How Infor Talent Science works for hiring -- at Infor

An AI-powered screening tool can make a difference with hiring and retention. Here's what happened when Infor used its Talent Science tool internally.

ERP platform provider Infor faced a dilemma common to nearly every large employer today: how to find and retain the best and brightest talent. The solution involved looking to its homegrown tool, Infor Talent Science, as well as some strategic rearranging of workspaces.

In less than two years, employee engagement and satisfaction levels have increased, and turnover has decreased, said Anne Benedict, senior vice president of HR at Infor, during the 2018 Inforum conference in Washington, D.C. Speaking during a panel on the future of work, Benedict outlined how some strategic changes and the AI-powered hiring analytics capabilities of Infor Talent Science were able to bring order to hiring chaos.

And today's hiring environment is chaos, thanks to a tight labor market, a shortage of key tech skills and a workforce that is more demanding when it comes to flexibility and compensation. The idea that AI can bring clarity to the hiring process by finding and hiring the right people is compelling, but for some, the promise may be overstated.

"AI-powered screening tools are great in high-volume hiring and not so good in individual positions," said John Sumser, founder and principal analyst at HRExaminer. His bottom line: It can take a lot of time to know if an AI screening tool's selections were actually successful employees, so it makes sense to proceed with caution when it comes to relying on AI for hiring.

Candidate profiles prove accurate soothsayers

We've proven that people who fit the profile they're hired into are 40% less likely to turn over in the first year.
Anne BenedictSenior vice president of HR, Infor

For Benedict, though, Infor Talent Science helps in two strategic ways. The company asks every job candidate to be profiled by the screening tool, and later in the process, Infor Talent Science helps with interviewing. "We take a profile and measure their tech skills and their behavioral personality profile so we can do a better job fitting them into specific roles," Benedict explained. "We've proven that people who fit the profile they're hired into are 40% less likely to turn over in the first year."

The company has used the tool long enough that the HR team has been able to create profiles of employees who are high performers, with the goal of hiring a more powerful workforce. "We looked at people we've hired and what they've done over time, why they stayed and when they left," she said.

In some areas, those profiles offer evidence a hiring manager shouldn't ignore, she said. For example, in Infor's telesales department, 100% of the people who did not fit the ideal profile left during their first year, while only 10% of those whose skills matched up well turned over. Using Infor Talent Science, "we're not having to backfill the turnover," Benedict said. And it helps streamline the interviewing process as well.

"The tool spits out specific questions to ask a candidate based on the profiles, so an interviewer is able to hone in on the questions that matter most," she said. "This helps a hiring manager find a needle in a haystack."

Dropping departments, pushing pods

Benedict and her team have overseen other changes, including an increasing number of remote workers -- 50% of Infor employees work remotely -- and a de-emphasis on siloed workers. The company is also moving away from departments and toward the idea of a pod, where every employee involved in a particular task now works together in a shared space.

"You can really solve development or customer issues faster this way," she said. "This is really changing the way we're working, and we're looking at doing this more."

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