.com/software/data/bigdata/what-is-big-data.html

* IDC iView "Big Data, Bigger Digital Shadows, and Biggest Growth in the Far East," (Source: Break Through Analysis)

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Sep 24, 2016

Another day at work! Michael Smith, a recruiter drafts a well-defined job description related a new vacant position and posts it in his company’s profile pages in popular professional and social sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Michael anticipates to get responses from extremely talented passive/active job seekers for the open position which came up a day ago. He is waiting for social media to do all the magic and attract the most perfectly matching candidates whom he could interview. Is this how the cookie crumbles?

Sorry friend, that’s absolutely not the way.

 

84% of organizations are now recruiting on social media; only 56% companies were hiring on social media in 2011

 

- SHRM study, 2016

 

Yes, everybody is eager to source talent from the social media. After all, it must be very easy than conventional methods because the outreach is casual and everybody these days, including passive and active job seekers hangs out in social spaces?

Is it easy to integrate candidate social data with a company’s Application Tracking System? This is just one of the big questions that companies have to answer before jumping blindly on the bandwagon.

Limitations of Social Recruiting

Imagine a scenario where you are engaging with random candidates on social platforms looking for the right match. The main questions are -

1) Who is suitable for the open job position/s?

2) How do you judge who fits?

3) Is the candidate willing to join the company?

You would say the long years of experience and the skills portfolio are good enough qualifiers to shortlist candidates for interviewing. You might also trust your gut-feel when selecting candidates.

The truth is that finding right-fit talent doesn’t happen by chance or sheer luck even when recruiting through social sites. One needs to create and strengthen a niche pool of hand-picked talent and consistently engage with them in the social spaces. But wait a minute, you are still operating within the limited framework of these sites.

For example:

1) You might want to intimate a well-qualified candidate regarding a job opening but what if the candidate hasn’t accepted your connection request?

2) You cannot always capture the attention of prospective job seekers with 140 characters.

3) A prospective job seeker’s privacy setting might not let your contact him/her beyond a point on Facebook.

4) What about geographic limitations and security firewalls in different countries which might avoid you from contacting a desired candidate?

Absence of Exclusive Space to Converse with Potential Candidates

Have you figured out that one common prevalent problem in sourcing talent from social spaces? It is the absence of exclusivity to contact and converse personally with prospective job seekers whenever a recruiter wishes to and at any given point in time. And don’t forget, professional networking and social sites are also used by competitors. So you might easily miss out on the right candidates.

spend extra money to stretch their interaction with job seekers in social spaces by embarking on aggressive hiring campaigns or branding activities to grab attention.

Why Not Create Your Own Social Network and Leverage it for Talent Sourcing?

Instead, what if companies spent money to build and run their own social network site? A company would get a social talent ecosystem driven by a next-generation agile technology platform which first and foremost breaks down any type of candidate data from the internet and from any source in real-time; and unearths valuable insights for recruiting decisions. The platform could be used strategically by HR teams to connect and engage with future job seekers. It could be used to create a talent marketplace where job seekers and professionals converge for discussions and exchange of ideas.

The Spire contextual platform lets companies do just that! The advantages of having your own social ecosystem are many, few of which are enumerated below.

Build a qualified talent pipeline

79% job seekers use social media in their job search.

 

This figure increases to 86% for younger job seekers who are in the first 10 years of their careers.

 

- Glassdoor

 

Spire’s powerful Contextual Search & Match feature searches, sorts and validates profiles of relevant candidates from the entire internet, including social media sites. These candidates are attracted into the contextual talent social ecosystem where recruiters get to converse with them. Recruiters get comprehensive skills analytics which rank candidates on the basis of merit. A bank of rich resumes builds up and over time this pool can work wonders, especially in meeting the demands of a sudden hiring situation. Time-to-hire can be significantly reduced saving valuable recruiter effort.

Get Richer Insights with Analytics

The contextual social platform builds richer profiles of candidates by analyzing all of their social footprint data which lets companies validate candidates and learn more about their disposition and manners. By building richer candidate profiles, it becomes possible to source and choose relevant candidates even more precisely.

Personal Engagement, Knowledge Sharing and Career Mentoring Enhance Employer Branding

A strong employer reputation can woo passive candidates: 84% of survey participants would consider leaving their current company if another company with an excellent reputation offered them a job.

 

- Glassdoor

 

With the Spire contextual talent social platform, recruiters are no more limited to the frameworks and rules of third party social media sites. They get all the exclusive space and options they need, to enhance communication and engagement with potential job seekers. What’s more, candidates get career guidance and advice; or could get invited to company’s events and learn more. Employer branding comes free with a contextual social ecosystem.

Responsive Design Lets Users Access Talent Social Ecosystem from Any Device

The Spire contextual platform is a next-generation, cloud-hosted, agile technology interface which could be accessed from any device, any place and any time. We all know that most job seekers are hooked on their smart phones and working professionals are becoming more and more mobile. However, decisions on the run cannot be made without dependable data. Contextual analytics empowers professionals with evidence-based data analytics for faster and accurate decision making.

Positive Experience for Users at all Levels

 

83% of professionals say a negative interview

experience can change their mind about a role.

 

- LinkedIn

 

With a contextual talent platform, candidates no more have to fill up elaborate job application forms or struggle to get the phone numbers of HR employees of companies when aspiring to apply for jobs or following up on interviews. Recruiters can omit several cumbersome operational processes involving candidate screening and paperwork. The opportunity to converse personally in an informal environment builds congenial relationships instantly between recruiters and job seekers. Recruiters get to convert passive job seekers into active applicants and this positivity reflects in the organization.

Candidates get to become comfortable in a social style environment to learn more about a company and the luxury of recruiters reaching out to them whenever job openings arise.

Conclusion

Redefine your social strategy and leverage it for sourcing talent and connecting with target audience by creating an interactive talent marketplace of your own.

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Jun 30, 2016

89% of Glassdoor users are either actively looking for jobs or would consider better opportunities.

 

- Glassdoor U.S. Site Survey, January 2016.

 

How do companies and candidates find out how relevant they are to each other in today’s competitive environment?

In today’s digitally-driven, connected devices and uber-driven era, decisions are taken at a faster rate than ever before. There is no doubt that companies which are performing are using intelligent analytics and data-driven enterprise solutions. However, this is not possible without identifying the context of the data, without extracting the real meaning of data which is used to run the human resources function. Context adds true value, it is what understands data of any format and puts it in form. A contextually intelligent system extrapolates complex unstructured HR data types into decision-worthy analytics.

Therefore, in order to find best-fit talent for an organization, recruiters must be equipped with an intelligent platform that selects talent contextual to the business. This saves time and money. It not only implies enriched talent data, but also critical decisions, predictive analytics and strategic planning for HR.

Below are 7 reasons why your organization should be using a contextual intelligence platform, enabling HR to impact bottom line and strike operational excellence.

1) Source Only Relevant Talent from the Internet

Talent data is scattered all over the internet in various formats that one could imagine. A contextual talent social platform has the capability to search the entire world wide web and curate candidate data in an intelligent manner. It locates, validates profiles and brings them into an enterprise social ecosystem which recruiters could use further to engage with both active and passive job seekers in social style. One could easily guess the benefits of such a system. Build an on-tap qualified talent pool which is especially useful in on-demand hiring situations, resulting in reduced time-to-hire.

2) Predictive Analytics

Predictive models can track employee behaviors and desired traits; and identify patterns that indicate organizational strengths and weaknesses. For example, contextual analytics can identify the key traits required in top employees in Sales, measure existing skills proficiency levels and design training programs to fill skills gap.

3) Leverage Talent Data for Strategy

Contextual analytics empowers HR to have a seat in boardroom meetings when it comes to making decisions related to core business strategy. Contextual analytics contain a host of comprehensive insights that concern the relationship between existing talent output vis-à-vis investment decisions and business goals. Get key performance indicators of the entire organization and correlate them with strategic priorities; or assess the readiness of existing talent pool for planned initiatives.

4) Map Talent Needs Accurately

Imagine there's a critical project requiring specialized engineering skills for deployment at sites in South America. With contextual talent mapping, the concerned company can readily analyze which existing engineers have the proper skill set, which employees are fluent in Spanish, and whether contingent employees could be deployed on a contractual basis to complete the project? Contextual Search & Match maps skills to job requirements by qualifying skills on the basis of their richness and gaps. Such insights speed up decision making for efficient talent deployment

5) Create Qualified Talent Pipeline

Is your organization prepared to handle departures or retirements of significant high-level employees? Is there internal talent which has to be identified, groomed and challenged to assume senior roles in the future? With contextual analytics companies can identify next generation leaders, tailor the right training programs and develop organizational succession plans in real-time.

6) Efficient Recruitment

With contextual search and match, recruiters can search through hundreds of documents in minutes, not hours or days. The system pinpoints only the most relevant candidates based on skills metrics. It also ranks candidates in the order of their skills proficiency levels and work experience, also suggesting where else a candidate could be ‘Hired As’. Time-to-hire drops and better candidates get vetted, interviewed and hired.

7) Engage Potential Candidates Proactively

Contextual analytics allows companies to attract and personally engage with potential candidates who might or might not be in an active job search mode, in a social ecosystem of their own. A contextual social network drills through social media profiles and social footprint data giving richer insights about candidates. Recruiters get to engage with them, provide career advice, familiarize them with the company and send vacant job notifications. Forging relationships with these future employees shortens the recruiting process, saves time and builds employer brand.

HR data is meaningful only when it is interpreted and incorporated contextually to an organization in such a manner that it gives measurable outcomes and enhances business. Those HR leaders who understand the importance of context, enable their CEOs to make informed decisions. As the world forays into the IoE era and generates mind-blowing amount of data, the time is right to unleash the power of contextual intelligence analytics!

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Jun 26, 2016

“They all promise you the earth and tell you how they are unique ... but they work in the same way and deliver the same solution.”

- APSCo research

For candidates and hiring managers alike, recruiters and their teams are all too often seen as middlemen (or women) who moderate the hiring process.

There is often frustration on the part of applicants, managers and the recruiters themselves. Recruiters are often perceived as slowing down the process or focusing too much on the process. Many hiring managers incorrectly believe that recruiters can simply snap their fingers and present a deep pool of fully qualified, perfect candidates. The candidates believe that recruiters are blocking them from access to a hiring manager. "If only I can speak to Ms. Jones, I'm sure they'll love me," they think.

Recruiters Face a Significant Credibility Gap

Matt Charney, well-known top HR influencer in recruitingdaily.com, 2015 cites the frustrations faced by the current traditional recruitment structure.

"Recruiting, ultimately, all comes down to filling requisitions as cheaply and quickly as possible with the best talent you can both find and afford," he writes. "Of course, recruiting is easier said than done."

Charney argues, “What recruiters need is a new approach to their work, particularly with candidates. As he writes: When you’re recruiting, you don’t want top talent to think of you as another generic recruiter at another generic company peddling the same “employer bland proposition” as every other employer out there; when it comes to top talent, these talking points are likely to fall on deaf ears.”

“While recruiters don’t control compensation, culture fit or career growth – factors which most easily and expediently prompt candidates to take decisions, recruiters can definitely control personal presentation and style. This is one of the most meaningful competitive differentiator any recruiter out there has in their toolkit.”

Getting the Right Candidate for the Right Job at the Right Time is the Key Deliverable of a Recruiter

Another compelling way by which recruiters could enhance their professional value is by using the right technology tools which aid the hiring process in an intelligent manner.

Recruiters often get stuck with mundane problems because they depend on legacy technologies for selecting candidates. Recruiting teams within companies and external staffing agencies continue to use outdated Application Tracking Systems which haven’t kept pace with the digital age. These systems use simple keyword searches and most record updates are still done manually by the recruiting staff. These routine operations consume much of their valuable time and effort.

Getting the right candidate for the right job at the right time is the key deliverable of a recruiter which matters. And this is a common recruiter headache, a task that is easier said than done. Why?

Because it is impossible for an ATS to understand a resume the way a human recruiter does. All that it can do is to match keywords against job descriptions and fetch resumes. The more search term matches, the better. But that is not how a human recruiter reads resumes? A recruiter reads in between lines and figures the relationships between words, skills and work experience before taking the decision whether to shortlist a resume or not. And this process is manual. Given the fact that recruiters have to deal with huge volumes of resumes coming from various sources, it is impossible to read all of them to find the right fit candidates.

It is obvious that talent sourcing becomes cumbersome and time consuming. Companies and Hiring Managers don’t get relevant candidates for interviewing, a common and a somewhat unrecognized problem in the HR industry.

Contextual Technology Empowers Recruiters

Contextual technology tackles three problems with one solution. It could be used as a complement to any existing ATS or as a standalone platform.

Contextual Intelligence is based on capabilities which break down and zero in on the meaning of skills and work experience from talent data (resumes, job descriptions, cover letters, job boards, etc.). It reads, comprehends and interprets the relationships between the web of words the way human recruiters do. This results in the shortlisting and selection of the most relevant candidates for interviews.

For recruiters, a contextual talent acquisition platform solves three problems.

1) Gets right fit candidates

2) Saves time and costs

3) Saves operational effort

The frequency of interviewing relevant candidates also increases the interview-to-select ratio for Hiring Managers.

Recruiters can stop worrying about scouring hundreds of resumes and sticking to deadlines. A contextual platform is so agile that it can simultaneously process thousands of resumes of any format, and from any source at the same time. It can even search up to 1300 parameters at one go. It shortlists resumes in a matter of seconds by measuring skills and qualifying them in an intelligent manner.

Forward-thinking recruiters who can leverage contextual technology will become valuable partners of CHROs, Hiring Managers and candidates.

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Jun 22, 2016

• Job interview process worldwide has grown 3.3-3.7 days longer in recent years.

• Time-to-hire varies widely by country, from 22.1 days in Canada to 31.9 days in France.

• The choice of screening methods can have "a positive and statistically significant effect on job interview durations."

- Glassdoor, 2015

 

The hiring process is typically a slow slog for recruiters. It is frequently a linear process with a number of dependencies built in. For recruiters and hiring managers alike, these dependencies can bog down the pace. In many industries, times-to-hire are measured in months and quarters instead of in days and weeks.

Contextual Technology for Talent Acquisition

Using a Contextual Intelligence based platform or supplementing it with an ATS (Application Tracking System) accelerates the hiring process significantly and improves the quality of shortlisted candidates drastically. The technology has two unique capabilities which distinguish it from existing ATS and recruiting software.

1) Unstructured data comprehension

Given that HR data concerning recruiting such as resumes, job descriptions, application forms, videos, audio recordings, etc. is characteristically narrative in form and obtained from different sources such as job boards, career sites, social media; existing systems are unable to crack the depth and extent of skills, work experience and candidate intent in a measurable manner. In addition, narrative text is full of different meanings and the relationship between skills varies from resume to resume. Contextual technology deals with this complexity by deciphering the contextual meaning of words and their relationships. It comprehends data by breaking it down and quantifying the relationships between words the way a human mind works.

2) Contextual data analysis

Contextual technology interprets data (of any type) by measuring it up in different ways as analytics which give valuable insights hidden in the data. For example: richness of skills that candidates have in the form of comprehensive tag pyramids which rank skills proficiencies and various other parameters vis-à-vis job descriptions; and even vice versa! Another example: Candidate intent to join a job by way of engagement metrics. These analytics support decision makers with real-time evidence.

Let's take a closer look at the dependencies that slow the hiring process to a crawl and how contextual tools can eliminate the logjam.

Internal Candidate Assessment

In some organizations, to borrow a sports term, there's a ‘deep bench’ that reduces the risk of a key departure. If a high-level executive leaves, a successor is identified and ready to step in. Unfortunately, this is not the norm in most workplaces.

By using contextual tools together with robust talent development programs, companies can identify, track, measure and assess internal talent. When a vacancy occurs, the contextual solution can identify key skill sets already in place with talent, even if it is in a different part of the organization.

Creation of Job Descriptions, Candidate Screening and Handling Resume Volume

When a vacancy occurs, it's crucial that a hiring manager and recruiter work together to review, revise and refine the job description. However, often the creative and approval processes place those job descriptions on the back burner. Recruiters get slowed down from the start.

A contextual talent acquisition platform accelerates the process by using Contextual Search & Match; and measurements such as Richness Index. The Contextual Search is 95% accurate and bi-directional mapping i.e., resumes to job descriptions and vice versa is 80% accurate, resulting in the shortlisting of only relevant resumes.

In addition, a contextual hiring platform can process thousands of resumes in a matter of few hours and from multiple data sources simultaneously. It can search up to 1300 parameters at one go. All this reduces time-to-hire drastically and increases the interview-to-select ratio.

Contextual technology brings agility, accuracy, speed and intelligence to the mundane operational process of candidate screening and shortlisting.

Attracting Potential Candidates

In today's world, recruiters need to sell the idea of a potential job vacancy to suitable candidates, particularly in industries where demand outpaces supply. This can be arduous as it involves cold-calling, email blasts and reference networks. Imagine, however, if this work had been done well before a position was vacant? Contextual tools mine the entire world wide web, especially social media for potential candidates.

Companies get to create and maintain their own social ecosystem. The powerful and accurate Contextual Search locates, validates, attracts and engages with potential candidates in the system. As one might guess, candidates also learn about the brand, business outlook and values and might even get invited to company events. By forging and establishing relationships ahead of time, recruiters are a few steps ahead when a vacancy appears. It is quite likely that these candidates might get interested to apply when vacancies arise in the organization.

Scheduling Interviews and Hiring

Interview scheduling is a process that needs coordination at multiple points. Candidates need to be vetted over multiple rounds of phone calls, scheduled to meet interviewers at particular days and time, often over video or virtual discussions.

A premeditated social talent ecosystem comes handy here. It already contains resumes of candidates searched, validated and engaged. Engagement with the refined pool of candidate cuts weeks of mundane recruiting activities. Candidates who are moved along in the process already have a deeper understanding of the company and job role in advance, leading to more success in closing open job positions.

Tracking and Reporting Candidate Search Process

For particular job positions, there are internal or regulatory requirements regarding hiring. Companies and governments want to ensure that processes were fair, that diverse pools of candidates were considered and that there was no bias involved at each step of the process. Following these steps is a tiresome chore.

With contextual analytics built-in, it becomes possible for recruiters and hiring managers to generate the trails and metrics of recruitment data and analytics which were referred to before making hiring decisions. These measurable metrics are evidences of compliance as well.

With a Contextual Intelligence talent acquisition platform, recruiters can accelerate the pace of the hiring cycle, break down dependencies and ensure that talented candidates are interviewed, hired and onboarded on time at lesser costs and with much less effort.

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Jun 15, 2016

Application Tracking Systems

An Applicant Tracking System is a software used for recruitment purposes. It is used for managing applications for job positions; and to screen resumes and determine which candidates match job descriptions of vacant positions.

Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are supposed to be a cure-all for organizations wanting to better coordinate their talent acquisition systems and processes.

So why is it that so many web searches turn up article after article focusing on the flaws inherent in most ATS systems? Or that other searches teach applicants how to "game the system" with ATS functionality?

Let's take a look at three of the biggest inherent problems with Applicant Tracking Systems.

1) Inadequate search

One large firm found that the resumes of 3 out of 5 of their top engineers were screened out automatically by their ATS as not relevant.

- ERE Media

 

ATS systems have limited basic keyword search features which only match words to words without discerning the context of the search and match terms. They merely match keywords with those in resumes and fetch search results. This method is not intuitive and generally foregoes relevant resumes.

2) Outdated systems

In a test, one company created a perfect resume for an ideal candidate for a clinical scientist role, it scored a mere 43% relevance because the ATS it was submitted to misread it.

- Bersin & Associates

Many of the systems in use today have been in place for years, even decades, with little evolution or upgrading. Given that the nature of recruiting has changed dramatically in recent years, many systems simply do not mesh with the way HR works today.

3) Wrong focus

60% of applicants quit an online application because it was too complex or too long.

- CareerBuilder

When most systems were created, they met the core needs of recruiting. These systems stored and reported applicant data and ensured proper tracking for various compliance and internal policies.

Today, recruiters are as focused, if not more so, to engage with potential candidates. ATS systems are not built for the kind of real-time engagements that candidates expect today. While savvy HR and IT staffers can use exports and other programs to send blast emails and automate responses, most systems do not have the integrated functionality that aligns with recruitment in the 21st century.

There are many horror stories which highlight the rigidity of ATS systems. Here is one more.

As many as 75% of qualified job applicants are rejected by ATSs due to spurious reasons like incorrect resume formatting.

- Forbes

ATS Must Become Intelligent to Raise the Performance Quotient of Recruiters

Today's recruiters need systems that can do so much more. Here are a few of the needs of a sophisticated recruitment team.

1 ) Dynamic and Contextual Search: Recruiters need intelligent tools to search through unstructured data particularly narratives found in resumes, cover letters and resumes. They need tools which can quantify skills to support hiring decisions by accurately matching resumes to job descriptions so as to shortlist only relevant candidates based on their skills and professional experience.

Existing search functions merely match keywords which is a redundant way of searching since it does not comprehend the depth and relationships between skills nor professional experience.

1 ) Social Media Integration: Social media profiles are among the most valuable sources of information on candidates. Most systems, however, do not provide a viable way to integrate social media profiles with stored candidate data and their digital footprints. With so much recruitment done via social, this lack of functionality is a major hindrance.

Recruiting technologies have to evolve to be able to search and extract only relevant data from social sites, and enable seamless engagement with potential candidates. The challenge here is that the data must be up-to-date in real-time.

1) Scheduling and Communication: Another simple but important area of need is integration of an ATS with calendar and email systems. Seamless integration would work to improve efficiency and eliminate the risk of missing an appointment due to switching among programs. It will also keep the recruiting teams connected and updated eliminating manual intervention.

Get a Contextual ATS or Top it with a Contextual Technology Platform

The reason why contextual technology is the differentiator is that it can transform any ATS into an accurate, intelligent, powerful and reliable talent acquisition tool. What’s more, it helps reduce time-to-hire and increase interview-to-select conversion ratios. It gives measurable metrics to ease a recruiter’s life with intelligent automation.

A contextual platform enables an ATS to handle large volumes of resumes and shortlist only relevant ones by using powerful contextual search and match function. The technology has the capability to read and interpret talent data just the way expert human recruiters do. Bias is eliminated and shortlisting is accurate. Contextual technology gives 90% accuracy in search and 80% accuracy in bi-directional mapping of resumes to job descriptions and vice versa. These figures are the highest when compared to any existing systems.

It's very likely that all of these issues are on the wish list for a new ATS.

Read More..
Jun 08, 2016

Children today have grown up with the Internet being an integral part of their lives. Babies use tablets to swipe through games and interactive programs. Toddlers can navigate apps on a smartphone.

By the time children hit middle school, technology is a natural part of their everyday life, both in school and at home. And of course, they grasp on technological concepts faster than their parents.

How do you explain a concept such as Contextual Search to a 12-year-old child? By using the familiar to explain the abstract.

Let's take an imaginary look at how to describe Contextual Search to a 7th-grade classroom

....

"Good morning students! Today we're going to pick up where we left off yesterday, on ways to search using computer programs. We learned that there are many different ways. We use a search function to find a word or a phrase. We can search in a spreadsheet program for a number or any other entries we have made. We also search the web using search engines to find websites, images, news articles, people by using keywords.

"Now, let's take a step back and look at a different type of search, called Contextual Search. You might think of this as an intelligent search, because it differs from basic search in one major way. Contextual Search is all about getting the most precise and relevant results when searching.

Contextual Search is Intelligent

"Let's imagine you're going to spend some birthday money on completing your Pokémon card collection. You could Google Pokémon, right? But would that really help? No, it wouldn't. It would just give you pages and pages of results about Pokémon.

What if you could focus your search on Pokémon cards that you need and are for sale near you? How would you do that?

"Sure, you can search for each card individually, but you'd still get millions of results. ... Put all the cards you need in the search bar? Well, that might work, but would you find the ones that are for sale? How about those for sale near you?

"Now, imagine your search finds a massive database that has thousands of Pokémon cards listed, along with prices and where they are on sale. Pretty cool, right? This result is better, for sure, but you'd still need to figure out a way to find that information and grab it, right? What if you also found a word processing document that has cards, prices and locations listed, but not written in a table format, rather in long paragraphs that also detail how the writer feels about the Pokémon character? That's tough, isn't it!

Contextual Search Gets to the Meaning of the Query and Gets Only Relevant Results

"Contextual Search sets certain guidelines by generating the meaning of your query just the way you and I do, in a human-like manner. It searches through all kinds of data, including web pages, spreadsheets, databases, social sites, etc. and even those documents with lots of descriptive stuff you don't need. Because of these capabilities, it gives the most exact and sharper results.

Contextual Search pulls out the important stuff you want and lets the search tool hone in on just the results that are relevant to you by contextualizing, by giving it the meaning of the search term as you meant in your mind! It helps save your time by delivering just the results you need to complete your collection. What's even cooler is that some Contextual Search programs can easily search both what's called Structured Data, like what's found in tables with rows and columns, and what's called Unstructured Data, such as in a narrative document.

"Can you see know how Contextual Search will let you find what you need faster? Great! There's the bell. Class dismissed."

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Jun 02, 2016

Data Literacy is increasingly becoming a critical imperative for decision-making. To succeed today, c-suite executives in particular need to become comfortable, conversant, critical and confident in the understanding of their organizational data and use the knowledge for making decisions.

The growing roles of Big Data, powerful analytic platforms and the need for predictive dashboards are driving this need. Human Resources is no exception to this requirement.

For too long, HR has been clichéd as a paper-based organization. The truth is that HR is the custodian of an organization’s vital talent data. People and their skills are at the center of any business and everything about the employee force is integral to any decision making. Organizations who understand this importance treat their HR data with utmost importance. The first step towards this is to be able to quantify the data so that their metrics and analytics could be used make better decisions.

HR is More About Applying Business Acumen and Talent Strategy by Aligning Talent Force

HR can no more be paper-based and about being nice. HR is more about applying business acumen and aligning the entire talent force to culture and strategies. All this begins with becoming data literate first and Data Literacy starts with having data to be literate about!

Realizing the vital role of HR data and its unexplored applications, more and more companies are beginning to incorporate robust metrics systems by using digital technologies. These platforms are expected to measure and report valuable analytics on aspects such as time-to-hire, cost-to-hire, attrition rates, performance by department, leadership pipeline and training impact.

HR Data Literacy - Asking the Right Questions

Data literacy is the ability to read, create and communicate data as information and has been formally described in varying ways.

-

Wikipedia definition

As a recent Forbes article noted, data literacy is about looking at data and being able to "ask the right questions and seek the right assistance to accomplish the goal."

Data Analysis Falls in Three Core Sectors

1)Transformation: Analytics aggregate, quantify, compute and analyze data. They give comprehensive insights, make predictions and guide decisions with enriched information. For example: how rich is a resume in terms of skills and candidate experience?

2)Learning: Regression Analysis delves into the relationship between bits of data. In case of HR, especially this process is complex since we are dealing with unstructured data. For example: Much of HR data exists in the form of words whose exact relationships have to be discerned.

3)Predict: Simulations and dashboards help test models and what-if scenarios to determine which selections to make from a range of choices. For example: what decision to take with regard to an investment based on available skills and expertise levels?

Applying Data Literacy to Human Resources

A Boston Consulting Group survey of 3,507 participants revealed that top-performing HR offices focus on data literacy in several ways. Each of the following observations relies heavily on data literacy to drive more efficient and effective HR functions, including:

1)Better performance: Companies with strong HR capabilities in analytics, among other areas, have a stronger financial performance.

2)Seat at the table: HR departments that use analytics and metrics- based KPIs are more likely to be engaged in strategic organization-wide discussions.

3)Data decisions: HR departments with analytics develop better strategies and make better investment decisions. They also use data to prioritize how to address the most urgent HR challenges.

Contextual Talent Analytics Arm CXOs with Hard Evidences

HR data is tricky. Why? Because it exists in unstructured form; unstructured because existing technologies cannot comprehend quantify nor comprehend it well enough due to the fact that it exists in various formats. For example: talent data such as resumes, job descriptions, professional experiences, performance evaluations, etc. exist in narrative forms such as word docs, ppts, pdfs, txts, images, audio, video, comments, tweets, blogs and an array of digital footprints. This form of data cannot be contained in spreadsheets and tabulated assessments. The challenge is to decipher this ocean of multi-format data and generate meaning out of it. As one can guess, this is easier said than done.

Contextual technology has the unique capability to comprehend unstructured data and analyze it contextually. This is because it has the power to give narrative text or any form of data its ‘context’ which is similar to how a human mind discerns words. Contextual technology can break down HR data of any type and from any source. It drills down, sorts, analyzes patterns, quantifies, computes and gives in-depth analytics full of valuable insights. Contextual talent analytics arm CXOs with hard evidences necessary for informed decision-making.

The Spire contextual talent platform has proven to result in -

1)50% cost savings

2)40% time saving

3)9% increase in revenue

Make the most of HR data by using a contextual technology platform.

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May 29, 2016

Marcy has joined an IT recruitment consultancy and this is her third job. Marcy has a high aptitude in social media and an academic background in Media & Communications. Marcy has been connecting with many relevant professionals in her social networks and keeps conversations alive by discussing industry news, career growth and events.

One fine day, her Manager informs her that a client is in dire need to recruit a Senior Product Architect. Marcy does not fret! She simply checks her network of candidates and contacts the appropriately qualified ones while proposing the new job opening. Few candidates respond and within a week her consultancy’s client shortlists, interviews and chooses the most suitable candidate. They have found their Senior Product Architect!

Marcy leveraged the social media as an extension of her professional aptitude. With the help of her existing engagement with professionals, she was able to meet the client’s need in a short time.

Personalized connections are stronger and make a conversation more reliable and trustworthy. Marcy understands this. Companies could too and do this in a bigger way.

The Internet is your Source

Every day millions of people use Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram to connect with others. Inadvertently, these social platforms are also the largest available talent resources. People also write blogs, hang out in Q&A Forums, express opinions and create videos on YouTube - leaving behind digital footprints. A well-written blogger might be a candidate for a Digital Content Writer. A well-answered question in a Technology Forum might be considered as input for a company’s Enterprise Product.

iring Managers are marketing and engaging in popularizing brand and attracting target audience – their future employees. Have you noticed how unknown people with recruitment backgrounds try to connect and socialize with you in your networks? And share job opportunities occasionally? However, there are two serious limitations here.

1) Companies have to abide by the rules of the social media platforms and operate only within those limits.

2) The internet is filled with data in all types of formats. Candidate data is distributed all over randomly. How does one fish out relevant candidates?

While it seems very easy to leverage social media sites and the rest of the internet to source talent, the truth is that there is a lack of right technologies to discern all of the data out there and give it ‘context’.

Contextual Intelligence Understands Talent Data

What kind of technology will be employed to collect and process the data? What is an organization going to do after collecting all the data? Is it easy for companies to integrate the data with their existing ATS systems to shortlist the right candidates? These are the real questions which companies need to answer before assuming that they could leverage social media very easily.

Data on the internet is extremely random as we know it. Candidate data is all over. There are word documents, ppts, pdfs. Digital footprints could be tweets, posts, blogs, video or audio files. How does one sort through these formats in the first place, and then make sense out of it?

Contextual Intelligence technology is the answer. It has the capability to make sense from any type and format of data. The technology works by ‘contextualizing’ data first, i.e., identifying the meaning of words and their relationships the way a human recruiter would comprehend candidate data when surfing the internet. It simplifies the entire process of collecting the right data contextually.

Companies can create their own social ecosystems by using a contextual intelligence platform. It gives freedom to design and calibrate the social system as per a company’s own rules and preferences when compared to a typical social media platform. Recruiters can begin engaging with relevant candidates who have been sourced from the entire web!

Benefits of using Contextual Intelligence for Talent Sourcing

1) Build a cloud-hosted social talent ecosystem as per a company’s own preferences and business rules. The interface could be accessed from any device as well making it the friendliest for potential candidates to engage with.

2) Get only the best and relevant talent. This becomes easy since contextual technology scours the entire internet and fishes out only the most relevant candidate data in an intelligent manner.

3) The contextual platform gives in-depth metrics such as Engagement Index and Richness Index, which help HR professionals to assess their engagement levels and richness of candidate profiles for particular job openings.

4) Engage with potential candidates in social style and get them acclimatized to company outlook, brand and values.

5) Build a potential talent bank of qualified candidates which could be accessed for on-demand hiring.

6) With a ready pipeline of candidates, time-to-hire can be drastically reduced.

7) Build employer brand and goodwill. Spread the word!

8) Reduce placement agency costs

By developing meaningful relationships with passive and active job seekers in the pre-application phase, recruiters get an edge over competitors. No more last minute hiring, no more compromises or biases.

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May 25, 2016

Rules are meant to be broken! Not always isn’t it? However, rules can be bent. They can be tweaked and fine-tuned to suit circumstances. A rule which is suitable in a certain instance might be unsuitable for another.

Joe is your new Insights Manager with a designated team under him. Stella, who previously held this position had built this team and was accustomed to everyone’s abilities and downsides. Since she left, Joe has been made responsible for handling the team. You cannot assess Joe on the basis of Stella since they are two different people. What Joe can give your company and the team would be very different from what Stella did.

Skills, capabilities and knowledge are contextual to each individual. Performance-based appraisals should be based on individual merits rather than comparisons based on bias and pre-defined norms.

Human Resource (HR) professionals would agree that the overall available skills in their organizations are scattered and uneven. In order to measure and record such huge potential base, businesses should need intelligent and contextual tools.

Talent Analytics - the Missing Link

Companies put a lot of effort in preparing elaborate sales analysis, financial reports, customer orders, etc. to capture business performance. Are these assessments enough? Something very important is missing here and that is talent analytics which influences all of the rest! For how will a company deliver and perform without its talent pool?

Employees are at the center of any organization and employee data is diverse. It comprises of skills, experiences, strengths, weaknesses, academic qualifications and much more. This ever-changing data stream is a gold mine of insights which remains unexplored and unutilized due to the lack of right technologies. What is worse, companies still do not recognize the urgent importance of exploring their talent data in a smart and scientific manner and leverage the findings for the mutual benefit of everyone.

Why Talent Analytics?

1) 90% of HR Data is unstructured and unexplored

Human Resources deal with humungous volume of data which keeps increasing with time. All of this data cannot just stay there wasted. Companies receive thousands of resumes, generate hundreds of job descriptions, document employee appraisals every year and conduct L&D programs on a continuous basis. But how much of all this data is contextualized?

2) Lack of tools to capture the diversity of talent data

Employee data by its very nature is diverse. Resumes contain skills and experience information which are the prerequisites for performance. Yet, how well are skills understood and used? Are the rightly skilled employees fitted in the right jobs ? What about evolving skills? Can all these be quantified?

3) Empower critical business decisions

Decisions which CXOs take have ‘talent’ in the background - whether it is investing in a new facility; accepting a new project from a customer; or planning for the future. These decisions need talent analytics in real-time which give deeper insights. For example: Exactly what kind of skills and how many employees will be required to complete a project flawlessly and on time? Can a particular project team be transferred to another location smoothly? How much can a company afford to invest in a new facility based on the availability of skills?

Limitations of Existing HR Systems

Existing HR technologies are extremely limited in their comprehension of HR data. They require human intervention from time-to-time.

For example: Despite having ATS systems, recruiters still record job statuses and shortlisted resumes manually in the system. Recruiters cannot depend on automated systems to shortlist resumes since they perform only basic keyword searches. HR systems do not help in succession planning either as they are not designed to give in-depth skills or performance analytics.

Get Talent Analytics with Contextual Inteligence for Business Decisions

Contextual Intelligence technology generates contextual meaning from any type of data of any format. This is an unavoidable necessity for HR data since it is unstructured by its very own nature. Talent data comes in various formats and sources. Docs, pdfs, ppts, txt, mpegs, audio, video, tweets, comments, likes and more.

HR technologies must be capable of comprehending meanings of words from any random text and quantify this context. Spire’s contextual intelligence platform breaks down unstructured talent data, quantifies it and gives contextual analytics of the same. It deep dives and gives in-depth analytics which contain insights of value.

CXOs get a wide range of talent analytics starting from sourcing, acquisition, planning, deployment and even predicting what-if scenarios related to organizational capacity planning. In short, contextual talent analytics help strategists make informed HR decisions.

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May 18, 2016

“In the connected world, customers are no longer just a number or account; they are unique human beings with a distinct set of needs.”

- Robert Scoble, Age of Context: Mobile, Sensors, Data and the Future of Privacy

Well, work or no work, life is contextual. What seems perfect for you might be imperfect for someone else. This is a basic fact of life and yet how to ingrain this idea into technology remains a persistent challenge.

Have you noticed why a particular company has specific management rules in a particular location and why these change in another geographical location? We have to understand that societies, culture and practices are different in different places. Countries across the globe have different economic scenarios and values.

For global corporations, implementing organization-wide enterprise solutions is extremely challenging because the management teams do not realize and recognize the ‘context’ of each different place. Enterprise technologies need to learn this contextual difference and bend accordingly.

Get Contextual

Imagine you have a twin sibling. Both of you wish to pursue science as a major subject. While Astrophysics fascinates you, your twin is inclined to Biochemistry. What if your twin was forced to follow your dreams? Would you pursue Biochemistry? Now imagine the failure out of disinterest and forced choices. Disappointing, meaningless and a wastage of resources – time, money and effort.

A reigning restaurant chain owner in the U.S. food industry plans to enter the South Asian market. To grab the target audience, the owner will have to find out how price conscious people are in this part of the world. When do they like to eat their meals and what does each meal constitute? Yet, unless the owner offers newer options with local spices and condiments that the South Asian population is habituated with, the chances of success are lesser.

When buying a car, the European customer is likely to take a decision based on the safety factor, while an Indian will definitely zero in on the price point. Hierarchies, gestures, values, body language all differ from place to place. What about unspoken rules and assumptions which might be playing havoc in the inter-personal relationship between you and your colleague across the border?

Expecting employees across the globe to respond uniformly to say an enterprise technology implementation is asking too much. Successful decision-making is possible with contextual data analytics of each place; and the accommodation of options which show how best success could be achieved by adapting contextually at each place; thereby also planning in advance the necessary steps, possible risks and mitigation involved.

Contextual Intelligence

Contextual Intelligence is the capability to explore and apply extracted knowledge (contextual analytics) from any or all of relative data.

Quantification of data is a prerequisite process of contextual technology.

The challenge here is that not all of available data can be quantified since not all of it exists in forms that machines are used to comprehend i.e., in numeric form, typically referred to as Structured Data. Data also exists in non-numeric forms like random textual data; including data from social media and digital footprints; audio and videos. This is referred to as Unstructured Data. Making meaning from this type of data requires advanced algorithmic technology which comprehends human language – words and their relationships - intelligently.

Contextual technology reaches even the darkest corners of data and gives analytics of great value.

Imagine being able to quantify the contents of a book or a research report and generate meaning out of it? Imagine applying this intelligence to real life situations for better outcomes? As can be seen, organizations are missing out on valuable insights from their Unstructured Data.

Another example. You have a huge collection of books that are of importance for your research work submission. Your supervisor has asked you to pen down a paper for an upcoming conference. How do you find data from the books, notes and journals that is relevant to the paper? Of course you could do it manually on the one hand. On the other hand, contextual technology could that for you! Filter out only that data which is relevant to the topic. Only those notes, words, sentences and paragraphs from all of the available data (books, notes, journals) ‘relevant’ to the topic you wish to write. You will also get insightful analytics from the extracted intelligence. This is the significance of context.

In a nutshell –

• Contextual Intelligence analytics show why one particular environment is successful while another is not. Context is Requirement specific.

• Contextual Intelligence saves time, costs and operational effort.

• Contextual analytics influences decision making with hard evidences in real-time

• A complicated conclusion is made easy with contextual insights and data.

Everything that we do in our daily lives, the way we think, the way we react is contextual. Without ‘context’ we tend to drift away from any relevant idea. Using intelligent tools to unearth the contextual meaning out of any content is the call of the day. It is the new frontier in Artificial Intelligence.

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May 13, 2016

"You can't judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree!”

Interestingly, this obvious assertion finds significant relevance in the HR industry when it comes to fulfilling the burgeoning demand of resources to satisfy the talent needs of various industries across verticals.

The plethora of candidate sourcing channels and hiring platforms make it obvious that recruiters in an organization seldom make efforts to reach out to candidates but often frequently than not, they are unable to achieve the expected relevance of their hiring.

Now the vital question is - What is it that we need to do to get the right candidates i.e., to find and bring the best fit for a company? Before we dig deeper into this question, we have to understand 3 key factors that companies are looking for in a candidate:

1) Desirable Skills

2) Relevant Experience

3) Quick Adaptability

All these 3 factors amalgamate to form the base of what we call "Contextual Intelligence”.

Contextual Intelligence in Talent Sourcing

Diversity of talent pool can be broadly thought of as a measurable difference among various candidates based on skills, geographies, verticals, experience etc. For a long time, analysing a candidate's fitment for a job has been a tedious process requiring human intervention.

It typically involves going through the candidate’s profile and making an educated guess about shortlisting, interview scheduling and releasing offer.

Over time, there has been an exponential growth in the number of - candidates available, availability of various jobs and the combination of skills required. This situation cries for a solution which has the ability to segregate candidates, jobs, roles and enables easier decision-making process for HR. The challenge is to understand the right context for a particular job and accordingly pull out the best fit candidates.

Skills and Experience – Not as Easy to Discern by Recruiters

An organization might decide to hire from locally available talent pool but due to increased globalization efforts going on in almost all of the major multinational corporations, this factor is slowly diminishing. Hence making contextual intelligence technology an even more prudent choice.

Skills are mostly mutually related and hence make it difficult to be comprehended. Drawing their correlations manually has limits. We require automated systems which can look for related skills and keep on enhancing the corpus.

Experience, on the other hand too has to be relevant for the particular job and as per requirement. Adaptability of a candidate in an organization depends on what kind of roles he/she has undertaken, performed the best and so on.

Unarguably, recruiters can't go through all the candidate profiles to find out the above mentioned facets – skills and experience - and that is where Contextual Intelligence kicks in.

Contextual Intelligence Helps Take Correct Approach: Saves Time, Money and Brings Value

Contextual Intelligence analyzes unstructured candidate data as per requirements which vary from company to company. It paves the way for organizations to set their own parameters, benchmarks and criteria in the hiring process. It substantially takes into account the hiring scenarios, timelines and candidate data at large to filter out results which come handy for recruiters, not just in the present but also in the future.

The advent of social media and professional networks makes it compelling for recruiters to reach out for candidates in these channels too. The horizon of Contextual Search and Intelligence accommodate all of the changing trends of recruitment.

Constant improvement in the methodologies is what defines efficiency and indeed, we need to keep on distilling the parameters and thought process. The motivation behind Contextual Intelligence in the area of talent mapping adheres to the fact that taking a correct approach while hiring saves time, money and more importantly brings value to the company.

Context-based search brings intelligence to the long-lasting pursuit of suitable candidates and in talent mapping, a space which requires meaningful data and not just any data.

The funny part is - what is meaningful and what is not? Even this is a variant of time, organization and geography! Turns out to be challenging, isn’t it?

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May 11, 2016

Do you often find yourself surfing through horoscope sites and sun sign readings just to find out how well your day will go? Are you feeling lucky today? What is the color of your shirt? We all know that these predictions are hogwash. We very well know that no astrologer or psychic sits in the newspaper office and reads crystal balls. They don’t know you! They have no iota of data about you and yet how could they predict what is right or wrong for the thousands of readers.

But, what when data is available? Can someone predict a possible outcome on the basis of it?

Guesswork and Gut Feel: The Cost of Unquantified Decisions Runs High in HR

“I like this candidate. He is ambitious and is surely a go-getter!”

“We need to build a new team of 100 software engineers in our New Jersey location. Talent is easily available there. Last year, it was very easy to set up the new facility.”

“Now that Cisco has finished the training for our admin team, we will have no more problems in networking with our colleagues in China”.

These are few of the typical lines one hears from the HR personnel. And things go wrong often. Candidates don’t turn out as expected. Communication problems still exist between colleagues across borders and it might just not be possible to find the right talent at the right time for the right position.

All of the above are assumptions which have never proven right for HR. And for a long time, HR industry has been smitten with assumptions and gut feels. Point is, decisions have to be based on data and evidences which reflect hard facts. The biggest gap that HR suffers is in not being able to quantify talent data so as to be able to make the right decisions. And talent is a dynamic force. It is always changing. People – their talent, skills, attitude, dispositions, psyche.

 

Predictive Analytics with Contextual Intelligence

Predictive Analytics is the branch of the advanced analytics which is used to make predictions about unknown future events. The data mining and text analytics along with statistics, allows the business users to create predictive intelligence by uncovering patterns and relationships in both the structured and unstructured data.

- predictiveanalyticstoday.com

Here is the catch. Structured and unstructured data!

Most HR data is unstructured in nature, data types and textual data which cannot be easily quantified by traditional systems for the purpose of computation. Yet, unless technology crosses this frontier, much of the data in the world will remain unexplored.

The human mind’s capability to discern data and understand the same word differently in different contexts is in-built in a Contextual Intelligence platform; supplemented with cloud computing and powerful algorithms which ensure that data interpretation is as precise as possible.

Predictive analytics with contextual intelligence empowers HR leaders to assess the value of their existing and future investments in comparison to their talent competence and goals.

Contextual Intelligence helps decision makers to predict results by testing different ‘what-if’ scenarios by way of dashboards in real-time until their assumed inputs are fine-tuned enough to give desired results vis-à-vis detailed analytics on talent (skill and gap) capabilities. This way business leaders could understand risks and plan mitigation in advance.

Predictive analytics is like the red flag blown by station master to indicate any disarranged tracks ahead. Doesn’t your organization need an intelligence which quantifies and measures talent data to the last detail and offers a dashboard of all possible scenarios. for decision making?

From identifying best performers and their leadership styles; planning as per employee capabilities in real-time; robust resource utilization to how much to invest – all of this and much more can be predicted in real-time with predictive analytics and contextual intelligence.

Think again! Where do you wish to go? The astrologer or contextual intelligence?

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May 07, 2016

After lagging behind other business areas for far too long, human resources is finally embracing the digital landscape in which we all live and work. This so-called ‘Digital HR’ sounds sexy enough. New technologies will make it easier to manage people who make an organization what it is. Databases will empower everything from candidate sourcing to annual evaluations to exit interviews.

While Digital HR is certainly going to change how work is done in the HR (human resources) arena, it is not a cure-all for some of the problems that have continually plagued the industry. There is still a critical need for HR to take a long and hard look at operations used in day-to-day work. HR Managers need to address the highly labor-intensive, often inefficient mechanics behind so many core HR functions. Without doing so, HR departments are likely to continue to be buried in mounds of paper, antiquated filing systems and poor use of staff resources.

So how does HR not become blinded by the bright lights of shiny new technology? Let's look at a few steps HR organizations need to take to ensure that the focus remains on operational excellence first, not just on fancy bells and whistles.

Operational excellence involves a rigorous commitment to systems, principles and tools that look to continuously improve an organization. It is also about creating key performance metrics that drive business outcomes, the analysis of those metrics, and feeding the results back for continuous improvement. For HR organizations, operational excellence makes staff more efficient, allowing them to focus on core strategic work and not on less crucial, time-intensive errands.

The Importance of Technology Which Quantifies HR Data

In general, HR has largely lagged in technology adoption, limited to outdated systems which do not necessarily make life easy for HR in their operations. Also, many existing systems are not interoperable with new systems. For HR staff, this means double work. The biggest need thereby is to carefully construct need assessments and quantify existing HR data in the first place that all these systems use. How is all this being done now? What would an ideal state look like?

These questions need to be answered before adopting any technology. In addition, the conversion of data in existing systems must be factored into the equation. Are new systems a replacement or an addition? What implications would all this have on the staff and financial resources?

Data Collection and Data-driven Decisions

So many areas of corporate life today are focused on metrics, KPIs and other quantifiable measures. HR needs to evolve in a similar way to gain credibility and show the impact on bottom line. CHROs have to determine with the top management what will be measured and why those measures are meaningful. It is then up to the CHROs to implement the operational processes that make that quantification possible. Technology can certainly assist in this step, but not until there is clarity on what is to be measured and why.

Focus on People with Contextual Intelligence

Too often, HR has been very process-driven, with little focus on the human aspects in their relationships with employees. Take employee evaluations. Days are spent discussing the number of questions, the structure of those questions, the measuring system to be used and the trainings on ‘how to use the new form.’ The focus is on the mechanics, not on the people. It may be counterintuitive, but technologies such as Contextual Intelligence actually lets HR focus on people instead. Systems have to be centered around people, their managers and the experience of performance evaluations. Instead of elaborating the procedure, the focus should be to simplify the process and eliminate unnecessary steps.

Digital HR is certainly going to transform the workplace. To do so effectively, however, CHROs and CEOs will need to together figure out how all of their routine operational procedures could be simplified and eliminated if possible. They can surely expect cost savings, time saving and operational efficiency.

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May 04, 2016

Spreadsheets filled with columns and rows can track all types of data, from sales figures to grades to baseball card collections. Share of the power of spreadsheets and databases is that their data is structured. In turn, structured data can be quantified, a process by which the numbers are aggregated, crunched, added, averaged and reported.

For HR, structured data is far less frequent. A great deal of information is trapped in resumes, cover letters, CVs, performance evaluations and performance improvement plans. This narrative information is unstructured, making it more difficult to quantify.

The Need for Quantified HR Data

Quantified HR data is crucial in providing the most comprehensive details of departmental performance. To do so, requires establishing clear metrics that measure each aspect of the enterprise, including talent sourcing, on-boarding, performance management, leadership development, training, retention and employee satisfaction. Having these metrics provides hard evidences, which in turn provides many advantages discussed below.

  • Changing Behavior
    Sharing metrics broadly, particularly ranked metrics gives employees a visible comparison of their existing and developing skills. Particularly for high-performing, committed employees, shared metrics can be a considerable motivator and a reference guide for succession planning.

  • Improving Productivity
    Measuring the ratio of employee costs to total revenue is a proxy to assess the impact of hiring, training and supporting costs.

  • Business Impact
    Metrics allow HR to show the financial impact of their actions, such as average days open for jobs, revenue per employee and turnover reduction efforts.

  • Better Understanding with Evidence-based Data
    Metrics enable HR to advice the top management regarding investments, future planning and talent culture with evidential data. They are able to better illustrate their work and its importance to the organization.

  • Strategic Value
    HR is by nature a strategic function simply because it deals with people who are at the center. Investing in people is an expensive area for many businesses, therefore it is imperative for HR to demonstrate its value. Focusing on metrics related to productivity, retention and employee relations can add tangibility in decision-making for leaders and decision-makers.

The Relevance of Context

Now, imagine that in addition to all the quantified and analytical metrics of textual data, you can add ‘contextual flavour’ to it! Spire’s contextual intelligence platform has the unique capability to extract the ‘context’ or ‘relevance’ of any type of HR data to the organization it belongs to. Due to this, it makes talent analytics highly reliable and accurate. This process works exactly like a human mind.

With Contextual Search and Match, recruiters can quickly shortlist the most relevant resumes from any database against job descriptions in a matter of few hours. In-depth skill analytics of available candidate pool and submitted applications can be presented as metrics. Performance evaluations can be mined to determine key employee skills and their scope to further strengthen areas where broader exploration of performance is needed.

Spire’s Contextual Search outperforms industry norms. Today, 90% of talent data is unstructured. Spire’s contextual search has a 95% accuracy rate in parsing even the most complex structures of unstructured data. The technology has an 80% success rate in matching resumes to job descriptions. It also does this bi-directionally to sharpen and hone ‘context’.

Quantified HR Data is Hard Evidence for Key Decision Makers

Before HR migrates to the digital, it is imperative for the organization to be able to quantify their data more than ever. Data cannot just rest but has to be sorted, broken down, quantified, analysed, understood and interpreted in the ‘context’ of the organization. And the right tool for this is Contextual technology. It provides the necessary support for quantification and application of HR data and brings true credibility to the HR vertical by demonstrating in the form of analytics and valuable insights for broader and strategic management of human capital supply chain in alignment with corporate goals.

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Apr 29, 2016

Digital HR is thrown around repeatedly these days as ‘the next big thing’ in human resources. Bringing technology to antiquated systems and processes to a somewhat hitherto neglected world of HR, is touted to revolutionize HR.

Yet HR offices are also seeing increasing pressure to develop better measures. ‘Quantified HR’ is causing departments to completely relook at the ways in which routine tasks are done in great detail and what defines success.

While the digital future is welcome, HR professionals need to ask themselves one core question: Does Digital HR really matter more than Quantified HR?

Definitions – Digital HR and Quantified HR

Before we answer the above question, defining these jargons would be helpful.

‘Digital HR’ refers to the growing use of social media, mobile technology, analytics and cloud computing in standalone and networked services of the HR function. Whether through CRM platforms, apps, or integrated collection and outreach tools; HR is moving, slowly, into the same realm that other verticals in the same business have been in for many years.

‘Quantified HR’ reflects the growing emphasis and reliance on using data-driven processes. These processes collect, capture, analyze and act upon data related to recruitment, engagement, employee satisfaction, leadership development, professional development, employee assessment, retention and other HR functions. Quantified HR also covers the growing use of metrics to measure and assess the effectiveness of HR functions.

Back to the question. The key issue is one, we believe, of sequencing. One cannot effectively begin to use Digital HR tools unless time has been spent developing and mastering the rigor around quantification. Without concrete measures, and the tools to collect and capture those measures, Digital HR is merely bells and whistles. It's icing on top of a flavorless cake.

One needs to acknowledge the importance of data and the hidden value in it. What exactly does a data-driven HR enterprise look like? Below are a few snapshots.

Multiple Sources of HR Data

To truly assess the impact of robust HR practices on the bottom line, companies need data from

multiple sources. This means correlation. For example, retention data against sales goals, results and managers. It means tracking the cost of recruitment, onboarding and training with financial information across departments and divisions. It requires clubbing of promotions and bonus structures to measures of employment efficiency, turnover, and even satisfaction. It allows organizations to assess the loss of key employees in financial terms and impact on overall strategic plans.

Unknown Insights from HR Metrics Can Upgrade HR’s Scope to Strategy

There are certain metrics which HR is used to obviously quantify such as retention and turnover rates, costs and time-to-hire. However, to truly be agile and robust, HR must dive deeper and fish out various other metrics and interpret their meaning in context to the organization. For example, employee absences? Are these a symptom of other issues? How do employee satisfaction surveys correlate to retention and promotion factors? How does productivity relate to employee engagement? By digging further into what HR metrics are and what they mean, the HR staff will not only gain credibility, but is likely to gain more buy-in for suggested changes.

Quantitative Impact: Data Literacy

Quantified HR is about getting the fundamentals correct! It is about having a firm grasp on the core functions of a modern HR shop and ensuring that processes are policies are shaped by what the data says. By focusing on measurements, HR departments will be better able to leverage the power inherent in Digital HR. While both are important, it's imperative that quantification comes first. Data literacy must be the first pursuit.

What after metrics? Data analysis and interpretation follow quantification. In the next step, HR needs to look for intelligent interpretation of numbers and meanings of random unstructured HR data. Technologies which break down, analyze, understand and interpret HR data the way expert HR professionals do within seconds. Contextual technology is the frontier.

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Apr 27, 2016

Consumers continuously form opinions on products; from bananas to batteries to cars to clothes, based on experience and impressions they gather from names and products of companies every day. These constructs are ‘brands’. Ultimately, it is brand recall that matters in the business world. It is just about how a particular product is perceived and what it means to customers.

Social sites are the most obvious and easiest places to be at and to get noticed. Everybody hangs out in social spaces to converse and connect with people in an informal and facilitated digital environment. Since the outreach is good, social sites are ideal for organized branding and hiring campaigns.

Social Sites Are Ideal Platforms for Human Resources to Forge Connections with Their Audience

Companies connect with a wide range of their audience. Future and existing employees, customers, vendors, board members, executives and more.

Increasingly, in today’s digital world, most people and professionals take job decisions based on their impressions on possible employers, often through interactions and virtual conversations. They show interest in companies which have active presence in social media.

Since social media is informal and attractive, it is an unavoidable place of advantage for HR. HR is a critical and strategic part of corporate branding. Why? Because the key stakeholders – people (existing employees and future employees) are at the center. It is their talent and skills which drive performance. What they think and feel about companies has an influential impact.

Companies must definitely leverage social sites for bigger benefits. The flip side is that companies have to comply and operate within the rules of these social media platforms.

Companies Can Create Their Own Unique Social Ecosystems with Talent Social

Spire recognizes the importance of ‘context’ in businesses and pioneered Contextual Intelligence technology, which has been instantiated in the HR domain.

Talent Social recognizes the dire importance of social recruiting. It lets companies create their own social talent ecosystem with the purpose to locate, identify, attract, engage, validate and convert passive job seekers into potential employees. It gamifies and enables the idea of recruiting in the contemporary social style for businesses. The advantage is that companies can create and include their own business rules in the interface. Employer branding comes free and as would guess, recruiting costs and recruiter effort get reduced.

Contextual Intelligence is the Distinguishing Factor of Talent Social’s Social Sourcing Capabilities

While it is very convenient to say that social sites could be used to attract candidates, one misses out on the actual gravity of the process. Apart from those who voluntarily respond, wouldn’t it be empowering to search all the social sites and attract professionals into the social platform to get the best and relevant talent? Talent Social does this. It scours not only social spaces, but also the entire internet which contains thousands of digital footprints – richer data related to job seekers, their skills and behaviour.

Talent Social uses Contextual Intelligence technology which has the capability to make sense from any type and format of data, especially which is typically textual in nature and hard for conventional systems to decipher. It is an enterprise solution for recruiting and engaging with future candidates. With interactive features and metrics such as Engagement Index and Richness Index, HR professionals develop cordial relationships with potential candidates. There are high chances that these candidates respond when job openings arise.

Qualified Pool of Resumes, Relevant Candidates, Cost Savings and Employer Branding

Another big advantage with Talent Social is that recruiters get to create a QTB – Qualified Talent Bank – consisting of updated resumes of apt candidates for their organizations. This Talent Bank could be accessed anytime.

Companies spend significantly on staffing and recruiting agencies to find the right candidates. Talent Social helps cut these costs and reduces time-to-hire significantly. By developing meaningful relationships in the pre-application phase, recruiters get an edge over competitors. The passive job seekers become familiar with a company’s thought process, brand value and perspectives in advance.

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Apr 22, 2016

Today, talent sourcing is increasingly about marketing. Job seekers have plenty of opportunities and professional options to explore. On the other hand, organizations cannot afford to lose potential employees. They need to retain their existing talent and develop goodwill, with job seekers as well. Simply said, this is akin to marketing. The principles are the same.

In a world driven by digital technology and engagement, it is but natural that organizations must leverage these resources to connect with job seekers so as to attract and interest the rightly talented people. This works better in comparison to a reactive situation when recruiters run around frantically to fill vacant positions which need to be closed on an immediate basis.

The question is, what has marketing got to do with recruiting? If you look closely, then you will notice that the principles are the same. Recruiters advertise job positions, attract job applicants, converse to figure out their capabilities and make job offers. When they are impressed with the skills of any particular candidates, they do all that they can to convert them into their employees. They might pay more, agree to certain terms put forth by candidates or compromise on location. This is because everybody wants and needs the ‘rightly talented’ people in their organizations based on the belief that the right people will contribute substantially for the overall progress of the organization.

The obvious place to be is in social media. In short, the entire world wide web where everybody hangs out. Organizations are already using social media to attract job seekers and develop their brand image. But, this is no more enough.

Talent Social uses Contextual Intelligence to Apply Marketing Rules to Recruiting

First and foremost, marketers begin by researching on their target audience. They collect data and assemble profiles of customers, with a firm understanding of their preferences, attitudes and interests in making a purchase. They use social media to connect with customers in different digital spaces. They are experts in the arts of engagement and persuasion.

Talent sourcing today needs to take a page from the marketing playbook to be effective.

Finding the Target Audience, both Active and Passive Job Seekers

Recruiters need an intelligent technology which is not just limited to collecting data from the world wide web, rather one that helps make use of the data by extracting its essence, by generating and directing its ‘context’ for higher purposes.

Marketers seek out places where their target audience could be found. After all, everybody these days if not present in the internet space, at least leaves footprints on the web. This data reflects their dispositions and skills. Spire’s Talent Social uses contextual intelligence technology which searches the entire web and builds richer profiles of potential candidates, giving a more complete perspective of their skills and talent.

Build Relationships for Talent Engagement, Forge Branding

Next, marketers make efforts to build their brand and gain customer loyalty. They display their products, give demos and execute campaigns to engage with their target audience. They communicate the value of their products.

Talent Social helps recruiters create, own and manage their own social ecosystem to attract and engage with candidates. The ultimate purpose is obviously to convert them into potential employees. Even if this does not happen in all cases, they get the opportunity to communicate about their brand and value as an employer. Recruiters could leverage by building relationships and establishing rapport; invite job seekers to events and seminars; provide career advice and share job vacancies when the need arises.

Closing the Deal – Converting Passive Job Seekers into Employees

For marketers, the end goal is to make a sale. Applying that analogy to recruiting, HR recruiters aspire to fill vacancies with the rightly skilled candidates. With rich social and search functionalities, recruiters get to build warm relationships with candidates using Talent Social. This goodwill building effort has the chance to culminate into the conversion of the best passive job seekers into employees. This is recruitment with lesser expense and in shorter time.

  • Source better talent

  • Create a rich pool of talent

  • Reduce time-to-hire

  • Employer branding

  • Reduce agency costs

Employers need to also appeal to job seekers to attract the best talent. Revisit your talent strategy and start recruiting like marketers.

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Apr 20, 2016

Recruiters spend countless hours figuring out what to write in job descriptions correctly; working closely with hiring managers to ensure that the required skills, background, qualifications, experience and training are appropriate.

Those same recruiters then spend days more reading resumes and cover letters, scouring online resume postings and social media platforms. The recruiters are looking to match what they read in cover letters, social media profiles and resumes with those same job descriptions. Even with automated keyword-search systems, the process is tedious and time consuming.

Recruiters and other human resource staff at companies large and small want one thing: to find the candidates who best match the needed skills quickly.

The problem is that, often, keyword searches don't really do the job. Using keyword-based search to match supply with demand has serious limitations. Keyword search does not provide relevant results in many cases. Keyword search does not understand the context and semantics around the words. It does not cater to the real-world need of advanced search. It cannot consider multiple attributes and complicated conditions on these attributes.

Relevant Candidates with Contextual Technology

Spire's Contextual Intelligence platform contextualizes i.e., generates meaning from both demand and supply documents, searches and maps the relevant supply documents and also ranks the relevancy of results. It has the capability to process data of any format, in this case textual documents (resumes, job descriptions, job applications) in a human-like manner, which machines normally are not trained to since they mostly work only with quantifiable data, i.e., numerical.

Spire’s contextual capability stems from two unique features that the core platform has.

  • First, it can comprehend any type of unstructured data, of any format and from any source by generating its meaning, the context of it. Unstructured data, in particular refers to the type of data which cannot be quantified and which is typically in textual form.

  • Second, the platform performs contextual analysis of unstructured data. It generates context of the demand and supply data and interprets it intelligently in the form of comprehensive analytics which bring forth a host of valuable insights.

The above two capabilities in addition to ‘contextual search and match’ drill down thousands of resumes and select only the most relevant candidates in a matter of few hours or days. Companies get to invite only the most relevant candidates for interviews and increase their interview-to-select ratio to a proven 70%. The prevailing ratio is less than 30%.

Spire Acqura and TalentVista

Spire Acqura can be applied in the talent acquisition process for selecting the most relevant resumes. As a result recruiters can save time, costs and reduce operational effort. Acqura can also process resumes of different formats, from different sources simultaneously.

Spire TalentVista is a social networking and collaboration tool that operates in the world wide web space. It searches, locates and engages with relevant professionals by amassing data from the entire web. Companies can create their own social ecosystem to engage with potential candidates well in advance and convert them into employees.

Both of the above make life easy for recruiters by eliminating their routine woes.

What Does Contextual Technology Mean For Recruiters, Hiring Managers and Chief Executives?

Confidence! The matching capability is 80% accurate and the search is 95% accurate, the highest ever recorded amongst such available tools in the market.

Recruiters get more time to focus on their core HR functions as they spend 50% less time screening and matching resumes. Acqura users have reported 40 % reduction in time-to-hire. This time can be better spent using TalentVista to engage in meaningful relationship building, mentoring and counseling with passive job seekers in social style.

Contextual technology converts any type of talent data into real-time intelligence, into valuable insights, also particularly for Chief Executives.

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Apr 15, 2016

Almost every Fortune 500 company use either a home grown ATS or one of the 70-80 systems available in the market.

An Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is typically used by recruitment professionals. It is usually a software program that delivers two specific purposes. One, to manage the inflow of applications being received from job seekers. Two, to remove or screen out resumes which are found unsuitable for particular job vacancies. In addition, they could perform many other tasks. ATS software provide companies with the ability to search submitted applications for keywords, skills, previous employers, experiences or academic institutions, among other criteria. Some of them extract data from online job boards as well and conduct the same searches.

However, there exists an irony. Existing ATS systems are often unable to deliver deeper analytical performance that provide for better selection and interpretation of applicants. In short, they lack in providing ‘talent intelligence’ to organizations.

Limitations of ATS

Globally, staffing and recruiting companies generated a turnover of $500 Billion in the year 2015. Out of this, $35 Billion alone pertained to activities related to searching and selecting candidates for permanent employment. This is a disturbing fact given that companies have HR teams and use ATS to fulfil their talent acquisition needs.

Most ATS systems even today are not ready to handle the thousands of resumes which flow in from career websites and job boards. The inflow of candidate applications needs robust management. Not only this, ATS solutions perform only basic keyword searches which extremely limits the possibility of shortlisting the right candidates. Thereby, the ubiquitous headache of recruiters of not being able to find the right candidates at the right time persists. Count money and you’ll notice that companies are spending unnecessarily on unintelligent systems which don’t add much value.

What if you had an intelligent system which could integrate with your ATS without any qualms and yet deliver the power needed?

Get Contextual Technology to Make Your ATS Intelligent

Consider this underlying fact. ATS systems deal with HR data namely resumes, applications, job descriptions, candidate data, etc. This is mostly textual data. We all know that software are capable of processing only quantified data i.e., data in numeric form. So how do they work with HR data? They do so, but with severe limitations. They cannot comprehend the meaning of words, more aptly keywords which are fed into the system to find matching resumes for job descriptions. So, how can recruiters ever be sure of having shortlisted worthy resumes on just the basis of the number of keywords? Using keywords maximum number of times in a resume does not make it all that worthier? Does it? Common sense says, no.

Many resumes, cover letters and social-media profiles contain narrative data that is difficult to interpret with simple keyword scans. By searching for just keywords, many ATS software return ‘false positives’ – resumes which need to be read and discarded by HR staff. A wasted operational effort.

Contextualizing Textual Data Adds Value

Contextual Intelligence technology has the unique capability to quantify textual data and interpret it. It does this by rendering ‘context’ to words and deciphers their meanings and relationships. Contextual intelligence can turn around any ATS system and turbocharge it with human-like intelligence. It adds a new perspective to decision making with talent analytics which give insights.

Your ATS system could do much more than collect applications, scour job boards and post jobs. It can provide better searches for qualified candidates and give deeper insights of candidates’ skills. With contextual analytics, it can guide decision makers with actionable real-time insights.

Spire’s Contextual Intelligence tool - Acqura™ - could be integrated with any existing ATS. Companies can reduce time and expense on talent search and find better candidates. It gives 95% accuracy in contextual searches and 80% accuracy in bi-directional mapping (resumes to job descriptions and vice versa), well ahead of any existing available ATS. Acqura™ can search up to 1300 parameters at one go and scan thousands of resumes in a few hours. It can even map data to competitors.

For HR, the benefits are significant. Interviewers get to meet with fewer, but far more qualified candidates. Clients have reported a 40% reduction in time-to-hire and up to 50% gain in recruiter time. While the industry standard is less than a 30% for interview-to-select conversion ratio, Acqura™ gives a 73% conversion rate. Organizations using Acqura™ can expect a potential 1% gain in top-line revenue. Acqura™ empowers any ATS system and transform the talent acquisition process for bigger benefits.

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Apr 13, 2016

Keyword searches are commonplace in databases, search engines and social media. But often, users are frustrated because the words searched show up many irrelevant results. These results are often not what the users might be looking for. They are often not worthwhile or helpful, rather just pages and pages of irrelevant data.

We are living in the era of data boom. However, technologies are yet to match the existing pace of data being generated world over – in servers, clouds, social media, transactions … et all. Technologies are yet to be able to unearth information from all the unexplored data out there. Why does much of this data remain unexplored? The reason for this is the format in which it exists. Data in the digital age is mostly unstructured i.e., in the form of alphabets and random words that computers cannot comprehend adequately vis-à-vis quantifiable numeric types of data.

We have software which easily compute and process numbers but not textual data. Even if so, with limitations. Technologies have to evolve to incorporate the intricacies of human language communication and all its nuances and reflect the same when processing random textual data.

Contextual Technology Powered with Richness Index Feature

Spire is a pioneer of contextual intelligence technology which works around two core strengths. It can comprehend and interpret any type of data – structured or unstructured. Additionally, it uses the power of 'contextualizing' to analyze the data. The core platform is so powerful that it gives 95% accuracy in contextual search and 80% accuracy in contextual matching of search results to search terms. These accuracy levels are the maximum levels ever made possible in machine computing till date.

For instance, this technology has been instantiated in the HR domain which is characterized by the maximum amount of unstructured data - resumes, job descriptions, applications, social data, appraisals, skills profiles, achievements, academic details and references. Only contextual technology can comprehend these massive amounts of HR data with intelligence that is human-like.

Acqura™ is a talent hiring tool. Using smart algorithms, Acqura finds only specific skills mentioned in the resumes of candidates, scoring them against job descriptions. These weighted matches form the Profile Richness Index score. With Richness Index, Acqura scans resumes, cover letters and profiles for the 'context' that matches a job description far better than using simple keyword search. The contextual search function can search for more than 1,300 parameters in mere seconds and return only relevant results with a 95% accuracy rate. Acqura can scan thousands of resumes in a few hours.

The social sourcing tool - TalentVista™ uses the Richness Index feature to find potential active and passive job seekers from the entire internet. Candidates are located and shortlisted based on their skills and personality dispositions. TalentVista allows recruiters to then engage with potential candidates using an interactive interface. The Engagement Index score measures the engagement levels and professional relationship scores that recruiters develop with the candidates. It reflects how probably a particular candidate is likely to become an applicant. All this information gives never-before-seen analytics and insights to recruiters.

With Spire's Richness Index, recruiters and hiring managers can harness the power of contextual search, delivering only relevant candidates in less time and saving costs.

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Apr 09, 2016

With so much competition today for top talent, it is important for companies to forge relationships with potential candidates, in fact long before these passive job seekers could become applicants for specific jobs.

It is only wiser and even strategic to engage with the future employees. One of the ways companies could undertake this is by using existing social channels to create more personalized connections between their organization, brand and the followers. The other and the most powerful way is to own a social ecosystem and nurture it. This way companies can eliminate their dependency on third party social platforms and follow their own rules to manage their special social ecosystem. Does this sound like a dream?

Why social recruiting is important

"The resume is set to go the way of the dinosaur" for two reasons. For one it's a static document that becomes stale quickly. Secondly, resumes are not always the best indicator of matching talent with needed skills.”
- about.com

Social recruiting is the new normal. More and more companies are turning to social recruiting as a core strategy. There are a number of reasons why this method is gaining traction.

  • It is important for the brand. Job seekers evaluate companies just as people evaluate consumer brands. Having a credible social presence that is active and engaging brings trust to the organization.

  • There are generational expectations. For younger workers who have been raised in a digital world, it is but natural to expect social interactions in nearly every facet of their lives. Looking for a new job certainly falls under this category.

  • There are more passive job seekers than one is aware of. It is not always possible for companies to have ample numbers of applicants for vacant positions. Identifying candidates and reaching out to them in the social space is an unavoidable requirement to find the best employees.

  • Goodwill goes a long way. Even if a potential candidate chooses to not become an applicant, the company has had the opportunity to gain attention and win goodwill by engaging in a mutual conversation. In the long run, it is goodwill that spreads from the person to his/her professional networks as well.

Shifts from traditional to digital and social media

Today, scanning the vacant job positions in classified columns in newspapers or hunting jobs in career portals are not the ways in which most skilled employees aspire to find jobs. They are part of the digital environment; with relationships, connections and access to information in a matter of few clicks. Job aspirants prefer to find and apply for jobs instantly within fractions of seconds. Nobody wants to fill up elaborate application forms. None of this was the case with the previous generation.

In this shifting scenario, companies cannot lag behind, rather become more proactive in finding the right people with the right skills by harnessing talent with social style. When the time is right, these social relationships are for more likely to turn into successful applications and potential employees. This is good for employer branding, employee relations and also for the recruiting teams as they will at least have amassed a qualified talent pipeline.

Using contextual search technology to explore social spaces

Contextual intelligence technology backs Spire’s social talent sourcing tool - TalentVista™ which can be used to locate, attract and engage with both active and passive job seekers from not only social sites, but also the entire web. It helps companies to create and maintain an active talent bank. When employment opportunities are available, companies are able to tap into the warm and cordial relationships which the recruiters engage with using the TalentVista™ interface.

Spire’s contextual intelligence technology gives 95% accuracy in contextual search. This search builds richer profiles of candidates by scouring the entire internet like a domain expert. It gives in-depth skills insights and personality dispositions of potential candidates. Companies can use advanced social talent analytics to locate candidates as per their wish lists, attract them into their own customized social ecosystem, engage and initiate conversations and nurture the professional relationships.

Social sourcing can act as a significant support system for the talent acquisition process.

Are you there yet?

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Apr 06, 2016

In today's hyperconnected world, decisions often need to be made faster than ever before, CXOs need a new kind of intelligence and decision support technologies. Companies need to nimbly deploy capital and human resources to respond to shifting consumer demand and emerging market opportunities.

There are growing needs for platforms that can synthesize large swaths of data rapidly, analyze the trends and present the relevant information in real-time reports and dashboards. To make decisions in the moment, these platforms need to provide CXOs with the right information to make cogent decisions.

Analytics comes to HR

"Big Data and analytics also help organizations make sound decisions around succession planning, career progression and leadership development by tracking performance, success and other metrics."
- CIO.com

While decision-making is certainly important in finance, product development, sales and marketing, it is also critical in other areas, most of all in HR simply because people are at the center of any organization and their skills determine performance.

By understanding talent data and trends related to hiring, promotion, employee development, departures and employee satisfaction with analytics, companies can make better decisions and save costs. Instead of using hunches and instincts, CXOs who use contextual analytics give their organizations a significant competitive edge by using insights derived from data analytics.

Contextual analytics is setting a benchmark by enabling HR leaders to translate mere talent data into valuable insights and knowledge for corporate leadership. With better information, CXOs can accelerate the evolution of HR functions. Analytics helps HR to better align with organizational strategies and provide decision support information to better measure return on investment in HR functions.

A 2015 study by Deloitte found workforce analytics as the second-biggest capability gap in HR organizations, trailing only leadership development.

"The need to understand retention trends, improve employee engagement, or profile high-performers has organizations demanding strategic information about their workforce".
- HR Tech Outlook

Contextual Intelligence Analytics

One of the biggest challenge when trying to derive analytics from HR data is that it is mostly unstructured in nature, in textual form. This makes it difficult to be quantified. Existing automation systems are incapable of making sense from textual data. How then can one convert unstructured HR data into valuable intelligent data?

Contextual intelligence is the key. Contextual technology can harness and decipher any form of data into structured bits and generate meaning out of it. Contextual analytics thereby, is the most accurate and the closest to how human experts make sense from textual data. CXOs get a wide range of talent analytics starting from sourcing, acquisition, planning, deployment and even predicting what-if scenarios related to organizational capacity planning. In short, contextual talent analytics help strategists make informed HR decisions.

Contextual talent analytics is a proven decision support tool for CXOs.

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Apr 03, 2016

"The school is making great progress."

"She had quite a run on Broadway."

Is the first sentence referring to an academic environment ... or a group of fish? Is the second sentence about a long-playing musical or a woman's jog on a famed street.

Without context, it is impossible to tell.

Contextualizing Data

In today's world, we hear about data at every turn. Not a day goes by without seeing an article or news story about Big Data, data analytics, data management or data storage.

While data play an important role in our lives today, in the future, it is the contextualization of data that will become more critical.

Cheap storage and the growth of smart, connected products is an offshoot of the dramatic growth in the quantity of data. Contextual analysis, however, allows us to get to the qualitative aspect of data. By applying contextual technology to large data sets, forward-thinking companies can leverage their data in newer ways that improve efficiency, help gain market share and reduce operational costs.

"The details are easy to measure. They give you clear-cut data and answers. Context is harder—it gets mushy," writes strategist Jess Neill in the Harvard Business Review. "The methodologies are more complex and the results are open to interpretation. ... but we take a bigger risk when we ignore the context."

Further, a Wired magazine article sums it all up well - "Big Data has limited value if not paired with its younger and more intelligent sibling, Context. ... The Age of Context demands that contextual data be applied to everyday situations in useful ways. How do we make use of this data? Since we’ve gotten good at collecting data, now it’s all about putting it into context and making sense out of it."

Contextual Technology

Spire has pioneered contextual technology in the form of a core platform which uses the combination of powerful algorithms and over seven different types of techniques which can decipher even the toughest forms of unstructured data and generates meaning by providing contextual analysis in the form of in-depth analytics. These analytics help make smarter decisions since they are computed in real-time. In the HR domain, contextual technology has proven to improve revenue, operational efficiency and reduce costs.

Spire’s contextual technology has two other unique capabilities which make it distinct. It gives 95% accuracy in contextual search and 80% accuracy in demand (search query) – supply (search results) mapping. These figures are by far the maximum possible ever achieved in machine computing.

Context is everything today. For HR executives and key decision-makers, enables you to run faster and smarter, whether on Broadway or not.

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Mar 29, 2016

84% organizations are using social media to recruit and another 9% are planning to do so. 82% are using social media to recruit passive candidates and two-thirds are leveraging mobile recruiting by targeting smartphone users.
- SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management), 2016

Using social media to recruit employees is becoming a common tactic. More and more HR professionals are turning to internet and particularly to social media to verify backgrounds and behaviour of prospective candidates and also to source them. There is an increasing need for tools that clearly identify the best of the lot from the ocean of digital data of all types. Technologies need to match available skill sets with job requirements accurately, especially with increasing demand for highly qualified talent.

Creating Context From Data is the Key

"Besides cross-referencing internal data with a plethora of other sources, we need algorithms to boil off the noise and extract the signals, or real human meaning, from the data. ... To do this you must apply complex algorithms derived from machine learning, computational linguistics, and natural language processing to harvest the key words."
- Wired.com

The challenge with harnessing data from the internet and social media is that it mostly exists and gets generated in an unstructured manner i.e., it is very textual in nature. Machines can comprehend words as bits and bytes, but what about making meaning out of them? Without understanding the meaning of words and the relationships between words, it does not make much sense to go about exploring the internet and social media.

Using technology based on a contextual platform can help achieve this since it has the capability to place the data in the right ‘context.’ A contextual platform comprehends the meaning of words and interprets data the way human recruiters do.

Advanced Algorithms

The Spire contextual intelligence platform has been instantiated for social sourcing. TalentVistaTM uses advanced algorithms that enable 90% accuracy in contextual search and 85% accuracy in demand (job descriptions) and jobs (resumes) matching.

TalentVistaTM locates, attracts and engages with potential candidates after finding them using contextual search and match method. It scours the entire internet in a matter of seconds, pulling out both active and passive job seekers’ data. Advanced analytics help obtain in-depth skills metrics. Organizations can create their own social ecosystem and use it to connect and converse with candidates without depending on public social media spaces.

The benefits are many. Recruiters get to reduce time-to-hire and at the same time amiable relationships with potential candidates. Candidate experience is enriched and employer branding comes free. Most important of all, recruiters get to create a qualified talent bank consisting of potential hand-picked resumes which could be accessed on-demand.

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Mar 24, 2016

CXOs need real data to rest their decisions upon. They need trustworthy and reliable evidences worthy of considering as critical inputs for strategies and board level decisions.

"Level 4 companies spend almost twice per employee on HR than level 1 companies ($4,434 vs. $2,112 per employee) and they are getting much better business outcomes."
- Josh Bersin, 2015
(Level 4 refers to companies practising business-integrated HR while Level 1 refers to companies still following compliance-driven HR services)

It all begins with recruiting the right people who could be entrusted with the task of taking the organization forward.

For a long time, HR has been confined and limited to using basic legacy systems purely dealing with transactional errands, making updates and feeding in employee data. While these models are outdated today, not much has changed in HR technology.

People are at the center of any business. It is common sense to perceive the direct co-relation between people skills and outputs to business goals. Talent culture must reflect the sentiments of the company. All this is easier said than done since HR professionals continue to use obsolete automation systems which can no more support the plethora of HR data that is generated within and outside organizations.

On the other hand, companies are making huge investments to recruit and train people. But is all this resulting in increased business performance? What is the evidence?

Traditional versus evidence-based HR

"I feel this candidate is very ambitious and will surely bring the fire to job if we hire him."

Hiring decisions are typically based on gut-feeling, intuition and guesswork. Additionally, recruiters hardly have the time to scan each and every resume they receive. Existing automation systems are not intelligent enough to point at the rightly matching resumes since they perform only basic keyword searches and are bereft of the meaning of sentences in resumes/job descriptions.

What if people are hired in a scientific manner with real-time data? Let us not forget that HR domain is characterized by dynamism. Skills are ever evolving, markets are fast-moving and competitive, people accept and leave jobs... and so on.

Data means nothing unless it is understood and hence technology has a critical role to play, in making HR work smarter. This is because HR needs people-based evidences, skills and competency data that is converted into plausible information to proactively align performance to the unique needs of business, goals and strategy.

Evidence-based HR augmented with Contextual Analytics

The ultimate purpose of any business is to generate profits. Employees are key stakeholders to this since their performance along with management decisions help drive profits. Thereby, companies need to hire right.

However, HR data (resumes, job descriptions, applications, skills) is mostly unstructured and incomprehensible by machines. How then can this data be explored and converted into information for decisions with speed and accuracy in today’s fast-paced competitive environment?

Spire’s contextual intelligence platform is based on two unique capabilities which can augment sound evidence-based HR practices. It comprehends any form of unstructured data and analyzes it by providing ready reckoner metrics and analytics. It uses advanced algorithms to search, match and map data. These analytics map employer-employee relationships, mine job applications and job descriptions to identify the best matches, track employee skill competencies and measure skill acquisition and professional development.

Benefits of using contextual talent analytics for evidence-based HR

Contextual talent analytics provide a range of intelligence that could power a boring boardroom meeting with insightful talent analytics. With evidences, -based HR, it becomes possible for CHROs to spearhead business-relevant results and advise top management to take better data-based decisions.

  • Operational excellence: A lot of recruiter effort and time is saved freeing up HR professionals to perform more core functions. Subsequently, operational costs also reduce.

  • Contextual technology helps increase interview-to-offer conversions; reduce time-to-hire, agency and employer branding costs.

  • In-depth skill analytics of employees help design improved training, learning and development programs.

  • Using contextual technology has proven business outcomes – increase in revenue and reduction in costs.

  • Contextual technology empowers CHROs to convert HR into an indispensable strategic function, empowering CHROs with powerful talent insights enabling them to partake in organizational vision and goals.

Evidence-based practices go beyond the collection of data. Using evidences is about the judicious, conscientious, and explicit use of information gathered from different sources. This is possible only with contextual intelligent analytics.

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Mar 22, 2016

For decades, HR has been the one function in companies that hasn’t relied on technology to make major decisions. While other functions such as purchasing, logistics, sales, manufacturing almost always rely on data analyses of various kinds, most HR decisions are still based on gut and assumptions. However, this does not work in the highly competitive digital age of today since HR is no more a paper-based, transactional salary generator and employee relationship builder limited to four walls.

HR has evolved significantly and is more than ever critical to board level decisions. This is simply due to the universal truth - ‘people and their skills’ are at the core of any business. Finding and hiring ‘rightly skilled’ professionals is always a challenge for recruiters. Assessing and evaluating the skills of potential job applicants is a critical determinant.

Best decision making requires best data analytics

Traditionally, recruiters would review applications, resumes and self-submitted data on paper, interview the candidates and make hiring decisions. Today, however, a single job opening invites thousands of applications, overwhelming recruiters.

Companies have resorted to various type of automation software that typically sort applications on the basis of keywords or a series of yes/no questions. Rather than find the best applicant, however, these systems tend to toss out applications from qualified candidates simply because they gave the wrong response to a poorly worded question or did not include a specific key phrase in their resumes. Sometimes qualified applicants get overlooked simply because their application was read at the wrong time of the day or by a new staff member. Despite using these systems which must simplify the process, recruiters end up wading through hundreds of applications and job seekers feel as if they are submitting materials into a black hole.

Contextual Technology Transforms Talent Acquisition With Smart Algorithms

HR software solutions platforms technologies can no longer be outdated and redundant. CHROs need intelligent technology which can replicate the role of a human Hiring Manager successfully. This means that the technology reads and understands resumes, job descriptions, applications, cover letters, recommendation letters, academic records, etc. the way humans do thereby eliminating any kind of inherent or intentional bias.

Contextual technology is based on a combination of two powerful capabilities. Smart algorithmic machine computing backed with human-like abilities. In addition, it computes data with speed and maximum possible accuracy, well ahead of traditional automation systems.

Inbuilt analytics is another distinct feature of the contextual technology. These talent analytics give a host of valuable insights which enable accurate data-driven decisions for Hiring Managers and CHROs.

Proprietary algorithmic technology works with speed and maximum possible accuracy. It gives 95% accuracy in contextual search and 80% accuracy in demand-supply mapping which is by far way ahead of existing systems. It can reduce the task of several weeks to a few hours resulting in cost savings, increased operational efficiency and reduced effort.

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Mar 16, 2016

As a Hiring Manager, are you looking to streamline your talent acquisition process? Is your HR department grinding to a screeching halt in the conundrum of a recruiting spree and unable to find and hire the right candidates?

For a company to thrive better, HR Managers need to build a rich pool of candidates with the right skill sets and experience. However, the process of searching, matching, evaluating and hiring typically takes time due to archaic methods of recruitment. In today’s digital era, businesses need to understand the importance and the need to transform their HR processes by using intelligent technologies.

Time-to-hire

Time-to-hire can be accounted for from the day when a job requisition is opened up to the day when an offer has been accepted or the day when the newly hired employee starts to work. The process starts with - advertising or posting the job vacancy; searching and shortlisting candidates for interviews; evaluating and completing interviews; background checks; and waiting for the candidate to accept the offer.

However, one must note that a reduced time-to-hire ratio does not necessarily mean that the recruiting process is efficient. There has to be a direct correlation with the ‘quality’ of hires as well.

Spire contextual analytics gives two-pronged advantage for Hiring Managers - quality candidates and reduced time-to-hire, saving money in the process and reducing operational effort.

By using Spire Acqura™, Hiring Managers can reduce time-to-hire by 40%

“By drilling down into the data, it’s possible to spot root cause problems in the hiring process and minimize their negative impact. Even better, by eliminating these problems, a company is able to maximize quality of hire while minimizing cost and reducing time-to-fill.”
- Lou Adler, best-selling author and eminent personality in the HR industry

It is this drilling down into the data that Spire is specialized in. Spire is an operational analytics and hiring solution which can accurately match and map candidate resumes to job descriptions and vice versa like a domain expert. It can even search up to a mind-boggling 1300 parameters at one go, drilling down unstructured HR data into quantitative bits and making sense out of it the way human beings do. It comprehends contextually and this capability is the reason why Acqura™ pin points the most closely matching resumes, that too in a matter of seconds.

Spire Acqura™ is unlike any existing HR automation systems which work in a linear fashion and perform only simple keyword searches. They do not comprehend the meaning in resumes nor understand skills proficiency levels and thereby cannot shortlist the most relevant candidates.

Spire Acqura™ is powered with Spire’s proprietary contextual intelligence technology. It comprehends resumes and job descriptions like a domain expert and could be used as a complement to any existing ATS or even as a standalone application.

The Spire contextual difference

  • 40% decrease in time-to-hire decrease

  • 70% increase in interview-to-select

  • 50% cost savings

The Spire contextual intelligence platform gives 95% accuracy in contextual search and 80% accuracy in demand (job descriptions) – supply (resumes) mapping. These levels are the maximum possible in machine computing.

Acqura™ is one of the five products of the Spire TalentSHIP® suite. Each of the other products addresses a different part in the human capital supply chain.

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Mar 11, 2016

Are you tired of wasting time and money interviewing a litany of candidates only to have the top prospects just walk away? Do you find it difficult getting the ideal job seekers to sign on the dotted line? Has the task of acquiring meaningful talent and integrating them quickly into the culture of your company become more of a burden than a job?

The biggest recruiting challenge

Finding qualified candidates — 53%
Finding the right technical skills — 41%
Getting hiring managers to make time for interviews — 33%
Making a decision on a candidate — 15%

-McQuaig Institute, 2014 - 'Global Talent Recruitment Survey'

The above survey statistics show that finding the right candidates with the ‘right skills’ continues to be a perennial problem for recruiters. There is obviously a gap in understanding and assessing the skills of candidates against job descriptions.

Interview-to-select ratio

The interview-to-select ratio reflects the quality of hiring and shows whether the talent sourcing process is good enough or not? It throws light on three aspects -

  • Are resumes and job descriptions being matched correctly by the recruiter or the HR automation system? Is the search and match correct?

  • Are the interviewed candidates and their skills being assessed and evaluated correctly?

  • Is the interview process effective? Are the steps involved in the hiring process good enough or not?

Hiring Managers need right technology to enhance talent acquisition

In the digital age, Hiring Managers need technology that helps understand unstructured HR data intelligently. Resumes and job descriptions come in various formats from different sources in mostly textual form. Traditional HR automation systems with their simple search functions cannot comprehend and analyze textual data the way humans do. Recruiters end up spending a lot of time and effort searching and matching manually.

Spire's Contextual analytics can increase interview-to-select ratio to 73%

Spire's contextual technology has the power to resolve problems that companies encounter in the management of their human capital supply chains. This is because it has the capability to decipher unstructured HR data with maximum possible accuracy. By using a contextual platform in addition to their existing automation systems, it becomes possible for recruiters to empower their talent acquisition process.

  • The contextual search is unlike any other normal search. It searches and matches keywords not on the basis of the number of keywords, but rather on the ‘relevance’ and ‘context’ keywords; in a humanlike manner. Hence it is able to pin-point the most ‘relevant’ resumes for a particular job description and even vice versa.

  • With more accurate resumes in hand, it becomes possible to interview quality candidates and increase the chance of hiring.

  • The contextual solution works with speed and unmatched accuracy. It can read thousands of resumes in a matter of few hours and perform robust searches using up to 1300 parameters at one go! Less time and effort is spent on the part of the recruiter.

By using contextual technology, the interview-to-select ratio can be increased to 73% in comparison to the prevailing ratio of around 30%. This is quite a leap and a great enhancement for companies.

A recruiter’s job becomes less stressful. Contextual technology has also proven to reduce time-to-hire by 40% and the overall cost of recruiting. In addition, there is also the benefit of being able to recruit diverse candidates without any bias.

Spire's contextual technology can also be used to attract and engage rightly skilled passive job seekers who could be converted to potential employees over time with real time engagement and professional rapport. This way, companies can develop their own talent pool of qualified candidates which is especially useful for on-demand hiring.

Filling vacant job positions with quality talent will no feel like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

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Feb 12, 2016

In today’s digital age and connected world, organizations need their HR to foster diversity, inclusion and growth amongst workforce. Companies are going to be respected for hiring people on the basis of their skills and core talent, rather than race, gender, age or religion.

It is critical for companies to recognize the hard fact that HR professionals are subject to the same almost unconscious, innate biases and prejudices - that have caused seemingly insurmountable problems in achieving equality at work places. What recruiters need is an intelligent technology which not only enhances the recruiting process by helping hire diverse candidates, but also helps find the ‘right fit’ talent with speed. This is easier said than done.

Contextual Technology is necessary for thoughtful application of HR data analytics

“Sierra-Cedar research suggests that only 12% of organisations are seriously embarking on strategic workforce planning, and of these, only 25% have technology tools to assist them”- Forbes.

It is a reality today that in the so-called technology-driven work environments, talent acquisition and management have fallen far behind the technology curve. Modern standards of productivity demand that processes be fast, flawless and achieve top results. In HR, this means identifying and bringing in the best people and organising them in such a way as to create an internal culture which is harmonious and productive. The one way to achieve this is through analytics.

Contextual technology can be used as a platform to bridge the gap between data and real-world. In HR, data obviously refers to the unstructured mass of resumes, job descriptions, employee feedbacks and organisational plans. All this information in textual form is of no use unless it is deciphered and analysed in discernible detail.

The advantages of using contextual technology in hiring are numerous.

Bias-free recruiting

First of all, a contextual platform is ‘intelligent’ since it understands words in a resume the way humans do. The result of this is that it helps pin point resumes purely on the basis of skills proficiencies thereby helping find the right fit talent and eliminating biases. Contextual technology makes otherwise incomprehensible dumb data ‘intelligent’ and this is the leap that companies need to take with respect to their data.

Secondly, contextual technology works with remarkable speed. Imagine sifting and sorting hundreds of resumes in a few hours! This enables recruiters manage the growing volume of resumes which they typically have to deal with. Resumes are received continually from job boards, advertisements, references and career web pages; in addition to the existing pool.

Meaningful analyses of skills from resumes

A contextual platform generates meaningful, useful, and easy to understand analytics from any type of content, be it in any form - video, audio, text, structured or unstructured. It can search, comprehend, and translate even the most convoluted data and transform it into ‘context’ thereby enhancing the quality of HR processes.

Organizations need intelligent technologies to transform raw data into understandable forms by way of which they could take sound data-driven decisions. Talent is a dynamic force and must be leveraged wisely for mutual benefits and success. By using contextual technology, recruiters can develop an environment of mutual respect where competence, ethics, as well as personal and collective growth flourish. Contextual analytics makes new levels of workforce diversity and inclusion possible.

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Feb 10, 2016

In today’s digital world, CXOs face a host of new issues that their predecessors had no need to address. From technology integration to data security to disruption, there are a number of requirements that demand constant attention and call for innovative leadership.

Human capital and productivity remains a critical intersection. In the increasingly competitive environment, it is the team you create, train and retain that often makes the difference to stay competent.

Accenture notes that the future of HR is vested in its radical disruption by digital. Social spaces will drive democratization of work and HR is going to have to make organizations more and more agile.

All this simply means that companies need to make the most of their employees, maximize skill utilization and develop lasting professional relationships.

Revenue Per Employee

Revenue per employee is a measure of how efficiently a particular company is utilizing its employees.
- investinganswers.com

This is a critical measure since it shows how productive a company is. It is a measure of HR efficiency which is no more limited to paperwork or employee transactions. HR is considered an important contributor to profits and strategy at C-level.

A CHRO’s role is also advisory to the CEO and investors in making sure that the organization is moving in the right direction with regard to talent, strategy and culture. It is the CHRO who knows how much employees are contributing and what is expected of them. In fact, CHROs have been proven to have the most attributes in common with CEOs as per Harvard Business Review. This is not

to suggest any competition, rather how important their role is in helping move an organization forward towards its goals through the most important dynamic force - people. People and their skills matter. Thereby hiring ‘right fit’ people becomes all the more important. And this process begins with recruiters.

Making the Most of Human Capital

At the same time, there are also traditional challenges that remain essentially the same as they have been for decades. For example: recruiters still manually scan hundreds of resumes to find rightly skilled candidates to fill up vacant positions. It is but natural that it takes months to get the right people onboard and if the chosen professionals are not ‘right fit’ it costs more to have trained and lost them and begin the process again. . Vis-à-vis yesteryears, recruiters these days are weighed down by the mass of thousands of resumes.

HR Needs Technology Rather Than Mere Automation Tools

There are numerous HR tools in the market that promise to simplify the life of recruiters. What these tools are missing out predominantly is the fact they are dealing with unstructured data . Most HR data is unstructured by nature. Resumes and job descriptions come in textual format making them difficult to decipher by machines which can typically process only quantified or structured data.

This poses a real problem. How then could an average HR automation tool match a resume to job description aptly? A mere keyword search does not discern the quality of a resume the way a human does.

In today’s digital age, HR needs dependable and smart technology to manage the huge volume of resumes; sift and sort through them intelligently; and hire only the right fit candidates. This seemingly routine operation could be transformed to help increase revenue per employee with contextual technology.

Contextual intelligence technology has proven to enhance talent acquisition and other parts of human capital supply chain. What’s more, it could be easily integrated with any existing ATS system as well.

Why contextual technology is apt for enhancing revenue per employee – accuracy, speed and contextual comprehension

A contextual intelligence platform has an unparalleled robust search and match capability which can match resumes to job descriptions and vice versa like a domain expert. It can simultaneously process multiple forms of data (docs, pdfs, txt, transcripts, books, digital images, etc.) and even handle more than 1300 parameters at one go.

Accuracy, speed and contextual comprehension are the three defining features of contextual technology. The accuracy of a contextual search engine is 90% which is the highest possible achieved so far in machine computing.

Contextual comprehension could be understood by the most simplest of an example. The application may not necessarily pick a resume which contains the largest number of 'Java' words in it; but rather a resume which when scanned by a human recruiter would suggest that it contains more real-time 'Java' experience data instead of just the total quantity of the word 'Java.' Just the way a human recruiter does! This makes the technology very reliable. This capability gives in-depth skills and competence analytics which pin-point the most suitable candidates only.

Benefits That CHROs Can Expect by Using Contextual Technology for Enhancing Revenue Per Employee

  • Since the most suitable candidates are chosen for interviews, a lot of recruiter time and operational effort gets freed up. This way HR can divert recruiters’ professional time for undertaking more core responsibilities.

  • Recruiters get to meet only relevant quality candidates

  • A contextual platform can process thousands of resumes in few days thereby time-to-hire is reduced and interview-to-hire conversion ratio goes up.

  • By hiring only the ‘right fit’ candidates, it becomes possible to increase the utilization of their skills which forges mutual benefit.

  • With contextual technology, companies can hire candidates free of bias since the search is totally neutral and focused only on the richness and competence of skills. Companies can create a more diverse work environment.

  • Recruiters need not hire under time constraints due to which they are often not able to utilize their existing and incoming resume databases optimally.

  • Contextual platform when applied to talent sourcing, can help develop warm relationships with potential active/passive job seekers even before they are on board via social ecosystems. This helps enhance employer branding and increase employee morale and goodwill.

  • The talent analytics and activities of a contextual platform are auditable and measureable. This is a great plus for CXOs and investors when making talent-based decisions.

  • Further, contextual technology can help organizations map and determine their actual employee skill-gaps vis-à-vis investments and goals in real-time. Companies can make more accurate decisions based on talent data, plan job rotations and L&D programs more efficiently.

Talent Data Analytics in Boardrooms for Accurate Data-driven Decisions

Contextual technology takes accurate talent data analytics to the boardroom. Using a contextual platform has proven to bring an additional profit of 3.5 percent for many corporations. Adopt contextual technology for increasing the quality of hires and achieve success in lowering costs, generating revenue and foray in the direction of business goals.

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Feb 04, 2016

  1. A candidate receiving several calls from different HR personnel for the same position

  2. Interviews scheduled without confirmation

  3. Candidates receiving irrelevant and outdated job alerts from company career portals

  4. Bad interviewee experience

Ever heard of the above complaints from job seekers? All the above could result with an overloaded and rigid ATS. And let us not forget the people on the other side – Recruiters. Ask any recruiter how difficult it is to find and onboard the right candidates and they will vouch by the pain of it.

Let us look at some of the limitations of Application Tracking Systems (ATS) which are used by recruiters for hiring purpose.

Application Tracking Systems

An Application Tracking System (ATS) is an in-house software application used for hiring by HR professionals. A range of such systems are available in the market. Several companies also use their own home grown systems for recruiting purposes, often integrated with the other processes in their human capital supply chains.

An ATS is typically used to handle the entire process of recruiting such as job postings, applications, searching and shortlisting candidates, scheduling interview process, candidate communication and offer letters.

Most common limitations of ATS

A recent study conducted by a HR technology company showed that almost 66% of recruiters are dissatisfied with their current ATS setup.

Globalization, millennials, mobile devices and networking sites are all the drivers leading to the generation of new forms of HR data in today’s digital age. Companies need smart and intelligent technologies to explore and make use of their HR data more meaningfully. Surely, companies cannot lag behind by using redundant systems in recruiting.

ATS systems in particular will have to evolve and become more intelligent, sharper and smarter. Enumerated below are some of their limitations which make most recruiting processes outdated and inefficient.

  1. Legacy ATS perform linear automation processing only. They are mostly used to make record updates by recruiters and that too manually. For example: number of candidates shortlisted, interview call letters sent, confirmations received, etc. Usually these details are entered manually in an ATS slowing down a recruiter’s work cycle.

  2. Most ATS are equipped with only the simplest and basic search functions which are obviously ineffective as they cannot scour the thousands of resumes received, let alone matching and shortlisting the right ones. One of the critical inadvertent problem here is that HR data is technically ‘unstructured’ by nature and needs to be understood ‘contextually’ first.

  3. For example: the search feature must be able to understand a resume the way human beings do before determining whether it suits a particular job description or not, and vice versa.

  4. ATS systems typically operate based on predefined workflows. This makes them opaque and rigid, less flexible to accommodate and adapt to the evolving needs of companies and their HR activities. Often companies have to scale up their talent capacities to meet demands, and rigid ATS systems make it difficult for recruiters to find the right candidates in the shortest possible time.

  5. One of the other critical problems with legacy ATS is that they cannot handle the volume of data that flows into them. This is especially so in the case of global companies and those on the expansion mode. Resumes and applications flow in from job boards, company career pages, job portals, advertisement responses and recruiter agencies. The sheer volume is in thousands and most ATS are not equipped to handle this kind of volume. Due to this, recruiters end up not utilizing the already existing database of resumes. And under time and deadline pressure, they compromise on the quality of candidates.

Enhance your ATS with Contextual Intelligence technology

One of the most worthwhile option is to combine your ATS with a contextual intelligence platform which will transform the ATS into an engaging, reliable and intelligent system. The distinct advantage that an ATS gets with contextual technology is that it becomes intelligent. Resumes need to be understood the way humans do. Also a contextual platform uses advanced algorithms which improvize the quality of data computing drastically. Contextual power brings twin advantages to ATS. Human-like intelligence and algorithms. Together, it becomes possible to scour thousands of resumes in a matter of few hours, use hundreds of parameters to search and match candidates, get in-depth analytics to understand skills proficiencies.

Contextual Power

For example: Contextual technology searches the best candidate for Java programming not by counting the number of times the word ‘Java’ shows up in the resume, but by understanding the relationship of the word ‘Java’ with its neighboring words, just the way humans would. This brings about a leap change in the quality of shortlisted candidates.

Results: Right fit candidates hired bias-free, reduced time-to-hire, reduced recruiter effort, reduced recruiter cost. An ATS can become a recruiter’s best friend when complemented with contextual intelligence technology. Future employees are a company’s important stakeholder segment. Recruiters have the onus of building and enhancing the talent capital of their companies. Contextual technology is the ideal solution.

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Jan 20, 2016

The majority of the data that HR is comprised of is unstructured i.e., the data comes in mostly textual form such as documents, emails, text files, powerpoints, pdfs; audio and video; and of course tweets and posts. The one way it typically does not come is in the form which could be quantified and stored in database systems, making it easier to process which is usually in the case of structured data.

Structured data is that which can be identified within an electronic structure and stored in databases. It can be easily entered, stored, queried and analyzed. For example: When humans input data into a computer such as in spreadsheets, forms; or data generated when a buy-sell transaction takes place such as credit card details, product cost, bank code; or a web page log analytics such as unique visitors, visitor demographics, visitor IP, etc.

As it can be seen, unstructured data can be very difficult to decipher. Can machines decipher the context of the words to understand sentences?

Unstructured Data and HR

In any organization, different departments and functions have their own ways of doing things. Often formats are not standardized. HR receives resumes and job descriptions in various non-standard formats. This is a pain for recruiters who have to manually scan each resume against its job description to shortlist candidates.

These days HR professionals receive thousands of resumes and are expected to hire the right people in the shortest possible time. Given that a recruiter spends 5 minutes scanning a resume, it must take them several days to scan the influx of resumes from job boards, references, company career pages and job advertisements. Three things are obvious here –

  1. If all the resumes are not scanned, right candidates could get easily missed

  2. It is very likely that an organization’s own database of resumes does not get optimally utilized

  3. Due to time and operational constraints, recruiters might not have the choice to select candidates free of bias

  4. The duration of time-to-hire is long

Spire's Contextual Intelligence Technology is the Key

Companies need contextual intelligence technology to tackle the increasing volume of undeciphered HR data. If explored correctly, the data could reveal a gold mine of information.

What is contextual intelligence?

Spire's Contextual intelligence technology uses human-like abilities to process unstructured data. Thereby it gives 'context' to data making it more meaningful, useful and reliable.

For example: A contextually intelligent HR system may not necessarily pick a resume which contains the largest number of 'Java' words in it; but rather a resume which when scanned by a human recruiter would suggest that it contains more real-time 'Java' experience data instead of just the total quantity of the word 'Java'.

The human capability to discern data and understand the same word differently in different contexts is in-built into the Spire contextual intelligence platform; supplemented with cloud computing and powerful algorithms which ensure that data interpretation does not go wrong. Collectively, it processes resumes and job descriptions with speed and maximum possible accuracy.

Contextual technology is poised to meet the demand of deciphering humungous HR data being generated all over the world in today’s digital age. Without it, HR data which is characteristically unstructured by nature would remain a big mess.

In short textual data cannot be dealt with without understanding its context. Using contextual analytics, companies can get new insights, in-depth metrics and eventually make better data-driven decisions.

Contextual technology makes recruiters’ life easy

Coming back to the obvious perennial problems faced by recruiters mentioned earlier in this blog - not being able to utilize resume data bank optimally and recruiting bias-free; and missing out on right candidates due to time and operational constraints – all of which can be resolved by using contextual technology.

The biggest advantage recruiters get by using Spire's contextual technology is reduction in time-to-hire as it becomes possible to hire only the 'right fit' candidates in the shortest possible time and thus save valuable time and costs.

The benefits are very significant when the gamut of application expands to other parts of the human capital supply chain as well. CHROs can help impact business outcomes and contribute to strategic decisions with critical talent data analytics and insights.

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Jan 19, 2016

The role of CHROs is increasingly becoming important as companies recognize that people are the most important resource. At the same time, the expectations of CEOs from their CHROs is also rising from the position of a mid-level staff limited to employee administration and transactions. In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, there is a new sense of urgency to fill job vacancies quickly and minimize hiring mistakes. Finding and developing the right talent for the right job remains a challenge.

CHROs Need New Tools to Make Impact

“CEOs are interested in revenue growth, profitability, innovation and the ability to retain customers. They are interested in business issues and talent issues, but not HR issues.”

- Jeff Schwartz, Principal - Deloitte Consulting & Co-leader for Deloitte’s global talent initiative.

The above observation underlines the new expectations of CEOs from CHROs.

Apart from the routine operations, today, CEOs expect their CHROs to -

  1. Help build agility in the organization culture to move quickly within market spaces.

  2. Play essential role in keeping their company competitive and especially help save costs.

  3. Proactively track new technologies and implement them at strategic levels to ensure organizational competency.

  4. Attract, develop and retain high-value individuals who are necessary to protect market positions while aggressively supporting rapid profitable growth.

Not surprisingly, these expectations are not limited to C-Level executives in HR. The HR function has moved to the board-level visibility. The CHRO is held to these same levels of performance and dynamic leadership in terms of how he/she leverages talent, culture and costs for revenue.

Contextual technology empowers CHROs

Contextual intelligence technology can make a huge difference to CHROs when applied to the human capital supply chain. Given the fact that HR data is huge and also the most unstructured, thereby mostly unused it is all the more imperative that CHROs employ intelligent technology to harness HR data and make more sense out of this latent data in today’s digital age.

Contextual analytics of talent data provides unprecedented insights and in-depth understanding in actionable areas such as talent sourcing, development, planning, deployment, management and monitoring. Since contextual technology gives accurate results, it empowers the CHROs with valuable knowledge to make realistic data-driven recommendations which could be used by the CEOs to make more impactful decisions.

Benefits of using contextual technology for CHROs

  • CHROs can make strategic contributions in the areas of talent strategy by identifying gaps, potential candidates for leadership roles and options for cost savings with insightful contextual analytics of their talent data.

  • CHROs can advise CEOs on efficient investment ideas vis-à-vis existing skills data of talent pool and the best possible future course.

  • CHROs can definitely help impact bottom line by increasing revenue/employee with contextual talent analytics.

  • CHROs can align talent to business goals and decisions by customizing L&D, getting more relevant candidates, increasing employee retention and optimizing talent to help fulfil organizational direction.

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Jan 14, 2016

When you find a great employee who performs well on a consistent basis that can be priceless. Your employees are your greatest asset so you want to find as many of the great ones as possible. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find amazing employees. Technology can help you in this category. It can be done using algorithm-based contextual intelligence technology.

Why You Should Clone Your Best Performers

you can clone your best employees and their best behaviour. Your best employees can account for the majority of your business. If you continue to rely on them alone for accomplishing objectives every month, they will get burnt and stop performing the way you are used to. Even worse, they could decide that they do not want to continue working that hard and pulling the weight of others. They may choose to change companies and then you have lost your best performers.

Other Options for Top Performers

If you do not choose to use technology to clone your best performers, you have other options but they are flawed. One way is to buy the talent by spending a lot of money to attract employees who have proven track records. The problem with this is that it is expensive and not scalable. You can only spend so much on top talent before the well runs dry. Another option is to enlist the help of a sales methodology training firm for your sales team. This can provide them with a new way to sell in order to be more successful but the problem with this is that the methodology is not unique to your organization.

What Makes Technology Cloning Better

When you choose to clone the best performers from your organization, then it creates the opportunity to transform talent completely from the inside. Through the use of algorithm-based contextual intelligence technology, companies get valuable insights on talent performance, skill proficiencies, and returns on investments, advice on restructuring, better job rotation plans and many such critical analytics. All these help determine who the best candidates are, what needs to be done to raise their professional value and retain them, areas of training, forging mentor-mentee relationships, etc. The key is to figure out what is working for your best employees and apply the knowledge to help other employees as well.

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Jan 11, 2016

Did you know that nearly 80% of the data in the world is unstructured data? Unstructured data presents challenges for those who are in charge of data management and require enterprise systems that can control the data and access it as needed.

So what is unstructured data?

Simply put, unstructured data is data which cannot be quantified, it cannot be counted in numbers. For example: text files, powerpoints, word documents, instant messages (tweets, likes, posts), emails, web pages, jpeg images, audio files and videos.

It is hard to categorize and store unstructured data vis-à-vis structured data which can be easily quantified and stored in databases. Every day, the entire world creates unstructured data to the tune of 2.5 quintillion bytes, especially due to the proliferation of IoT and cloud computing. IDC estimates that 90% of Big Data is unstructured data.

It is obvious that the world is missing out on a lot of indispensable and valuable information since unstructured data remains undeciphered.

Human Resources and Unstructured Data

HR data is unstructured by its very nature. Resumes and Job Descriptions come in various formats. Sometimes important information present in the Cover Letters gets easily missed.

Typically, recruiters spend a lot of time and effort sifting through applications and lining up interviews. Nowadays, companies receive thousands of applications not just from local job seekers, but also from aspirants worldwide. The problem is simple: there is too much unstructured data to be handled, let alone make sense out of it.

In addition, most HR automation systems perform mere keyword searches. These systems cannot discern the quality of a resume the way human beings do. While there are a number of automation systems in use, getting hold of the right candidates is a perennial challenge. Ask any recruiter how difficult it is to hire the right fit candidates.

Legacy HR systems need to become intelligent to handle hordes of quadrupling HR data and make meaning out of it. Top honchos often base their decisions on data. How can then HR contribute significantly to strategies and business performance of companies with the help of all the available talent data without first understanding it; making it meaningful and reliable in real-time?

More and more CEOs are expecting CHROs to play important roles towards making impact on business outcomes and of course save money. It is imperative for companies to make their HR automation systems more intelligent and help them increase measurable factors such as revenue per employee, costs and time.

Using a Holistic Approach: Predictive Analytics

One way to make sense out of HR data is with predictive analytics the ability to see patterns within the data and then predict what may occur later. These analytics are often the type of rule-based analytics. By looking at the particular unstructured data, it is likely that when the computer sees something that triggers its pattern recognition, it can raise the flag to human operators that there is something that needs to be paid attention to.

Teaching Computers New Tricks: Machine Learning

It is tempting to think that with rule-based analytics, computers can interpret data more meaningfully. However, much of the rule-based analytics are programmed in by a person. The new trick is to have the computer develop its own form of analytics by learning from patterns within the data itself. This form of artificial intelligence, also called a machine-learning approach, gives the computer the power to analyze the data, recognize patterns and chart rules relative to the data.

Contextual Intelligence is the Key

However, it is contextual intelligence that makes all the difference by understanding data the way humans do. Contextual technology gives data (unstructured or structured) its unique ‘context.’ When combined with machine-learning, it gives advanced analytics which bring forth never-before-seen insights and metrics. For example: the entire bandwidth of skills that a candidate has and level of proficiency in each; the exact resume match for a particular job description suited to the specific needs of a company/brand/business rules; performance of employees vis-à-vis investments; identification of skill gaps and customization of L&D; and a host of other in-depth analytics.

Insightful data analytics can drive better people decisions. Contextual intelligence brings agility and speed enabling cost savings, time saving and reduction in manual effort. Contextual technology has the potential to set a benchmark in how otherwise ‘raw’ data is understood and applied in real life for real business outcomes.

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Jan 07, 2016

The amount of data available to HR professionals today is incredible, but it is of no use unless applied intelligently. Can your hiring managers, recruiters and the ATS collate all the available resumes in the database (existing and incoming) at the same time and analyze them for the best hires? They are probably pulling out resumes with keyword searches based on some language from job descriptions. This is simple matching, not real analysis.

HR data is by nature unstructured, i.e., resumes formats and job descriptions come in inconsistent formats, which makes it very difficult to be quantified. They don’t follow any specific format and could be of any file type – text files, docs, pdfs, audio, video, etc. So how do we expect a machine to make real sense from this inconsistent data, let alone quantify skills proficiencies?

Top CXOs depend largely on data to make decisions. Thereby, to make HR a significant contributor to top line strategies, companies need advanced talent analytics which can be enabled by using contextual technology. The words in resumes, job descriptions and applications become revelations when given ‘context’.

Exploration and analysis of Big Data in HR is the nearest future and to add to this - 90% of unstructured HR data to reckon with.

Analytics is the Future of HR

Gartner, a market research and advisory firm, predicts that the market for big data and analytics will reach into the trillions, and Forbes contributor Josh Bersin cites it as a big opportunity for HR.

Bersin gives the example of a financial services company which used analytics to understand their hiring practices vis-à-vis hired employees, their performances and employee retention. The company found 6 effective factors that correlated with successful employee performance, factors that it wasn’t accounting for in its recruiting practices. So the company changed its processes by including the insights gained from analytics. This is the power of analytics. The power to recognize gaps and limitations in existing practices and understand what to change to see real improvement in real-time.

The Right Tools

HR technology needs to evolve to relieve HR professionals of clunky applicant tracking systems and outdated reporting. The trend is towards contextualizing; intelligent analytics-based platforms and ERP systems which are capable of applying human-like intelligence while discerning HR data. Future-ready HR professionals and companies must take advantage of it.

Contextual intelligence is the Key

Contextual technology gives meaning to the otherwise incomprehensible ocean of data which cannot be deciphered correctly by commonly available HR automation systems since most of them perform mere keyword searches and often only a human can discern the quality of a resume by reading it first-hand. Contextualizing mimics this action, thereby making a recruiter’s life easier. Also it brings the power of machine computing in the form of speed and accuracy to deal with huge volumes of data. Two in one!

Contextual intelligence will soon replace the ‘gut feeling’ that hiring managers rely on with solid dependable talent analytics to not only hire the best, save costs/time and take optimized recruiting decisions, but also to make HR a significant contributor to company strategy.

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Jan 04, 2016

One of the most important challenges faced by HR leaders is in recruitment. Whether hiring C-level executives, individual contributors or temporary staff, recruiters need to quickly locate and hire people who are expected to meet the needs of organizations. Time is of particular importance. While recruiters spend lot of time searching for the right candidates. With increasing competitive pressures and huge volume of resumes, these operational searches and efforts are tantamount to failure.

The Traditional Recruitment Model is Broken

Just as extended searches are obsolete, the rapidly changing workplace can no more rely on the traditional recruitment model. Orthodox executive search, where a recruiter somehow contacts and personally curates a handful of candidates is time consuming and invariably affected for better or worse by the recruiter’s personal biases. Larger scale hires – for service representatives, sales people and engineers – are also bogged down by antiquated, manually driven processes.

Today’s workplaces need human-like intelligence enabled by algorithm-based machine computing to transform their HR into a strategy driven function to make the best of available and future talent.

Contextual Analytics – the Core of a New Recruitment Paradigm

Contextual analytics, a core capability of Spire’s talent acquisition product - Acqura™ is giving leading organizations the ability to quantify, accelerate, improve and make the recruitment process intelligent.

Acqura is a contextual talent search and hiring analytics platform. Its powerful search can scour thousands of resumes and job descriptions in a few hours using even up to 1300 different parameters at one go. In addition, it processes data of any format from any source simultaneously reducing recruiter effort significantly. Acqura pinpoints at only exactly matched resumes in a contextual manner improving the quality of hiring.

Acqura’s real value goes even further. It gives in-depth talent analytics which give immense insights to CHROs/CEOs/investors enabling them to make more accurate data-driven decisions and even impact bottom line.

Results that Drive Organization Success

Spire’s Acqura transforms talent acquisition into an agile, effective and a productive process for companies.

  • 40% reduction in time to hire

  • 50% reduction in recruiter effort

  • 73% interview-to-selection ratio, as opposed to the normal 30%

  • A completely auditable candidate selection process promoting bias-free recruiting

Algorithm-based contextual technology helps companies beat the odds and hire only the most relevant and diverse candidates in a bias-free manner. It gives the opportunity to relook at an otherwise opaque HR data in an intelligent manner and make the most of it.

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Dec 24, 2015

It is time for CHROs to change their perspectives

Typically, when a vacancy occurs in an organization, the job posting is advertised in the newspaper or job search portals where job seekers submit their virtual resumes. Keyword searches are used to sort through resumes to identify potential candidates who are then invited for in-person interviews. Sometimes this process yields a proficient employee who makes a positive impact on the organization. Also sometimes, this process yields a poor performer and the process has to be repeated once again to find the right candidate. If this all-too-familiar method is still the norm in your organization, then the HR is not only missing the opportunity to streamline and make the talent acquisition (TA) process more efficient, but also to influence and improve the outcome. The HR is beyond the capability to actually make a difference to the overall business of the company, more so at the strategic level.

Data without Meaning

HR departments are teeming with candidate data. From contact information to recruiter's notes, conventional ATS/HRIS/HRMS contain hundreds to thousands of such records. The question is: how effectively is this data being used by the TA professional?

A typical ATS/HRIS/HRMS system allows recruiters to search for suitable profiles based on keywords relevant to vacant job descriptions. The better maintained the resume database is and the more familiar a recruiter is with the details of the vacant job’s role, the better the system is expected to search. However, if a particular keyword is not used in the search or if a candidate’s skills are not properly mentioned in the resume, then qualified candidates get missed and unsuitable candidates might get chosen. This happens on a routine basis and much of the recruiter time, effort and cost is lost in this process.

The fundamental problem here is that resumes and job descriptions are unstructured by nature. i.e., they are not comprised of details which could be stored in traditional rows and columns data formats. Hence, how could machines ever understand skill proficiencies and candidate strengths correctly? All conventional systems have this major limitation.

Contextual Search and Comprehension is the Way Forward

Contextual technology brings ‘human-like intelligence’ to how talent data is searched, understood, comprehended and processed, thus making real meaning out of otherwise scattered and vague unstructured data. It is an advanced form of computing that goes beyond a mere keyword search.

Thus, a more suitable candidate who lists his/her skills and qualification using different terminology gets noticed. Results are fetched based on the ‘meaning’ of data rather than exact matches of input search terms. Gone are the days when qualified candidates would get overlooked because the resume database is not updated or the recruiter is unfamiliar with the exact job requirement.

Contextual intelligence technology saves recruiter time, effort and costs. It helps hire the right candidates and streamlines the talent acquisition process making it smarter, efficient and more accommodative to the evolving needs of organizations and the fast-paced environment.

Contextual technology is the way of the future without which the HR function will lag behind.

Intended and Unintended Benefits

Two important measurable benefits emerge as a result of using contextual intelligence in recruitment.

  • Using contextual search intelligence in HR has proven to result in 50% time saving for recruiters, 42% savings in costs and 70% increase in selection-to-hire ratio.

  • Subsequently, for the organization as a whole, contextual technology can help achieve 9% increase in revenue and 7% increase in cost savings.

While the above are measurable and auditable benefits below are the intangibles.

  • The talent pool is better in quality. Time-to-hire is shortened, giving organizations less understaffed operational time.

  • A host of actionable insights could be deduced from talent data analytics. Using the candidate resume pool for effective skill deployment; identifying passive job seekers as good fits for future vacancies and engaging them; mentoring potential candidates for leadership roles; identifying skill gaps and developing appropriate L&D programs instead of running routine modules.

CHROs can contribute to company strategy by helping determine critical investments in talent vis-à-vis company goals with insights derived from contextual analytics. Contextual technology enables CHROs to help impact the overall company bottom line making HR an important part of strategic decisions.

Data is meaningful only when it can be interpreted and applied meaningfully to achieve measurable results. The question is no longer whether an organization should adopt contextual technology? But how quickly can it do so. In today’s digital age, HR is expected to be at the forefront. Contextual search & intelligence technology is the enabler.

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Dec 21, 2015

The face-to-face, one-on-one interview is one of the oldest methods of determining whether a candidate is suitably qualified for a particular job vacancy in the business world. However, some research has shown that for making a successful hiring decision, interviews don’t really fare much better than random selection in predicting whether an employee will truly add value to an enterprise.

Cognitive tests have been proven to be the most effective. While job seekers looking for entry-level positions may be used to taking some form of tests, an M.B.A. or a J.D. degree holder is likely to be insulted when asked to take a routine cognitive test.

Using technology to fight bias in hiring

CHROs looking for a more efficient method of finding talent need to consider using contextual technology to improvize this process significantly. HR teams receive hundreds of applications in response to job postings. This makes the task of combing through a potential talent pool extremely time consuming. HR workers grow tired due to the unavoidable cumbersome effort causing them to take shortcuts in selecting candidates, overlooking apt talent.

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse performed a study which showed that employers do consider race and ethnicity into account while shortlisting applicants for interviews. The researchers sent fake resumes to different employers. Some resumes had names associated in American culture with African Americans, some had names associated with White Americans. The qualification details were kept consistently same. Resumes with the African American names were 16% less likely to be called in for interviews.

Such results are disappointing to highly skilled ethnic minorities looking for employment. This should also be of concern to employers looking to maintain and increase diversity in their workplaces. Evidence of bias is a red flag for diversity officers, attorneys or investigators while auditing a company’s hiring practices.

Contextual technology gives real advantages

Contextual technology sifts through thousands of resumes in a short span of time picking out the best available talent regardless of ethnicity, race or gender. This is a boon to CHROs worldwide. Other advantages include -

  • Removes bias from the hiring equation

  • Matches resumes to job descriptions and vice versa quickly and accurately

  • Helps create a rich talent pool of qualified resumes for on-demand hiring

  • Saves time and costs involved in recruiting

Spire Acqura uses algorithm-based contextual technology. It can process thousands of resumes from multiple sources and of multiple formats (doc, text, pdfs, video, audio) in a matter of few hours. The search capability is 95% accurate, the highest possible in machine computing. Rather than simply parsing relevant keywords, contextual searches give results that are relevant to the unique ‘context’ of your business and computation of in-depth skills proficiency of candidates. The pin-pointed resumes are significantly more useful and the related analytics give realistic insights for decision makers.

Most important of all, Spire Acqura is designed to easily integrate and work in a complementary manner with any pre-existing ATS/HRIS/HCM system. It could also be used as a standalone application and trusted completely beyond a doubt to ramp up the talent acquisition process and make the life of recruiters easy and efficient.

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Dec 16, 2015

Talent management is one of the most challenging aspects of particularly large organizations since it is characterized with a great deal of unpredictability.

Employees leave organizations at any time for a myriad of reasons which could develop skill gaps at workplaces affecting productivity directly. Filling up vacant positions with the ‘right fit’ talent is yet another challenge while on the other hand companies endeavour to maximize their talent potential to prepare for the future. As human capital management becomes a strategic cog in the organizational wheel, business leaders are looking to CHROs for promising solutions and cost reduction.

With Data Analytics CHROs can sharpen focus

While mentorship, job rotations and L&D (Learning and development) initiatives help engage employees better and are valuable in their own right, often they are not based on the right HR data as most of it is purely plain recorded information such as – employee details, time-to-hire, trainings undertaken, compensation, etc. This kind of data does not give any insights for decision makers.

Most L&D programs are standard modules which employees go through on a routine basis. There is hardly any available data computation by virtue of which organizations can determine – what the skills of employees are and where they could be of use; skill gaps vis-à-vis company goals and cost plans; knowledge of new projects, etc.

Customize L&D programs with insights derived from contextual analytics

Contextual intelligence can bolster the way HR data is understood and applied in organizations. Organizations get in-depth talent analytics and real-time insights which can help CHROs make more informed and accurate decisions.

Utilizing contextual data analytics, L&D programs can be customized to exactly address critical talent gaps and succession planning by understanding skill proficiencies and disposition of each single employee in detail. Thus high performers with the majority of the skills necessary to make a particular transition to management positions are identified.

Employees too can track their individual growth trajectories within an organization and choose functions of their interest. HR can further forge mentor-mentee relationships with employees based on comprehensive talent analytics. Most importantly, CEOs can make investment decisions based on real-time skill insights vis-à-vis future projects.

Lack of meaningful HR data analytics can prevent an organization from making its human capital management an important contributor in their strategic planning role which it is expected to play in today’s marketplace.

Data analytics can also offer ROI figures that so many CEOs are looking for.

Best data-driven decision making option for CHROs

Contextual intelligence tools have the ability to take transactional data an organization is already collecting and give decision makers a complete bird’s eye view of an organization’s talent skills, gaps, performance, and future planning scenarios along with costs involved. Such data driven decision-making reduces hiring costs, efficiently manages talent capacity, creates data-based forecasting and planning, and creates a competency-focused organizational map that effectively create lean, efficient organizations.

Contextual intelligence analytics gives organizations and decision makers a 360 degree view of their talent – skills, gaps, performance, future planning scenarios and costs involved. Such data driven decision-making reduces recruitment costs, cuts operational effort and unnecessary time spent. Most of all, it gives an organization a competency-focused analytical map in real-time to help create a lean and efficient business model.

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Dec 14, 2015

Talent is everywhere. Can you think of getting it in for your organization and build a rich qualified talent bank?

Didn’t get how? Read on...

A rich qualified talent bank can provide ‘right’ candidates whenever vacancies arise. Also, it gives two other most important benefits. One, richer profiles of candidates not limited to their CVs. Two, enhanced employer branding.

So how does one build a diverse, rich and qualified talent bank especially since talent traffic is very dynamic in any organization and HR data the most unstructured by nature?

Build Your Own Talent Ecosystem

Normally while hiring, there is always an onslaught of well-meaning yet indecipherable candidate data.

Each time you need to hire someone to fill a new position, you probably go through a frustrating number of all-too-familiar steps; particularly if you are hiring within a single department for similar positions. In spite of this rote process, hiring activities never level off and become less time-consuming and energy draining. What if you could maintain a talent database or an ecosystem filled with potentially qualified people? A fingertip access is all you need to decide what to do next after logging in to assess ready reckoner data on a likely pool of qualified candidates.

Spire’s TalentVista™ uses algorithm-based contextual search and intelligence capabilities to search the entire web and pull out only ‘relevant’ data suited to the unique rules of a business and its talent needs. Subsequently, it helps create a social ecosystem for attracting, engaging and retaining both passive and active job seekers.

More importantly, your potential new hires will consist of the perfect diverse fit for the positions from around the globe or locations of choice. Particularly helpful when setting up new facilities.

Build a Rich and diverse Talent Pool

As is often the case in the futuristic approach to business, contextual intelligence relies on the internet and all of its capabilities and resources to help create and nurture an environment teeming with active/passive ‘qualified’ job candidates. One of the most popular structures that abounds in modern society is the online virtual community. There are forums, discussion groups, social communities, tweets, posts, blogs and a whole range of digital footprints to serve nearly any interest, affinity, activity or occupation. With so much potential for collaboration with like-minded candidates, there is no reason for companies to not embrace, adopt and adapt this living medium for connecting with the most important stakeholders – potential future employees.

Below are 7 features that the contextually intelligent Spire TalentVista™ offers -

  • Locating ‘right’ talent and building a qualified talent bank: TalentVista™ applies the rules of sales and marketing to talent search. One can look for specific talent - in geographical area/s of choice, personality disposition, professional backgrounds, etc. and start engaging with them. A rich qualified talent bank can thus be built and maintained.

  • Outplacement intelligence: Organizational restructuring might trigger layoffs. Sudden termination, planned resignations and extended leaves can be effectively dealt with a readily available qualified talent bank which could help fill vacancies faster with the ‘right’ candidates.

  • Advanced social talent analytics: One of the biggest advantages of contextual intelligence is that it computes all kinds of available talent related data, be it in any format with human-like intelligence. Take a deeper look into a candidate’s personality and skills profile. Understand them better. This is a significant plus vis-à-vis most ATS systems which offer only basic searches.

  • Web 2.0 features for collaboration and subscriptions: TalentVista™ is based on the latest Web 2.0 offering advanced UI options which is friendlier to candidates of all age groups and could be accessed from any device.

  • Candidate Relationship Management and employer branding: Companies get to create their own talent social ecosystem and use it to foster goodwill and mutually enriching professional relationships with potential candidates. There is also the additional benefit of enhancing brand image.

With the contextual intelligence approach, by the time you are ready to host face-to-face interviews with candidates, you will have a deeper and meaningful understanding of the ‘relevancy’ of their skills and disposition to your organization. You will be able to consciously foster diversity and weave in fresher perspectives by recruiting apt talent.

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Dec 10, 2015

A quick search of the term autonomous brings up pages of content related to Google's self-driving cars. These vehicles have numerous sensitive sensors on them - many of them can compute thousands of bits of information in a second enabling the vehicle to handle curbs, sudden lane changes from other drivers and even changing lights. This data is instantly gathered and applied to the vehicle, keeping the rider safe. How could this model of ‘smart and autonomous machines’ be translate into the world of HR? It may have more impact than you can imagine.

A Contextual System can process Big Data of any volume and deduce valuable insights by computing all possible talent analytics and provide a host of accurate details for strategic decision making related to the human capital supply chain. Contextual Systems use the power of algorithms to understand data.

Discerning Data with Contextual Analysis

Conventional HR systems gather and report data. These seemingly simplistic bits of information mean nothing on their own.

For example, consider Google's autonomous vehicle. When a person drives his/her non-autonomous vehicle down the street, he or she has access to all of the available data available that the Google vehicle has as well. Yet, humans simply cannot gather and analyze that information fast enough or efficiently enough to ward off risks the way the Google vehicle does. Similarly, Contextual Intelligence can make a discernible difference in HR. It can help save costs, time and operational effort, while driving up revenue for organizations.

Get Contextual Analytics to understand HR data

Algorithm-based computing has the potential to create autonomous HR opportunities. Many companies believe a recruiter strategy is the best. However, even the most talented, experienced and skilled recruiter has limited ability to use even a small fraction of the information available to make key hiring decisions. The question is simple. What can Contextual Analytics do for your company?

Reduce Costs

Every business is under pressure to reduce costs. With Contextual Analytics, CXOs get in-depth insights to make data-driven decisions; speed and accuracy in talent searching and hiring; and finally cost savings and the option to directly impact the bottom line.

  • Reduce costs associated with hiring mistakes

  • Save money on staffing personnel

  • Hire more productive and efficient candidates

  • Reduce costs associated with on-boarding new teams

  • Avoid liability costs

  • Less downtime, focused use of employee skills and training

  • Contextual search to find only the ‘right fit’ candidates

Contextual Data Analysis Resolves Your Pain Points

Nearly all HR automation systems face limitations because they do not interact with each other. This can be very painful for decision makers in case they choose to use a combination of these to address their HR enterprise needs. On the other hand, a Contextual System can easily integrate with any existing HR system/s complementarily.

With Contextual Intelligence technology, organizations can enhance profits by 3.5% and increase HR efficiency by 70%. A Context Intelligence system uses advanced ‘search, match and map’ capabilities which can help understand talent and skills with greater meaning.

A Contextual System enables recruiter-free hiring and help recruiters to focus more on core HR functions than lose time in cumbersome operational effort. More importantly, it gives the right technological edge to organizations to stay competent in today's even more autonomous world.

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Dec 04, 2015

HR leaders are challenged to play a key role in the success of organizations. While leadership and talent development are the top concerns of many CHROs*; organizational change, employee engagement and workforce planning also continue to be the other major priorities. These tasks at hand become more difficult when companies operate globally or are driven by fast changing technology.

Conventional HR Management Systems aren’t sufficient

One major barrier to success is that conventional HR management systems are falling behind. Consider that the ‘basic’ information set on just a single employee could include - a job application, resume, transfer requests, reassignment authorizations, job titles, position descriptions, performance reviews, compensation adjustments, commission and bonus payments, patent and trade secret disclosures, training certifications, relocation agreements, department and business unit assignments, and supervisors. HR automation systems might be able to collect all of this in one place, but are incapable of making meaningful analysis since they are static and cannot process data intelligently.

A working example of HR Contextual Analytics in action

What if our CTO wants to know if the 98 employees at our Munich office have the skill sets and experience to take over a critical product development project now underway in Toulouse? A conventional system might generate a list of names with titles and education levels. How would Spire’s Contextual Analytics system support the decision?

Spire’s Contextual Analytics system will have already scanned the universe of available information on the company’s entire employee population, contextually correlated the individual data points and assembled a continuously updated volume of employee information.

The Contextual system would generate a skills map for both locations looking at years of relevant experience, educational and past work association with similar products and technology, personal performance, related patent and trade secret disclosures, French, German and English language proficiency, and any previous experience in engineering project transfers.

Spire’s Contextual system would also compute ’skills & resources required’ as specified by CTO, map it against the team in Munich, identify where additional skills and resources are required, and suggest candidates from other locations who could step in to fill the gap.

The CTO gets powerful insights about the choices being made in a matter of few hours. This analysis could be shared with the management team. Thus a far more accurate and quick decision could be made to define the next steps to make the product development project a success.

Where else can context analytics drive powerful business results?

In talent acquisition, Spire’s powerful Contextual platform can screen out non-conforming candidates and cut hiring time and effort by almost half while significantly improving the chances for successful hires.

For fast-growing organizations, a hiring pipeline of both active and passive ‘potential’ candidates could be created by attracting and engaging them in a social ecosystem. This talent pool could be accessed when new job positions arise.

Talent Management and Development

Company-wide talent and skills management is another area where Spire’s Contextual Analytics could empower decision makers. Your company’s long-term talent development plan could be augmented with a personal roadmap for every employee that incorporates cross-training, skills development, career path guidance and insights on investments. Spire’s Contextual Analytics platform provides the foundation for an integrated talent management program, one that can support a more engaged and highly skilled workforce.

Enterprise-wide decision making power

What about the biggest, C-level decisions? When a CEO asks us for an HR roadmap to support the divestiture/IPO of a major business unit, the stakes couldn’t be higher. Spire’s talent analytics can provide decision insights at multiple levels. It can assess the divested unit’s required skill sets versus its current profile. It can test “what-if” scenarios, even predicting how the new business units will perform against their key business goals. And it can help create new, long-term talent management plans for both businesses which in turn will strengthen the business plans which would be of interest to the investment community.

Contextual Analytics impacts time, costs and effort

The impact of Contextual Analytics on an organization’s performance can be measured in time, impact and profitability.

a) Time: As decisions can be more ‘informed’ with accuracy with Spire’s unique Contextual Analytics and executed more quickly

b) Impact: HR plans and activities can be developed with depth and measured in real time

c) Profitability: Organizations which use Spire’s Contextual Analytics their human resources management are able to build more talented, productive and resilient workforces.

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Nov 30, 2015

A disturbing phenomenon has been prevailing in recent years. Companies are spending considerable time and money hiring outstanding talented employees, only to lose them a year or two later. HR and functional managers are left scratching their heads and wondering why this happens.

Do resumes and interviews uncover clues to whether a particular candidate will turn out to be a good fit for both the position and the company along with its culture?

Finally, what if companies could tap into the kind of analytics that could give us the insights needed to explore and understand the talent pool in-depth while saving time and money in the process?

Sometimes the fault begins with choosing the wrong candidate in the first place, but more often it occurs after hiring, as outlined in the four scenarios below. At Spire Technologies Inc., we have developed a multitude of workable solutions for all of the hiring and retention issues that are bound to arise within any organization, from selecting the best candidate to tracking progress in employee productivity.

Mistake #1

According to a recent Forbes report, new employees feel lost in the shuffle when managers and other higher-ups move them over for new projects and whether they are enjoying what they are currently working on. For talented innovators, this is often the primary reason for leaving a new organization, as it dampens their desire to contribute while having a voice in the process. The newcomer eventually feels caught in a ‘set-up-to-fail’ situation as a vicious cycle of withdrawal and confusion sets in and performance suffers.

Solution

Keep employees motivated and maintain morale through a multitude of activities that give them opportunities to shine - from opening a new facility to the excitement of beginning another project. When managers become aware of the both the skills and strengths of employees, they are better able to engage and empower less productive employees, while retaining the enthusiasm of their top talent. Identifying and quantifying these critical parameters for decision making is very challenging, especially for managers who more often than not are caught in a daily time crunch.

Spire TalentMap ™ computes any amount of employee data giving a horde of benefits. It maps competence data accurately to help understand skill gaps, plan resource allocation/trainings and job rotations even across locations based on skill insights. HR managers can engage employees usefully and forge mentor-mentee relationships. Most of all, Spire TalentMap helps increase revenue/employee and optimize human capital deployment.

Mistake #2

Failure to conduct periodic in-depth performance reviews that offer constructive evaluation and encouragement as well as explore future career avenues within the company for the employee. When managers do schedule reviews, they are often in a hurry to get the review done with and focus on other tasks, leaving the employee wondering what the point is of working there, let alone staying.

Solution:

Most HR automation systems currently in use are too limited in their ability to pinpoint, train and empower an employee with additional responsibilities, especially if within the context of a different corporate role, such as a promotion to supervisor or higher. Spire PotentioScape™ is the answer.

In addition to suggesting which specific trainings employees need to prepare them for their new roles and also any upcoming organizational changes/restructuring, PotentioScape helps employees track their professional journeys within the company.

Mistake #3

Failing to take advantage of social media in locating and recruiting potential candidates for a position as most talent search platforms available to managers are limited in scope as well as accessible to the organization’s competitors.

Solution

Today’s young professionals and college students can all be found in social and professional online communities. It follows that HR departments should create their own social platforms to attract and engage potential active/passive job seekers and convert them to employees of the organization. By engaging in real-time conversations, an organization can not only reduce job vacancies due to attrition but also create and maintain a talent pool of potential candidates for future hiring. Smart HR managers therefore turn to Spire TalentVista™ for creating their own company-specific social ecosystems and building relationships.

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Nov 27, 2015

Analytics is getting due importance in the HR business for its various capabilities. HR can now make fit business cases and showcase its investments just like other functions in the organizations. However there is ample room to encounter misconceptions when a new technology is fed into the system chief among them the attempt to term metric studies as analytics. The previous article dealt with why we need analytics. This article clears the confusion over metrics and analytics.

Analytics and Business Objectives: Analytics studies the data to identify and present trends and patterns on it. Porting into visual formats enables data to project the trends and patterns more dramatically. Intelligence is obtained with various correlation, permutations, combinations, comparisons etc.

In the words of Josh Bersin, the principal and founder of Bersin By Deloitte: Companies using people analytics “generate high returns for their work - their stock market returns are 30% higher than the S&P 500, they are twice as likely to be delivering high impact recruiting solutions, and their leadership pipelines are 2.5x healthier. These HR teams are 4x more likely to be respected by their business counterparts for their data-driven decision making, giving them true potential to help change the business.”

However the rider is…

But this is useful when the analytics is in context to the business objectives and goals. Any HR function be it in Capacity Planning, Succession Planning, Competency Assessment, Workforce Management in Pre and Post Re-organization or Mergers and Acquisitions, Leadership Pool Creation, Attrition Management or the ambiguous Talent Acquisition is besotted with realizing business goals and returning maximum outcomes for every shekel invested.

For this reason analytics must reach out to business goals and be responsible for the outcomes.

Business goals ----> Analytics ----> Business outcomes

Such glove-fit alignments brings in a windfall of benefits to the organizations.

What else can Analytics not be

True Analytics enables you to insights into your HR data. But not all these insight inducing data can be construed as analytics. The same applies to some processes professing to be analytics but are actually analysis of a different kind. Here, sample these:

Analysing Gaps in Skills/Performance: When you undertake exercises to find gaps in skills, performance of individuals or departments, you collate these data and then analyse them. You can also perform this on a year-on-year basis to understand the deltas on these parameters. This will result in possible ranking on best skill/performance. But are products of these analyses analytics? No, because we aren’t showing how they impact the business. What are the business goals and what outcomes are sought to be achieved through this exercise?

Notion of business alignment: on the same argument efforts to ensure alignment with respective business (sales, engineering, marketing etc.) as claimed by heads of HR is one of alignment. There isn’t a case of cause and effect relationship to suggest increased productivity/profitability to support alignment. Hence this exercise is of process adherence and the analysed data pertaining to it is not analytics.

Recruitment metrics are not analytics: tracking time to hire, number of hires etc. is construed by some HR folks as analytics. It is metrics and not analytics. Ask yourself this question “Are there insights to relate quality of the talent hired with indent to hire time?” So, the number of hires is a scorecard as also the time to hire. Accumulation of such data/scorecards with no business value (especially outside HR) is not analytics.

Benchmark parameters: companies would want to know their employees feedback to benchmark their organizations against others in the industry. This is important and qualifies as metric. Benchmarking data do not pass off as analytics because the business outcome of such opinions and returns on investment made on improving benchmarks do not seem to have a connection. At the most it is another way of perceiving such data but in absence of business value (business goal-outcome relation) it is not analytics.

Benchmark parameters: companies would want to know their employees feedback to benchmark their organizations against others in the industry. This is important and qualifies as metric. Benchmarking data do not pass off as analytics because the business outcome of such opinions and returns on investment made on improving benchmarks do not seem to have a connection. At the most it is another way of perceiving such data but in absence of business value (business goal-outcome relation) it is not analytics. Drawing Correlation between types of data: this is another area of misconception. Collecting information from various functions within the HR on people and business might throw up strange coincidences between these types of data. However these may not trigger decisions to make right investment from HR perspective. That is because they are not analytics but a motley bunch of data.

Conclusion

HR no doubt is saddled with metrics. And analytics can play a yeoman’s role in meeting HR needs to make it an efficient business and add value to the organization. Speaking Analytics, one company that is steadily changing the landscape of Big data technologies is Spire Technologies. Spire’s technology solutions take care of the entire gamut of Talent management making your HR function effective.

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Sep 22, 2015

Came across an interesting article on Andrew Carnegie- the famous steel baron and philanthropist of America. A typical rags to riches story, this much feted gentleman is also known for his acumen in hiring the best workers for his enterprises.

Cut to the present scenario. Yes, the world has advanced quite a lot. The influx of technology into each nook and crevice of the individual life has had a profound effect into what we do and most importantly get noticed.

The same applies to the business of HR especially Talent acquisition. To recruit the talent you want your organization must get noticed as among the best employers in industry. I’m sure Monsieur Carnegie would have presented his company as a wonderful employer in letter and deed. Technology must make it possible for every genuine organization sell itself as a great employer and attract the best talent (active or passive). Let us admit it. Recruitment drives cost a lot of money and eat into the productive time of employees (interview effort). While there are perennial endeavours to identify more avenues of hiring talent on one side, a parallel stream has emerged to with great potential to channelize the process and gain maximum ROI in HR investments. This is Analytics!

Sample This: a giant networking company leaned heavily on data to drive its recruitment strategy and operations.In one instance a recruitment executive of this company convinced the business unit manager that candidates from outside his business’ geographical jurisdiction also be considered for vacant positions. He did so on the strength of data on both Talent supply and Talent demand. The manager otherwise would have preferred to consider outstation candidates only after exhausting the local candidates list. The incisive talent data the recruiter provided enlightened the manager to consider both local and outstation candidates resulting in faster recruitment and savings on the recruitment budget.

Why Analytics?

Companies have oodles of data on employees past present and on coming. This data consisting of numbers alphabets and data points would remain as it is if not put to use through analysis. With Talent Analytics one is driven to capture data for each period of HR function and accurately as possible.

There a plethora of reasons why Analytics adds immense value to recruitment, chief among them being: Aid stock taking of present situation: analytics provides unparalleled view of your current strategy with respect to recruitment. This includes the areas of good implementation and areas where improvement must be made.

Aid business of tomorrow: with analytics you can predict the future of your business and prepare for trends shown in the data like future traffic of applicants (mobile, laptop etc). This gives enough ammunition to make plans to achieve the goals and monitor them periodically.

Aid in deriving deep insights: with analytics you get innumerable number of insights. These help locate trends and factors responsible for these trends.

Aid in making safe assumptions: with analytics you will realize the actions/steps taken in your business is success or failure, in the incipient stage itself. This gives you valuable time to alter or re-engineer your process/steps leading to best usage of time and resources.

Analytics helps these organizations use their data to derive insights into their recruitment strategy, and provide the impetus to perform the necessary actions. This encompasses the important function of acquiring the right talent in an effective and efficient manner.

HR and Analytics

Recruitment has its own set of metrics within the HR function. These metrics help one gain insights into the performance of Talent acquisition and consequently the impact it makes to the HR business as a whole.

The metrics that HR must give importance to are as follows:

Recruitment Time: this metric measures the time taken from indent to hire i.e., from the time a request for hire is placed to the time the selected candidate(s) has come onboard the organization.

Costs of hire vs vacancy: the metric determines the cost of hiring someone to fill a position vis-à-vis the cost incurred in keeping the post vacant. The insight from this metric will help in deciding if engaging an RPO will make your hiring effective or you can do it internally or to bring improvements to succession processes.

Hiring process experience: this important metric provides feedback on the entire hiring process from candidates who attended the hiring as well as those who got hired.

Attrition hiring vs new hiring:this metric determines if hiring is done because of attrition or growth of business. The insight derived from this metric throws light on the engagement with employees, selection and succession planning.

Sourcing:this metric determines how effective are various media (job portals, social media, broadcast, email, RPO) used in sourcing profiles.

Hiring effectiveness: this metric determines the number of vacant openings vs the number filled. Through this metric one can derive the insight of Talent acquisition being on course to achieving its target or lagging behind.

Conclusion

Gone are the days when hiring decisions were made more on gut instinct, consulting a few here and there or relying entirely on head-hunter’s expertise. Now with data, and consequentlyAnalytics, the power of making the right decisions to your recruitment is within your reach.

If you are looking to get the best analytics then Spire Technologies is the one you must partner with. Spire’s deep research in Big data domain especially in the field of HR has yielded game changing products to suit every need of Talent Management, right from Talent Acquisition to Attrition management.

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Sep 22, 2015

Looking for a talent matching your needs at least in part is a daunting task. Timing is an important factor in attracting the contextually right talent to your organization. Tagging along with time is the approach to attracting talent.

This article seeks to shed light on the approaches to attracting and on boarding talent.

Active and Passive Candidates

The candidates available in market can be classified broadly into two categories depending on whether they are actively looking for job opportunities or are latent in their job hunt.

These are:

  • Active Candidates

  • Passive Candidates

Active Candidates

These are candidates who are seriously looking for a job in the job market. One can tell by the frequency of updates they perform on their resumes in job boards, job communities and interactions in LinkedIn. In other words explore all possible avenues to land a job as quickly as possible. The reasons for the active look out can be varied, chief among them being:

  • Unforeseen Lay off: candidates may not see the layoff coming until the fateful day there are handed their pink slips.

  • Pay: a common grouse is the pay disparity between two employees performing the same role. This may cause the lesser paid employee to drop out and look for opportunities outside as an active candidate.

  • Relocation: personal reasons such as family in another location, need to look after sick parents, feeling home sick, and weather may influence an employee to contemplate jumping ship. In this case candidates will keep a close watch on the job openings pertaining to the location he/she wants to relocate.

  • Bored/Don’t fit: Stagnant work or environment and a feeling of “I don’t belong here” can trigger a morose commitment and hence decision to move to a more amenable work place.

candidates make up about 25%* of workforce looking for a change.

Passive Candidates

As explained in earlier, passive candidates aren’t in a hurry to change jobs. They will however entertain calls for potential job offers, evaluate each of them and choose the best one to ring in the epoch change in careers. Reasons why they need to be coaxed into listening on exciting job offers are as follows:

  • Satisfied Jobs: a job that meets most of their needs and promises further growth is a potion strong enough to make such candidates stay put in present vocations

  • Good to excellent monetary compensation: pay is an emotional booster. A good pay better than peers or the market standards is another reason such candidates will stay put in the same job.

  • Is kept busy: some employees are die hard workaholics who just enjoy the thrill of working hard and working late. Such souls cannot be expected to look for change even if a transparent bag containing gold and labelled “Take me” is dangled before them.

  • Migration allergic:some talent who are well settled in one location will dread at the thought of relocating no matter how bigger and better another job may be. Such candidates would prefer to stay put in current organizations.

  • Other commitments: employees who have received loans (company or private), undergone company sponsored courses, assignments in the firm’s other locations and other such commitments/incentives will want to continue in present roles

Passive candidates make up 75%* of the workforce.

The Inbetweeners

Though we have defined two main categories Active and Passive, there are a couple of in between categories as well. These are:

  • Tiptoers who will not apply directly but seek out referrals from friends to move on to other jobs

  • Super passive who prefer to stay rooted to their present jobs and will not budge until they see paradise!

Candidates Sell and Passive Candidates are Sold

An Active Candidate endeavors to sell his/her expertise on the job profile to the recruiter/hiring manager and get them to hire him/her.

A Passive Candidate needs to be sold on theidea of this job opportunity for which he/she is being approached is the best career move and way better than the current role.

Please remember the percentages mentioned for Active and Passive Candidature make up is nominal and varies in each survey, from 71% to as high as 85%*.

Approaching Candidates

There cannot be a one size fits all method to approach candidates with job opportunities. A proper selection based on methods available and your business needs will yield the desired results. Here are a few steps that can help you in your endeavor.

Marketing your Brand: candidates check the reputation of the company they are applying. This puts the onus on the organization to project itself as a friendly, affable place to work. Media like social networks, advertisements, and outreach messages have the potential to bolster the image. Plus, employees of the organization can be great brand ambassadors and refer quality talent.

Social Media Presence: the importance of social networks to carry forward and magnify company reputations cannot be ruled out. Soliciting talent for jobs along with a robust brand management get maximum eyeballs. Both active and passive candidates use these media to apply or check on the company.

Proactive Sourcing: social networks, job posts and binary searches are some of the methods by which one can proactively source candidates whether active or passive.

Employee Referral Program (ERP): Active candidates, tiptoers and passive candidates reach out to their friends in other companies for roles that will suit their profile. Having a robust ERP will net quality talent on virtue of the talent being known to an existing employee.

Network: showing candidates courtesy, enthusiasm and goodwill when calling them makes them respect your call, you and your organization. Even if they reject the opportunity thy may refer a friend of theirs who may fit the bill. This will help you build a database of profiles.

Conclusion

Attracting and engaging candidates to a potential hire is now a sought after science. It has spawned a bevy of software aimed at making the right hiring a possibility. But still the human element of reaching out to candidates in person and engaging has not lost its sheen. It is this aspect that makes or breaks a deal between the candidate and the recruiter.

While there are many HR technology vendors in the market, only Spire Technologies makes recruiting the right candidates a sure exercise. Its game changing contextual search and demand-supply mapping technologies ensure you identify the right talent to approach for your vacancies in your organization keeping in mind your business objectives.

Reference: *Recruiting Active vs. Passive Candidates, LinkedIn **Active vs. Passive Candidates: The Latest Global Breakdown Revealed, LinkedIn

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Sep 22, 2015

The spurt in business and the importance of skills to an organization’s growth has underscored the need for imbibing quality talent.

Therefore, in parallel to on-time hiring HR business now actively pursues the proactive recruiting as well. Talent Pipeline exercise centers mostly around Passive candidacy.

By engaging in proactive recruiting the HR can build a pipeline of appropriate talent, in other words, Talent Pipeline.

So who are these people the proactive recruiters are going after?

These people are called the Passive candidates.

Why passive?

Because they are not resources who are actively looking out for employment by posting their CVs on job boards and updating it, seeking referrals, attending job fairs etc.

These are people who have shown an inclination to change in jobs/roles but are not actively pursuing it. Such candidates will lend an ear to a recruiter’s call and discuss the job opportunities.

General Characteristics of Passive Candidates

Some characteristics usually associated with passive candidates are listed as follows:

  • They do not appear on job boards, portals and will definitely not line up before companies for interview

  • They will be more discerning in their selection of opportunities.

  • They won’t be in touch with recruiters out of their own volition. If in touch then only with a few trusted recruiters

  • They would want to hear about new opprtunities even if they are fresh into their new jobs

Passive candidates (about 75%*) outnumber the active candidates (about 21%*), which is how it must be, else it indicates the economy of the country is in trouble. A significant number among passive candidates are approachable to discuss new opportunities. If the question is why then the following classification will help answer your why.

Passive candidates can be classified into Explorers and Super Passive.

Explorer candidates are those people who are interested in hearing from recruiters or reach to only their personal networks to put in a word they might be interested in new opportunities. It is surprising that such candidates evince interest even if they are less than a year into their present company. This underlines the fact that short tenure need not be a criterion to filter candidates for talent pipelining.

Super Passive candidates are those that do not want a change in organization or roles. They are content with their present jobs or have commitments that they feel will be addressed by staying in their present jobs.

Both passive and super passive candidates will scrutinize potential opportunities though on varying scales of intensity. The result of their interest can range from an outright “No” to “Ok”.

How can Passive Candidates be Found

One of the characteristics that differentiate Passive candidates from active ones is that they are not present in job portals. That is, the resumes/CVs of these candidates do not get sent to various job offers or they do not get updated frequently.

These candidates can be located in the following media:

  • Talent communities: these are a type of online social networking forums where job seekers and recruiters interact and network. Job seekers interact with potential recruiters, offer advice to other professionals, connect with similar talent, and discuss trends in employment, to name a few. These communities are administered by recruiters, employers or hiring managers.

  • Social media: passive candidates check into forums (groups) within these social media to discuss jobs, share experiences, advice etc. They also alert their friends to look out for opportunities befitting their profiles.

  • Employee referral programs: this is yet another route through which many passive candidates can be approached. As opposed to external recruiters who usually contact candidates for urgent openings, employee referral programs are more spaced out providing more insights about the jobs for these candidates via their referrers.

  • Past interview candidates: applicant tracking systems, candidate databases are a treasure of such passive candidates. Intelligent data mining solutions like the one offered by Spire can unearth many profiles that match the current/impending job’s requirements.

  • Boolean searches: using search text like AND, OR, NOT, O,””, inurl etc. to search and locate the appropriate profiles from the internet. The next article will explain how appropriate search results (profiles) using such strings can be obtained.

Conclusion

Research and statistics have proved the inclination of working resources to show interest in newer opportunities whether they are willing to join or not. Plus, they form the largest group of talent to be targeted for filling up vacancies, especially the specialized ones. They also happen to be the trickiest ones to net making it quite an adventure. But there are ways to approach and engage these talent when you know their skills and experience will add immense value to your organization.

Take inspiration from the famous monologue of the movie Taken**, albeit with a minor twist: “I don’t know where you are. I don’t know what you want…. But I will look for you, I will find you…. And I will HIRE you!!
….when you begin locating and approaching passive talent!

References:

*. Talent Trends 2014-global research report, LinkedIn, 2014.

**. Taken-movie, Pierre Morel, Luc Besson, EuropaCorp, 2008

The next article in this series will focus on approaches to recruiting candidates-active and passive.

-- Article by Maheshwar Antony

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Sep 22, 2015

The beginning of this century has turned the art and science of doing business upside down. Disruption is one word that can summarize this changed landscape. Water cooler conversations in HR bays most probably centers on the much laundered topic- How do we build an effective talent hiring pipeline?

Why does one need to identify and engage a potential employee? Wouldn’t the hire-when-vacant scenario work best, as always?

Yes, hiring to meet immediate needs is a track that will continue unabated. However there is a need to proactively scour the talent market and pick out talent that may be potential fit to various roles in the organization.

Let us call it an innovation driven by necessity.

What is Talent pipeline?

Like its name sake, pipeline, Talent pipeline is identifying, adding (talent database), and engaging external talent that can at a later stage be hired immediately. This exercise spans across all roles and levels in the organization. However the emphasis is on roles that are supercritical to the business/department.

Passive candidates

The advent of Social media has provided the boost to hiring pipeline by reaching out to passive talent.

Passive talent are those that are not actively looking for job opportunities (companies, roles, employment types)but are willing to talk to recruiters when contacted. These candidates make up a whopping 80% of workforce. And a healthy percentage among them is actually looking for job opportunities though not explicitly advertise their desire through job boards. Therefore a potential opportunity to engage with these candidates cannot be ignored. Social media networks, talent communities and referrals are a few of these media to net such talents.

How is Talent pipeline important?

The evolving science of Talent management has now made organizations realize in situ talent acquisition processes need innovation. It is advisable to look out for talent that is amenable to a change in job position and engage with him/her. This will help recruiters target the talent as and when need arises to recruit that talent. Reasons like superannuation of existing talent, incapacitated employees, and re-alignment of business provide the grounds for this sort of parallel recruitment because these are anticipated to happen in organizations.

Building talent pipeline pays huge dividends. First, due to engagement you know the talent pretty well to tag him/her as super talent, good, mediocre, or bad. Invariably you are building a database of not just talent but also qualifying them.

Second, you avert the need to start from scratch when hiring because you already know the people you will be targeting. A report from LinkedIn mentions that 82 percent of recruiters keep and engage with the talent they identify for later plausible hiring.

But the Hitch is…

The Talent acquisition resources do a good job of identifying the potential candidates for later acquisition but find it an uphill task to continuously engage with these identified resources.

In addition, the tools/software dedicated to perform; support and archive end-to-end talent pipelines exercise is either not present or is grossly inadequate. This hinders pipelining efforts in organizations.

Recruitment is a process riding on relationships. And for talent pipelining, this relationship building starts even before an actual job application lands in HR database. You identify a talent, reach out to him/her and strike a rapport via effective conversation and empathy.

Observation

Talent pipeline is a profitable approach to net the star employees not withstanding ambiguity and lacunae in support functions. If your HR organization sees no merit in talent pipeline or is treating it as ad-hoc arrangement then you stand to lose quite a lot. Because LinkedIn’s Global Recruiting Trends Survey, 2011, claims that passive talent hiring is important to at least two-thirds of recruiters and that 82% of them stay engaged with passive talent using various methods.

Why you must Build a Talent Pipeline

Building a talent pipeline helps you start early in the talent market and reserve the best talent for absorbing at a later stage. The steps you take constitute a talent pipeline buildup and consequently beneficial. These are:

  • Engage with the talent regularly so when the time comes for hire you can accelerate the engagement.

  • Due to continuous engagement candidates feel their talent is respected and hence feel loyal to your organization. They will be inclined to join your organization when it is time to hire, even when others are competing to hire them.

  • You cannot predict when a vacancy can arise especially in critical roles. There is a danger of business getting affected. So be proactive and build a talent pipeline especially for these special roles.

  • Use this opportunity to spread visibility and aid in brand building exercise for your company. Candidates will have a good opinion about the company due to your humane efforts to reach out to them.

Conclusion

Building and managing a pipeline will reap dividends in the longer run. Proactive recruiting does not drain resources and stretch efforts (screening process) as does the usual reactive recruiting.

Organizations that want to stay relevant in market, especially the service oriented ones, will find a better return on the recruiting efforts with such proactive talent pipelining exercise.

Watch this space for more Talent pipeline articles on Zen of Building a Hiring Pipeline series. --Article by Maheshwar Antony

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Sep 22, 2015

"You can really change the world if you care enough"- Marian Wright Edelman

Change banishes monotony. Nature effects change. The corporate world is no exception because factors like advances in technology, relevancy in market, demographic changes, talent availability, politics, acts of God, government regulations etc. force change on the organization. It comes to a stage where you have change to survive, lest you miss the bus and wither away.

While the factors mentioned in the previous paragraph are of general nature there are a lot of incisive factors that make change a viability.

In the previous article we outlined the need for change and what you the change manager must mull before implementing change. In this edition we point out the factors that present a case for change to happen.

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Sep 22, 2015

The previous edition of our article shed light on what Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) is, its inception and the range of services it offers. This edition continues from the earlier edition to highlight the need for RPOs in greater detail. It winds up with a section advising you on what to look for in the RPO you want to engage.

Turnaround in Talent Recruitment in a Manufacturing Organization

Let us delve into the case of a firm that reaped huge dividends by outsourcing its talent requirements. Starting out as a family run business, this manufacturing company had acquired a corporate like identity over the last decade.

To keep pace with its burgeoning business it set about expanding its Sales division. There in lay the difficulty. In spite of its best efforts the right talent subscribing to its requirements were difficult to come by. Not only was much effort and money funneled into the recruitment campaign albeit with limited success, the company HR soon stared at a grim situation of having ill-managed its existing workforce. A casual suggestion by a member of the HR team turned into serious brainstorming and the company was found evaluating an external agency to handle recruitment. Six months down the line, the company not only met its hiring needs but also saved 20% in the hiring costs. The selected RPO came to the table with bespoke solutions to recruit the talent contextual to the company’s needs and also ensured the time lines were adhered to in letter and spirit. So what did the RPO do to turnaround recruitment?

Competitive edge:

  • Expertise and research for in-depth knowledge about the domain for which talent needs to be acquired. This ensures the right candidate was identified from among numerous resumes.

  • Using resources efficiently by purging non-core duties.

  • Due to the above factors the RPO helped the company build sufficient pools of talent for various departments by tapping into passive candidates as well. Passive candidates are those that aren’t actively looking for a job but wouldn’t mind considering a change in employment if a suitable job offer comes their way.

Cost savings:

the company in this case study saved 20% in overall recruitment costs. Bulk hiring at lower levels were helping save 40% on the costs involved in hiring.

Enable focus on core business: Outsourcing freed up the HR to concentrate its policies and operations on the employees of the company. The company didn’t need to hire a full time employee to hire others for the company, thereby freeing up some overheads. With the non-core jobs purged the actual business of human capital management could be performed. In a nutshell, the bespoke solutions implemented by RPOs like this and many other established ones ensured a smooth operation with any spike or trough in recruitments being ably handled.

If you are convinced and about to sign up, good! However all apples don’t taste the same. Ditto with the RPOs as well. Remember to view Recruitment Processing Outsourcer as your partner who gets you the candidates contextual to your needs. After all, talent is the single most harbinger to a company’s fortunes. Here is a check list you can refer to before embarking on the RPO hunt:

Reputation matters:

Start with RPOs who have been in the business for quite long and have a repertoire diverse (size, domain etc.) clients.

Reach:

RPOs that can source the talent contextual to your needs from among many resumes, local, national or global must receive a tick in your checklist for the sheer diversity of resume pool they possess. To quote a metaphor RPOs must be like an octopus in resume sourcing!

Capacity for Bespoke offerings:

As explained in previous article, RPOs can provide services ranging from just resume sourcing to complete end-to-end recruitment services (barring salary negotiations and offer letters!). Check if the RPO can provide the following:

  • Recruiters on demand

  • RPO on project basis

  • RPO for your process

  • Complete recruitment solutions (encompassing all the three points mentioned above)

RPOs providing a wide range of services, customised to your needs can fetch you a good percentage of savings (remember the case study).

Turn-around time:

Time to on-board is a non-negotiable KPI. So look for RPOs that have delivered right and quality talent for hire in the least possible time.

Exclusive tie-ups:

Give a serious thought to exclusive tie-ups where the RPO would service only your recruitment needs to give you the edge over your competitors. If you are operating in a sector that is the current flavour in the market or fighting for a limited talent pool this venture would help get you assured talent.

Corporate governance:

RPOs that have a good track record of corporate governance bring in transparency and accountability. Such RPOS must be in your radar.

Work and culture fit:

While mapping candidates to your requirements, RPOs must also consider the work culture aspect to decide if the resume owner will fit into the culture (people-peers and superiors, ethics etc.) your company espouses. So in addition to job profile, the company background and people in it (especially the team) will need to be considered which a seasoned RPO will bear in mind while recruiting. Go for such wholesome RPO providers.

Conclusion

Recruitment Service Providers are here to stay. They are here to evolve in tandem with the way the talent market is evolving. They would be a good fit to source and on-board talent. But how will you figure out the good fit even with the checklist documented in previous section? The answer is data. The data in your HR organization will help you evaluate the RPOs and engage with the one you need. Spire specializes in offering solutions to enable you identify and engage with the right RPO using its Contextual Search and Demand-Supply technologies.

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Sep 21, 2015

Introduction

“Change is the only permanent thing in this world”- remarked the 5th century philosopher Heraclites. It may have been lot easier in those days where change was brought about with sword and propaganda. This utterance wants to find reverberation in today’s corporate kingdoms: sword is replaced with executive decision, propaganda with communications/marketing/advertisements.

Staying relevant in market and be miles ahead of competition mandates companies to reinvent, mould, metamorphose, transform, course correct, re-engineer, shuffle, and myriad different synonyms of one word-Change.

Change is relevant

Why is change required when everything is going fine? One might ask. Monotony can have adverse impacts-professionally and personally. Thankfully nature and life do not allow monotony to stay for long. Same is the case in corporate culture. Be it merger of two companies or a take-over or hiving off businesses (profit making or loss making), change is taking place. This naturally leads to changes in many aspects of conducting business-people, philosophy, processes, software, hardware, market outreach and so on. In this scenario change is imminent and therefore organizations need to undertake steps to kick in changes.

The Mental Flux in Ushering Change

You, as the Capacity Planner in your organization is sitting down to draw the road map to bring in change management. It is natural for the mind to run amok, conjure up images of how the changed workplace would look like- pleasant or a disaster. Therefore, take a few deep breaths, put on your thinking cap and have your writing instruments handy to chalk out the following thoughts:

Objective of Change Management

You are bringing in change management because you (or your organization) have a new way to accomplish something. This “something” is going to give you/your business the edge over others in the market. Whatever be the intent or implementation, change management achieves its purpose only if an equilibrium or homeostasis is attained in the organization and it’s functioning.

An essential tag along is Context. The following text throws light on why context-sensitive approach is vital to successful change management ventures.

Points you must think about…..

Change because you want to: Change is imperative but if your motive is to change because others are doing then it could turn useless. Alignment of your strategic objectives with the change effort is important to avoid changing for its own sake.

  • Everyone in the organization must be on the same page regarding the objectives

  • Integration of changes will happen only if they support achieving these objectives

Consequently a context based approach is required. It helps in performing any diagnostic activities during the change management implementation and importantly enables work force to adapt/change in tune with the organizational change.

Involve a broad range of stakeholders: Agreed, the impetus to change may have come from the higher echelons of the organization but when implemented will affect everyone-full time or contractual workforce. It is wise to involve employees from middle management or even operational levels in the change management strategy. This creates a sense of involvement across all levels and a buy-in from them for change management. Future restructuring of processes, teams, and workforce across locations, business units becomes easier because your employees are not only aware but are taking an active part in the change management exercise.

Impress your workforce with positivity on Change management: employees (especially those resisting change management) will be quick to point out dangers to change as a means of stalling change. Don’t be disheartened because this hurdle provides an opportunity to show them what change can do for them even if the present one is hunky dory.

Keep these action items handy:

  • For objections raised: ask the employees to point out the negatives. Once complete, ask them to suggest the solution to each of their objections. You not only convert a negative into a positive opinion but also involve them from there on

  • Showcase customised scenarios post change: Approach each level/team with a plan that clearly showcases how the team, individuals and organization will be post change. These actionable indicators will provide assurance to the employees that change is indeed good for them

  • Involve their immediate supervisors: the presence of supervisors of employees will bolster your assertion to bring positive outcomes

Ultimately change involves people to change their mind set from objection to accommodation. Courage and discipline together can bring a positive impression to employees. If you mirror their optimism, they can see it and be open to change management.

Anticipate resistance, deal with it: It is human to resist change. Though not expecting industrial action in response to change, you nevertheless will face resistance from managerial cadre as well. A little empathy to their concerns of managing team the envisaged technical environment will help assuage them. A normal survey distribution will attribute 10% employees to oppose any change. Concentrate on the remaining 90% with the following action items:

  • Enlist the support of project manager and leaders of departments to help you present the nature and in a way that employees can understand. Remind yourself of the question “Will the employees be inspired?” when you prepare to face them with the change roadmap.

  • Check the propositions that will cause the most heartburn, keep them for a later point to address in the meeting. Even when presented and objected, park it to discuss with top management for any changes that could elicit a yes from the employees next time

You need to find a way to balance the employee opinions with the mandated changes and at same time encourage them to involve in the change process when executed.

Conclusion

Change management involves dealing with employees who are people like you with the same emotions. A Leadership that is accommodative, transparent and yet assertive is needed to achieve the homeostasis between employee satisfaction and change management in organization. Identifying such change agents i.e. leaders, employees etc. to deploy for such exercise also needs to be part of the overall analysis, mobilization and execution of change management strategies.

Whether your organization is merging with another, acquired or transforming itself, you need a solid fool proof blue print to execute the change. Data in your organization will be your saviour. Process it as per your business context to yield the information that you can use to gain valuable insights.

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Sep 21, 2015

Emergence of HR systems

Using technology in HR’s functioning is a relatively new phenomena.Tech revolution of the 90s really had left HR and talent acquisition alone. The initial tech revolution focused purely on where the money was visibly available and things everyone wanted to measure was always things that have been measured. Like Henry Ford said about the world before the automobile was invented, “If I would have asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses” Well, while the view is well received, it is true that businesses look for tangible and measurable values up-front and in the age of quick returns, looking at measurable results from already measured places in finer detail became a fad. The main issue – the issue of where these decisions come from have been quite ignored. In today’s world of extreme and continuously lessening cost of automation, it is the people’s decisions that truly ‘matter’. It is the people that truly separate organizations from competitors; separating them from becoming clones of each other though that is what the world has pseudo-arrived at.

Increasing focus on process and process improvements has led organizations to become standardized and efficient from a process perspective however at an operational level, has the execution bit been ignored? It definitely looks that way. Processes by definition have defined inputs and defined outputs. Not to knock on their efficiencies, they are an extremely important part of an organization’s backbone however the other key functional responsibilities still lie with the people. Hence the ferocious battle for the ‘right’ fit and ‘operational efficiency’ is raging. The first revolutionary technological gift to HR talent acquisition has been the ATS (Application Tracking System). Of course we had the concept of using vendors & RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing) for a while to aid with the recruitment cycle as well as attendance trackers to crack the tailgating issue and get an accurate measurement of productivity and security issues with a still questionable results. ATS helped bring structure to the earlier unaccounted and a slightly haphazard recruitment lifecycle. Application Tracking Systems have brought a sea change to the way organizations work and have enabled organizations to set a strong input-output measurement system for the process to operate and a tool to enable it. The present expectation of organizations that the ATS helps them recruit the ‘right fit’ however is slightly unfounded. Let us look at it this way – it is a tool that helps you sieve through the thousands of resumes that hit you until you conduct an interview and close the role with a candidate. At no point in time are we able to determine if this is the candidate that you were looking for or the closest match to that candidate. Meaning – yes your recruitment is faster but resumes you are looking at may not even be the most relevant candidates to you.

Scientific test –

We are expecting an accelerator to perform the function of a turbo. The quality differs. An ATS is a database – your inputs are stored and when you search for keywords, it does exactly what it promises – searches these words. The data is not taken through any additional concepts, understanding or learning from previous instances of that the organization has gone through. Organizational needs are also not taken into consideration – the senior management and the ‘strategists’ do not have a view on the impact of each wrong hire or unnecessary hire. The article by Fred Yager, points out – “A recent survey by Robert Half showed that one-third (36%) of 1,400 executives surveyed felt the top factor leading to a failed hire, aside from performance issues, is a poor skills match. The second most common reason (30%) was unclear performance objectives.” The question hence comes back to the basic requirement of hiring – Why are you hiring? What is the expectation from the individual and if he does not have a certain skill-set (let us admit it – we all fantasies about the perfect candidate on most JDs – there aren’t really many out there that match our descriptions). The answer is a big resounding “NO”. The reason – our tools – ATS solutions are unable to reflect the organizational requirements and interview candidates based on the ‘skill’ and ‘requirements’ match within the organization. In short, the organization’s “Context” is not visible in its attempt to recruit, leading to an expectation – acquisition mismatch.

What does this mean and where do we go from here?

Technology in the right hands today is capable of providing organizations a smaller, talent-rich search area. This results in lesser wasted efforts Eg. Say 3 recruiters would scour through 300 resumes a day on an ATS – this, based on keyword searches are seen to provide at best around 10 to 18% meaning it would be approximately around 45 of them are even relevant to the job. Number of man hours just to search through these – 24 man hours. This is just the search bit, we are not even talking about the actual time spent of mailing these candidates and follow-up; which takes up significantly longer time. Today however, there are organizations with capabilities that can deliver upto 95% accuracy in contextual search within seconds. Time saved – flat 47 hours and 59 minutes! Right away! Over a period of 22 days of a month, that number goes up significantly! Furthermore, being ‘learning’ systems thanks to the abilities of big data and contextual intelligence, these platforms learn from the trends of hiring and the candidate’s success within the organization. It is also capable of taking organization’s changing context to enable organizations to remain agile with hiring, retaining and up-skilling its employee base. These platforms however are not your normal ATS solutions. While these may be replace the regular ATS, their true value is in providing what is termed as ‘Operational Efficiency’. It truly and significantly reduces the work required to hire the most relevant candidates and continuous learning ensures a tacit link to overall cost reduction due to reduced attrition of these candidates once on-boarded.

Need for Intelligent platform

In summarization, yes, ATS has its value and provides process efficiencies however actual ROIs and overall process efficiency leading to a learned and an intricate link to organizational success can only be obtained by platforms and products such as the ones offered by Spire Technologies which encompass the holistic view of an organization’s needs and maps the candidate’s competencies with the organization’s belief. Whilst numbers can be thrown around for anything in today’s world, organizations can see value only when the numbers are ‘contextual’ and reflect their beliefs and necessities.

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Sep 21, 2015

Talent is regarded as the key resource for every organization which seeks to profit from the economic and social environment it works in. Industrialization has proven the efficiency of machines and that repetitive work can be streamlined into a more cohesive pattern, as a process, allowing mankind to progress ahead to inventions of higher value. Technology is a valid substitute for human talent, but not a replacement. There is only so much that technology can arrive at its own. It is the uniqueness of the human interface that helps machines achieve the desired output. Human talent, in all its manifestations remains irreplaceable. And it is as it should be. The world of today seeks to benefit the whole of universe in which we operate. While we are claiming success, rightfully of course, for scaling the heights of interplanetary travel and extraordinary breakthrough in many other walks of science, including medicine; the key factors that have an influence on the world, inclusive economic growth, has failed to penetrate to all walks of life.

What does it take to create a more accepting society in which the economic growth is more evenly distributed? To be able to exploit the innate nature of mankind itself. God, in His supreme wisdom, created Man, with the singular ability - ‘imagination.’ This possibility to imagine has produced all the benefits that we get to enjoy today, right from the pre-war Scotch from The Macallan to make available potable water in some of the driest parts of the world. Accomplishments are limited only by human ability to imagine the not so obvious. And what is obvious?

Demand and supply!

Of food, of potable water, of economic opportunities, of government policies, of continued availability of key infrastructure, of access to credit, etc…. And above all this, the availability of people with talent, which sets them apart and makes them contribute to the economic growth of the nation and the world around them.

A business tycoon in China and a mine worker in South America, are both providers to the growth of their respective economies. Had it not been for the miner to slip into the earth at almost 2 miles under, the tycoon in China could not be enjoying the handshake that confirms the financing for the next mill that would employ 10,000 people.

Fate of many is connected to the fate of all.

History makes a case for talent to have been in excess, always. And the supply has been limited, through the manufacturing of nature itself, and much through the actions of men, who profit better from being able to enforce their power of influence or exercise control over any and everything. Human talent too, has its limitations. The industry struggles with a shortage of key resources with the requisite talent, and men struggle to find roles befitting their key differentiator, their ability to learn a skill that makes their talent visible and productive. The conundrum remains, how does one attract the right talent, amongst the myriad permutations of talent available in the market? The challenges of the latest century need answers that bridge the wisdom of the past and the intelligence of the future, an ability to straddle the two worlds separating demand and supply and to marry them together.

Spire Technologies Context Intelligence platform does just that

The Context Intelligence platform scans through significant volume of data and lists out the more relevant ones; while doing so, it is also able to reverse the pattern, enabling supply to chase demand and demand to chase supply. Our technology has found favor with institutions that pride themselves on their human talent availability and ensures that the organizations continue to maintain and extend their hold on human talent.

Spire seeks to change the world for a better place. And they intend to do so by understanding and aggrandizing the benefits of the big data world.

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Sep 21, 2015

Managing Employee Data

The big noise made around Big data does need to reverberate into HR business as well. Who else has such huge data on par with perhaps space research or CERN! Employees may enter and leave organizations but their imprint always remains in the form of data. Upto the turn of this century such data was banished to the digital go downs (which evolved from the rag tag paper files) to be retrieved only in case of utmost interest.

Did the following questions ever cross the HR mind then?

  • Use the profile of an exceptionally performing existing employee as a job requirement when looking for candidates for the same post

  • The profile of a previously rejected candidate could perfectly match the current job requirement

  • Use the existing data to identify bogus candidates and prevent them from applying

  • A candidate was available in job market who could perfectly fit the job requirement but HR took a long time to reach him/her

  • Too much emphasis on academics overlooking the really deserving candidates for the job requirement

  • Candidates exceptional in managing peers fade out when appointed as leaders

In short HR recruitment functions in the pre-Big data era was a hotchpotch of uncoordinated activities that didn’t realize the strategies of the organizations.

Building Talent Analytics

But not so, anymore. Since the day it was discovered that Big data can answer many questions regarding Talent, it was mined, with or without context to answer questions as best as possible. Talent analytics is an offspring in this endeavor. Now one need not take decisions based on gut feeling or a belief system because live facts are available to take firm decisions. In other words decision making has moved from the abstract to the actual realm.

Take for example, recruiting Sales people into an organization must focus their energy on the following criteria:

  • Demonstrated success in previous stints on the same role

  • Ability to understand vague instructions and convert to success

  • Ability to manage multiple and diverse tasks

  • Possess a valid degree and glitch free resume

Rather than:

  • High marks in academics

  • Institution of their study

  • Pompous references backing their resume

Though the example mentioned has been culled from the actual experience of a firm it emphasizes the fact that data is needed to steer the Sales function, especially recruiting. Continuing with the example, the Sales function posted a positive turnaround in revenue in just six months after implementing their findings on Sales recruitment. The above example bolsters the need to use Talent Analytics. Why? Because data speaks! And why must we listen to data speaking? Because it drives us to make decisions critical to business

Talent Analytics to Redefine Future Opportunities

Talent Analytics presents a wonderful opportunity to make your business a game changer. Think of the firm sure decisions you can make on identifying, selecting, onboarding, and nurturing the talent, all in alignment with your business goal.

The science of Talent Analytics is here to stay. Use it to stay ahead in the market. Is there an alternative to it? I doubt not.

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Sep 21, 2015

The importance of effective communication towards being a successful leader cannot be overemphasized. The true bearing of a respected leader is in his or her ability to translate their vision in an articulate manner to their fellow beings, ensuring trust, belief in the vision and an inclusive approach to accomplishing the task. The right word and tone does possess the power and the potential to move people, instill in them the ability to undertake actions requiring courage and prominence, in the face of significant turbulence. Inspiration drawn from the personal experience of a leader becomes a catalyst of change.

The latter half of the nineteenth century and much of the twentieth, found life altering inventions in the form of telegraph, telephone, radio, facsimiles, television, ham radio, etcetera. The final decade of the last century found itself having to contend with a new form of communication - email, a newer and faster way to bring about the promise of the global village into a reality. The idea behind every invention vying to improve communication, has its foundations based on the time element. They aim to bring a clearer, concise and an economical way to facilitate the transfer of information in the shortest possible time and enhance the overall experience.

Technology exists as a result of human need to simplify life. The more simple life becomes, the complexity of the technology involved gets more complex. The pace of technology acceleration is stupendous. The social media platform of today, allows a diverse set of people to connect and exchange ideas. Leaders of the twenty first century have been exposed the possibilities presented by technology, and some of the famous and successful leaders, are those who have been able to reinvent their persona, and to reach out to a large audience, not limited to their constituency or corporate life, but to a whole extension of the population, who identify with the leader.

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Sep 21, 2015

A ‘context’ is how an organizations relates to itself and the world around it. Choice is about making an informed decision, in a given context, once multiple alternatives are presented. One such organizational element which banks on both context and choice making is recruitment.

Companies consider candidates, based on the role assigned in a context. As the organization evolves, the requirement process also evolves and comes to base this ‘requirement’ of an available position, with the present incumbent’s character, and expectations of the future.

Role of Context in Recruitment

Organizations are built by people. The attraction of key people is what organizations find to be a challenge. Positions or roles are created on the requirements of the organization, based on present and future context. The essence of the responsibilities of the role, codified, turns into a ‘Position Description,’ synonymously also called as ‘Job Description.’ Creating a position description remains an ambiguous exercise. And easy to get wrong. The role of an individual, is the evolution of skills, knowledge, behavior, and individual traits, capable of undertaking an assignment successfully. Generating a position description, is presently an art.

Spire solutions based on context intelligence platform

Spire Technologies through its Context Intelligence platform, redefines how ‘Profile Description’ is done in the 21st century. Spire’s extensive experiential learning, allows it to create the process and definition of open roles, by adding in elements of map-able attributes, including skill, knowledge, personal, behavioral, and trainable and untrainable traits. And every aspect of the mapping can be given a weightage. The prospective candidate’s resume/curriculum vitae, is then matched against the stated requirement.

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Sep 21, 2015

Statistics, a subject that studies the possibilities and probabilities of decision making. The decision making involves and includes possible errors – listed out as Type 1 and Type 2.

A Type 1 Error occurs when the organization recruits a person whose fitment has been called into question. This is an expensive situation, which may call for immediate remedial action. The cost of letting go of the wrong recruit, honorably; and the process of re-recruiting a better fit, entails cost, effort and time, and also leads to drop in employee morale.

A Type 2 Error explains the lost opportunity on missing out on a suitable candidate. This happens due to various reasons, including lack of information, an overcautious bearing (effort to reduce the Type 1 error.) This is expensive for two reasons: the loss of potential candidate in a resource constrained world; and worse, to lose him/her to a competitor.

Scarcity of skilled personnel

Today’s demand for skilled people far outweighs the availability of resources. Organizations go to great lengths to source candidates to fill available roles. The recruitment decision making in this complex environment, is not easy, and thus requires specialized skills. Thus recruitment has become person-dependent, who have over a period of time acquired the uncanny knack of identifying and selecting the right candidate.

What we require today is solutions that map right roles for right person

Spire’s Context Intelligence platform, ensures mapping the role requirements against the availability of skillset in the individual, using a systemic approach, eliminating the need for a person-dependent recruitment system. The system helps to avoid not only recruiting the wrong candidate, but helps with not missing out on the suitable candidate. Platform also allows for mapping of the closest person to role fit, enabling organizations to revel in their choice of appropriate candidates, and build the successful team, they sought; avoiding the pitfalls of expensive countermeasures.

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Sep 21, 2015

Introduction: Analytics

Technology has brought paradigm shifts in functioning of workforce planning, training, retention etc., prompting integration and synergy. Working in silos is fraught with negative repercussions both for the individuals and the organization. This is avoided to a large degree with the use of Analytics. The data lying in the organization’s data systems/centers is harnessed to make it aid understanding of the business, in this case HR. The resultant insights will be used by HR to adopt strategies to meet business objectives.

Analytics: The Type You Want to Work With.

Analytics is indeed a powerful tool. Short of calling it a double edged sword, one can use it to stay focused on achieving your business objectives or can humor themselves with the candid habits or behaviors of their employees.

Sample the following scenarios:

  • Sales reps that aren’t meeting their targets
  • Younger employees use corporate chat more than veterans
  • High Call center agent attrition even in day shifts
  • Branch offices in the same time zone have different work timings
  • Insurance claims adjusters who make too many errors
  • Employees staying close to work place have better pay packages

Which of the above set of scenarios do you fathom has a bearing on the fortunes of a business? 1, 3, 5 or 2, 4, 6?

If your choice is 2, 4, 6 then you are off the mark.

Data on these scenarios may be interesting from an eye candy perspective but don’t contribute to the business outcomes. At the most, they may give your employees jitters that their interactions via email, chat, social media, intranet etc. are being read.

These type of analytics are the result of wrong objectives/expectations set at the beginning where finding something interesting about the workforce predominates the profit accrued from their contribution.

The resultant analytics covers all business departments/verticals/locations just skimming the top layer of employee contribution. It doesn’t drill down to the desired levels of granularity. It therefore misses the actual performance of the employee infused business unit. Consequences are mismatched input variables to derive relationships, skewed deduction of Key Performance Indicators (KPI) and diagnosis of the same.

As research in the field of employee analytics point out, HR’s recording of employee data veers towards their day in the organization rather than their work. Any outcome of processing such types of data will not be actionable, for example, to increase the share value of your organization’s stocks you do not start hiring resources staying closer to your business unit (notice the disparate variables).

Analytics of this kind can only be labelled as descriptive analytics for their glitz (charts, dashboards etc.) value.

Let us examine the other approach illustrated with scenario set 1, 3, and 5. These scenarios have a direct bearing on the bottom line of an organization. And they are employee dependent!

Therefore, despite the carefully curated employee work report, a sincere effort can lead to linking a performance report with the business’s profitability. In these scenarios, specific groups are targeted (sales, call agent teams etc.) to cull data, process them and derive information and subsequently run them against business targets on cumulative basis.

The data can be structured (ex: sales figures, insurance claims processed) or unstructured (ex: KPIs, performance data). Experts can decipher the right data by a close monitoring of the pattern, waves or other forms of data plots. They can present the data in a form contextual to the decision makers.

This presents a win-win situation for both HR and the business operations (vertical/unit/location) who can collaborate to identify a pain point, target it and work to resolve it, armed with information.

Conclusion

Employees are a major cost overhead for the organization. Costs incurred in acquiring, onboarding, training, performance and even attrition needs to be factored in. Information related to cost obtained from this analytics process can be used to identify critical operations, turnover, improve and tune any predictive data models.

To conclude workforce analytics from HR alone cannot provide insights to achieve business objectives. Analytics from HR and business operations is required to provide strategic insights keeping cost in mind and achieve business objectives.

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Sep 21, 2015

Human interaction with the world around itself revolves entirely on the principal ability to come together and work, for common benefit and for personal benefit. The need to conform to certain environment is at the core of why humans have been able to find a common ground to conduct commerce and expand the economy.

Diversity requires a certain set of conformance, be it between work partners or business associates. The conformity could be linked to the common organizational goal to be achieved. The conformity allows for alignment, an understanding between people and a set of process which enable productive work and efficient output.

An organization is dependent on a heterogeneous set, to bring about the growth and development, which mirrors the circumstances in which it operates. A progressive society improves itself, and finds itself drawn to being able to consolidate and enhance collaboration between people of all walks of life and privileges.

The organization needs, or rather, demands differences between beings to be understood and accepted, and they are:-

  • Gender : The need for engagement between male, female and the third-gender members of the society and to bring about a parity in the work effected by them, and also the environment, needs to go past the stereotypes of thinking, where a woman’s role was limited to handle soft-core business aspects, alike Human Resources Management, and men being induced to the factory floor or the management. Opening up the factory floor to the women and the ability to bring in men into the traditional roles executed by women, helps progress pick up pace, while also assimilating the third gender within the organizational environment.
  • Globalization : The organizations of today are better known for their ability to operate from all corners of the world. Every country they operate in comes with its own set of opportunities and challenges, and thus comes the significant need to engage with the local culture, both as a workforce and as a coveted market, allowing for a mix of nationalities, race and languages to be respected and bought together.
  • Orientation : Orientation matters! But for bringing people together, and not pull them apart. Philosophical, political and sexual orientation is no reason as to why people should not come together to work for and with each other. The imperative to being non-judgmental and accepting is never more important. The world needs people of all shades and colors to come together for a happy condition of life, both professionally and personally.

The convergence is the spot organizations are interested in. Social psychology presents evidence on men being biased on terms involving identity of a fellow being and specifically seeks out the integrative set of people. This is to be overcome.

People are inclined to be together on tribal terms of living, grouping together is the most common form of affiliation. Diversity requires trust. The element that makes incompatible beings come together is the bond of trust, placed in each other; hard to be found when people see and witness each other, and even harder, when people do not get to look at each other.

And diversity is when people see each other and they do not! And still find a way to coexist and work together. Trust is the element that lies invisible. The car we drive is more than just the engine, chassis, road, tires, and the air that goes into it, coming together to ensure the drive down the road becomes an experience. The person behind the wheel believes that all the elements required for the drive come together, speak to each other, and reaches the destination in a safe and sound manner.

The driver simply trusts the elements of his car come together to allow for the experience of a drive.

Diversity is not the lack of prejudice, but the acceptance of differences.

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Sep 21, 2015

Acquiring the right talent and deploying where required can be quite challenge to many organizations. There must be a strategy to build a pipeline of quality talent, hire and deploy where required. This strategy must be implemented rigorously with a built-in provision to receive and channel feedback from implementation. So, how can one strategize and implement a sound supply chain program with emphasis on continuous monitoring?

State of Information in Organizations

Organizations are saddled with large amount of information related to talent from their prior engagements.Apart from this, more information (as data) on talent flows into their enterprise systems regularly. Examples of these sources are social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+), broadcast (television, radio), print (newspapers, periodicals, magazines, flyers, billboards, resumes, banners), internal portals (employee referrals, intranet), walk-in, campus recruitment, roadshows and so on.

The flow of such information due to this multichannel communication provides a great opportunity to be channelled into intelligence. This intelligence will provide the organizations with insights into many facets of their talent management practice, especially in building a sound talent supply chain over a period of time. This can bring a windfall of opportunities to organizations that are talent intensive. Information of this type is already available to be accessed, processed and analysed to derive critical insights. The output of such a successful venture will be steady progress of the organization in the market in terms of economy, scale, leadership, institution and many such positive footfalls.

Using Data points to Derive Context Based Insights Information as such is not present for consumption but must be obtained from data present in the enterprise systems. When processed this data becomes information and analytics (over multiple processing). Analytics can be used to obtain insights on the whole ecosystem of Supply Chain Management (SCM).

Insights can be obtained for the following facets of SCM:

  • Compensation and Benefits: know the compensation and benefits up to granular level, monitor the compensation and benefits trends in the job market for the job(s) in question, know what your competition is offering for the same job, etc.
  • Learning and Development: understand the skill level, employability, training required, develop core competencies or additional competencies etc.
  • Fit gap analysis: understand employee fit for various roles, gaps in the skills or competencies, gauge trends via various graphical representations of fit-gap data etc.
  • Talent Strategy: gain insights into the roles that would be vacant, the type of talent to be hired for these roles, when to hire, feasibility of creating a bank of ready to hire talent
  • Branding initiative: identify the people, agencies or institutions who can recruit talent on your behalf, reach out to candidates courted by your competitors, identify the most effective mediums to advertise your brand, monitor the trends in advertising footfalls etc.

This is just the starting point. Using context based analytical approach HR professionals can effectively manage, retain and build a sustainable Talent force for present and future requirements.

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Sep 21, 2015

Talent Supply Chain Management (SCM) is a combination of strategic workforce planning, variable and full-time talent sourcing, workforce analytics, and managing supplier networks.

Those at the helm of a talent SCM function need to take appropriate talent acquisition and deployment decisions based on the type of resource hired, their preference (location, time etc.) and their constraints. They must therefore understand these facts (or complications) before acquiring the talent and deploying the talent to respective project/business unit/ location. The other factors to be considered are risk, finance, legal, operations etc. The question foremost on the minds of these personnel is….

How to access the best talent at the lowest possible cost and risk?

The function of Talent supply works flawless when right talent is made available for a given job demand. Talent Supply Chain Management (SCM) requires proficiency in logistics and foresight in predicting talent demand and deployment. At present, most organizations, especially those with multinational presence are yet to adopt talent SCM on a global footprint. This is because they lack the wherewithal to forecast talent inventory for a long term outlook. They are limited in recognising the talent working outside their purview and consequently fail to leverage it. Their SCM is driven by “need of the hour” requirements i.e. procuring mission critical, strategic talent. In other words, they are concentrating on meeting today’s needs and not on the talent supply requirement for the next three or four years.

A study titled “Talent Supply Chain Management Readiness“ conducted by KellyOCG and Inavero states that companies with robust strategic workforce planning and commitment score well in a number of categories like:

  • Offering variety of employment options
  • Adopting a world class approach to talent SCM
  • Adhering to employment related regulations
  • Appropriately planning and budgeting for attracting and retaining top talent through a variety of talent pools/sources

Role of Analytics and Context in Effective Talent Supply Chain Management

The key to effective talent SCM is information/analytics. This information will provide knowledge and consequently intelligence to plan and devise mechanisms to meet talent supply chain requirements for the present scenario as well as coming days/years. Information as such is not available but must be obtained from the data present in respective enterprise systems. This data must be accessed, processed and analysed to get the information, knowledge and intelligence to make the right predictions to steer Talent SCM. However, data must be processed for your specific business query. For this, processing must be mapped to the business context. This provides better intelligence in meeting SCM needs. In other words, it is contextual search and demand-supply mapping that accurately meets your every query related SCM.

Based on the accurate information obtained organizations can take the appropriate business decisions to advancing their business and be highly relevant in the market.

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Sep 21, 2015

There is a lot of talk about ‘Big Data’ analytics capabilities. Yet, more data is not necessarily the right data and data by itself does not provide the right insights.

HR’s maturity has been defined and influenced today by popular trends and proprietary knowledge points acquired with the organization’s experience. Existing recruitment styles, despite the technological influences and upheavals in the HR domain remain strictly limited by the structure that they have been put into – namely the data we put into the system (Garbage in – Garbage out). There are various Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and different point solutions for Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, HR Operations, Compensation and Benefits, Payroll and Branding (for talent).

Mapping Employee Information to Business Strategy

This leads to a position where all decision making reference points are emerging from the limited and structured data. These have held the industry in good stead until recently. In today’s world, the HR function is pushed to its limits due to the quantity and specificity of the demand placed on them. At times, it is not specific to the extent that we understand that different people work differently under different circumstances. For example, a project kicking off requires a different type of project manager from a project that is in its implementation vis-à-vis a project that is in the control phase.

We have reached a phase where we are questioning how many ‘employees’ does one require and how much of this work can get done by ‘hired guns’. Even questions like am I paying right? Am I at a risk of losing a valuable employee? Am I ‘ready’ enough to lose her / him? What is it that is creating employee loyalty in my organization and what is it that is holding it back? What type of training must I provide my employees in general and what type of training must I provide every tier of my workforce to keep them motivated? What do I do to create leaders and evangelists in my organization? What are the skills and personality types that I already have and what should I develop? Can these be developed and is it worth the investment? Why is it always difficult to determine these questions?

From the time an employee swipes his identification to gain entry into the office to his swipe out, every instance of his work is a source of data. Using this data and processing them to derive the right results, however, are an increasing challenge in today’s ‘structure-centric’ world. Reason, we have so many systems; each being either the best of breed or something that works for you. In other words, they work in silos, not in conjunction with each other. We struggle with integrating them with the overarching business operations; struggling to measure and push for realistic targets.

These extensively thought out processes and tool sets have been created with the intent to derive the best results. Do you agree that better processes result in better efficiency? If yes, does this reflect on your operational bottom line? Do you see marked improvements on your overall stance? If you see a process providing a 90 % improvement in your process efficiency, is it getting translated to at least 30% Actual improved Operational Efficiency? If no, why can’t we see them reflect true savings despite a marked improvement in processes?

The answer to this is that we work and provide process efficiency whilst expecting operational results from these process efficiencies. An operational efficiency that can link a complete operational framework of each business unit and preferably the whole organization (for which we have solutions in the form of ERPs). However we need something more – a living, breathing, learning engine that provides ‘context’ to each process and enables decision makers to optimize process outputs and process environment; an ability to truly identify and sync business operations and push it to deliver measurable results.

"Context is King"

Spire conducted an extensive research on the requirements for HRs in 4 different continents and across industries, between 2007 and 2008. The findings of this research indicate that the analytical systems in HR – while matured and available from a Business Process perspective, were lacking from an underlying ‘context’ perspective. This was simply not available. Data generated by processes are structured and hence relevant only in silos.

Furthermore, most Applicant Tracking Systems today work quite independent of the workforce management tool, which in turn is quite independent of the payroll, which is again independent of the Learning and Development Platforms and HR helpdesks and so on. Eventually top dollars are spent in developing processes to work around these inefficiencies. The efficiencies derived from these processes as a whole are again left up to the individuals that are running these systems – which make them operationally inefficient.

Spire – a leader in HR’s “context revolution” and has developed a horizontal context intelligence platform that can run across an enterprise. It’s learning engine that helps substantiate the context and trends throughout the enterprise and use it to map the necessary demand-supply dynamic. More importantly it is capable of integrating with all the customers’ existing systems which provide multi-structured data. The prime essence of this platform is its unparalleled ability to derive contextual intelligence from unstructured data.

Until now, the input and intelligence have been solely business process driven, hence lacking ‘context’ vis-à-vis the business expectation. The future HR workplace will require unprecedented agility to fit with the needs of the business real-time, moving from a ‘support’ function to a ‘core’ function to provide for the ability to accommodate agility, making HR a true business partner.

In HR terms what this means is that HR capabilities are always in tune with the organization’s needs. It means that HR is contributing to the business needs by having a ready solutions to enable end-to-end HR capabilities in minutes or even seconds! It means, for example, that the HR acquires the capability to identify who in the system is a flight risk, why they are at risk and what retention plans can be put in place to counter attrition. HR systems will allow you to keep employees engaged.

Emerging HR Mantra-Work Smart with Big Data

The HR workplace is progressing to the phase where HR decisions are primary to the success of the organization, be it in Hiring, Managing, Rewards & Recognition, Engagement of Employees or Employer Branding. One of the primary reasons for an organization’s success is its ability to deliver amidst radically different challenges that come up, and yet provide a high RoI. HR’s prime responsibility is to acquire and enable talent to deliver on this paramount requirement.

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Sep 07, 2015