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Employee Experience
Futureproof your Workforce: the Importance of Upskilling and Reskilling

Companies around the world are facing the same uncertainties — fear of recession, digital transformation, the Great Resignation, and others. 

A major topic of concern is employee retention. In a tumultuous labor market with high turnovers, layoffs, and organizational restructuring, businesses have to start looking for new solutions. 

One way companies can mitigate uncertainty while developing a resilient, capable workforce is by embracing the importance of skills — specifically, upskilling and reskilling.

 Why is upskilling important? 

Companies can benefit from upskilling and reskilling in many ways. 

Employees across all industries are placing a greater emphasis on learning and development opportunities — skills fall directly into that category. More specifically, 74% of employees are willing to learn new skills or be reskilled to support their job performance. 

On the flip side, a McKinsey study found 87% of CEOs believe they currently have or will have skills gaps within their organization. By acknowledging talent’s desire to evolve and the current skill gaps a business has, leadership can start to bridge the gap in an effective way that allows upskilling a

So how do you leverage skills development to better engage your workforce? Having a skills identification and training program offers employees reassurance that organizations are committed to mutual success, which should lead to higher retention and better performance.

Related: Designing Employee Retention Strategies for 2023

Companies that implement workforce intelligence and skills programs will be better able to fill these gaps, compete, and adapt to digital transformation. Additionally, since the cost to replace an employee costs 21% of that employees salary, upskilling and reskilling is often a far more cost-effective option. 

What exactly are skills and what is the difference between upskilling and reskilling? 

When referring to the evolution and development of the workforce, there a few common terms that come up:

  • Skills are the attributes an individual possesses that allows them to be successful at a given task or role. Skills are dynamic and continually evolving over time based on education, work history, and life experiences. They can be categorized in many ways, like soft skills, which stem from an individual's inherent ability to be creative and collaborate, to hard s

  • Upskilling is the development of new knowledge, skills, and competencies that enable better performance within a role or responsibility area. For example, a software engineer learns a trending programming language to work on disruptive technologies. Upskilling builds on an individual’s existing expertise to hone skills or acquire new related skills that allow them to be more adaptable and

  • Reskilling is the development of new knowledge, skills, and competencies that enable an employee to switch to a new role, team, or business unit. For example, a Marketing specialist moving into Product Management. Reskilling focuses on developing talent in a way that extends outside of their existing expertise or skill sets, allowing them to broaden their knowledge in different areas of the b

  • Redeployment is the actual process of moving an employee between roles when their existing role is removed. Redeployment necessitates an understanding of an employee's skills, and how they can be applied successfully in different roles. When the workforce is prim

How to approach upskilling and reskilling

Maya Angelou once said, “you can’t really know where you are going until you know where you have been,” and the same thing could be said about skills. Understanding the skills necessary to evolve to a new role or perform better in an existing positio

Skills can be identified and validated in many ways, including:

  • Parsed from resumes, social profiles, and job descriptions 

  • Pulled from multiple data sources via APIs

  • Automatically identified through AI

  • Manually entered by employees or managers 

Once the information is parsed and inputted, employees and managers can validate their skills within an opportunity portal or talent marketplace. Within a talent marketplace, employees should have access to gigs, mentorships, and learning programs th

Related: Leveraging Skills To Bounce Back from the Great Attrition

I know my employee's skills, what now?  

Without an understanding of an individual’s career goals, or a business’s future skill needs, it would be impossible to know what skills to prioritize for an employee’s learning and development. 

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there” -  Lewis Carrol

By creating an upskilling and reskilling program, your company can begin to support employees on their development journey while closing skill gaps within the business. But how do you get started? 

In the same talent marketplace where employees can input and validate skills, they should be able to identify their career goals, job preferences, learning paths, and other areas of interests. This allows them to input specific information that may n

It’s also important to create a skills program. Every upskilling and reskilling program needs to have ‘goal posts’ that inform skills gap analysis and outlines recommendations on skills to pursue to close those gaps. 

AI can identify these skills gaps and deliver personalized recommendations on learning and development courses, gigs, mentorship opportunities, or open roles, streamlining how your business upskills, reskills, and redeploys talent. 

4 reasons you should implement an upskilling and reskilling program

When created and implemented effectively, upskilling and reskilling programs are beneficial for both the business and the individual. Here are four reasons you should implement an upskilling and reskilling program at your organization. 

1. Increase employee engagement by offering new opportunities for growth

Investing in your employees is investing in your company's future. By offering them new opportunities for growth and development, you’re not only increasing their engagement with your company, but you’re also supporting them as they acquire new skill

Confidently showing your employees that you care about their professional development and their success helps them feel valued, supported, and challenged. When individuals feel like an integral part of the company’s success, they’re more likely to st

Related: Why is Upskilling and Reskilling Important for Employee Development? 

2. Fuel innovation with upskilling and reskilling programs that encourage employees to think outside the box 

One of the best ways to fuel innovation is through upskilling and reskilling programs that encourage employees to think outside the box. In these programs, employees can learn new skills, offer a fresh pair of eyes, and gain knowledge and experience

While being immersed in areas that are typically outside of their day-to-day responsibilities, employees can gain a better understanding of how each role impacts the bottom line.

They also have the ability to explore areas of the business they might be interested in, and develop collaborative skills that help them work well with others — simultaneously, they make new relationships through networking that may not have otherwis

3. Positively impact productivity by giving workers the skills they need to be successful

HR leaders understand the importance of having a productive and motivated workforce. But the question is, how do you achieve that? The answer lies in skills development. 

By providing your workers with the necessary skills to excel in their roles, you not only improve productivity but also boost morale, as they feel more confident in their abilities. With access to training on a regular basis, your workers will be equ

Upskilling and reskilling current employees also fosters a culture of continuous learning and development, making businesses more agile and adaptive to changes in their industry.

4. Reduce costs associated with hiring by upskilling or reskilling existing talent

It can be costly to hire and onboard new talent. But, businesses can save money by investing in their current employees and connecting them to reskilling opportunities that allow them to grow into critical roles across the enterprise. 

By helping individuals acquire new or existing skill sets, companies can enhance their workforce's capabilities and demonstrate a commitment to employee growth — which is appealing to new hires when upskilling or reskilling isn't a viable option for

What’s next in skills?

There have been quite a few labor trends over the past two years — the Great Resignation, the Big Quit, Quiet Quitting, and more. In response to these employee retention trends, the next few years could likely be defined as a “Great Reskilling.” 

Employees have an appetite for upskilling and reskilling programs, and employers have shown a massive need for one. A path forward, toward mutual success, lies in having a strong skills identification and training program within your talent marketpla

Related: Skill Disruption: What is it and what does it mean for HR?

Invest in upskilling and reskilling with Phenom Talent Marketplace 

Preparing your workforce for upskilling, reskilling, and redeployment goes beyond recommending a couple of courses. By leveraging a talent marketplace, you can use AI and machine learning to identify skills gaps, perform mentor/mentee matching, recom

Skills intelligence is an important part of creating an agile workforce that’s primed to handle uncertain situations. With Phenom Talent Marketplace, you can provide your employees with the tools they need to thrive and meet evolving business needs. 

Ready to expedite how you upskill and reskill employees? Check out this blog on How to Launch a Talent Marketplace.

Kevin BinkoMay 9, 2023
Employee Experience
Creating a Holistic Workforce with QuantumWork

The future of work is driven by technological advancements, shifting demographics, and changing societal attitudes. As a result, organizations are rethinking their approaches to workforce management and adopting more holistic views that consider the

On this episode of Talent Experience Live, we discussed the importance of creating a work environment that supports employees' physical, emotional, and social well-being — as well as providing opportunities for growth and development with Mark Condon of QuantumWork.

Get the key takeaways below, or catch the episode right here.

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What is QuantumWork’s take on holistic workforce management?

“We’re obsessed with technology and experiences,” said Condon, describing the mindset of QuantumWork Advisory, which designs strategies to guide companies toward total workforce management, or holistic workforce management.  

QuantumWork helps clients meet goals by optimizing technology like Phenom’s Intelligent Experience Platform. “That’s what we love about Phenom,” Condon said. “We share the same strategy and ideas about covering the real estate of the workforce.” 

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A holistic workforce management strategy emphasizes employees’ professional and personal needs, rather than just job performance. It recognizes that employees are individuals with their own strengths and weaknesses, and aims to support their growth a

The extended workforce needs to be included in a holistic approach — which for large companies now often accounts for up to 50% of job roles (e.g., contingent workers, consultants, managed services workers). “All these components are not silos, and t

Is holistic workforce management a new concept?

While the concept has been around for a bit, organizations have traditionally struggled to bring holistic workforce management to fruition because of limitations around data integration. “From a technology perspective, [HR] needs to enable it,” Condo

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Streamlining the number of HR technologies to a single platform is becoming essential, especially from a data integration perspective. “Technology is what’s starting to kick this off, and it’s a really exciting time.”

Why is a skills-based approach critical to creating a holistic workforce?

Adopting a skills-based organizational structure is a key aspect of holistic workforce management. “If you can’t break the workforce down to the skills level, [holistic workforce management] doesn’t really work,” Condon said. “But if you can do that, it’s a whole new ballgame.” 

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This is because employees thrive on using a variety of skills to contribute value rather than being locked into a rigid, task-oriented job description, he continued. A skills-based approach dovetails with holistic talent management in this way, creat

Related: Skills: The Metadata of People

And AI-driven technology helps companies much more easily identify the depth and breadth of skills among their workforce and shows how those skills tie in with strategic business goals.  

What’s your view on emerging technologies like ChatGPT?

“[ChatGPT] is going to augment us,” Condon said. He currently uses ChatGPT in the capacity of a research assistant — albeit one that needs human validation. Although the possibilities are exciting, we’re still in the early days of usage.

“You’re not going to get your HR policies and rules from ChatGPT,” he clarified. But he sees the potential for ChatGPT to act as an HR administrator in the not-so-distant future, streamlining tasks like answering HR helpdesk questions, for example. 

How important is upskilling to holistic workforce management?

Innovative TA teams must embrace hiring for personality and potential, Condon believes. “[Employees’] ability to learn and be agile is more important than technical skills, in my opinion,” he said.

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Skills can be taught; however, some competencies cannot, he clarified. That’s why he emphasizes selecting candidates based on learning ability, curiosity, and whether they have a realistic grasp of their own strengths and weaknesses.  

What does retention look like in the context of a holistic workplace? 

“The ability to create jobs that people will enjoy is what it’s all about,” Condon said, referring to a holistic approach that focuses on leveraging employees’ unique skills and preferences. This not only boosts retention, but it can also supercharge

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Employees who do feel the need to change jobs should be able to easily find internal opportunities. In fact, Condon advocates for internal mobility as an important HR metric, along with attrition and engagement. “There’s a really high correlation bet

What are your thoughts on performance reviews and job descriptions? 

The traditional annual performance review has ties to the old-school, industrial work theory where jobs were very task-oriented. Modern employers should conduct performance reviews every quarter, and update job descriptions frequently, Condon said. “

And how exactly should organizations approach job descriptions and job titles, for that matter? Condon advises developing job descriptions to highlight skills rather than tasks. Job roles and titles should be structured to illuminate career paths and

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Organizations should also consider a gig strategy, crowdsourcing internally for skills to get projects done. “Find out where people have strengths, and use them. People get so much energy out of that,” Condon said. 

What’s in the future for QuantumWork?

As total workforce management becomes more attainable thanks to AI and other emerging technologies, Condon said he’s looking forward to leveraging partnerships with Phenom and other tech innovators. “We’re having a great time building strategies so w

Join us for more TXL every Thursday at noon ET. Get notified of all upcoming TXL episodes here

Kasey LynchMay 4, 2023
Employee Experience
What is Employee Engagement and Retention?

Across all industries, employee retention is a challenge facing organizations today. In a currently competitive job market with a talent shortage, it's more important than ever for businesses to adjust their retention strategies by prioritizing emplo

However, only 26% of leaders report that employee engagement is an important part of what they think about, plan, and do every day. This is a shockingly low number, especially when 74% of employees don’t feel like they’re reaching their full potential at work — and are willing

But what is employee engagement and retention, and what are the best practices organizations should embrace to support internal talent? In this article, we’ll explore why both are critical and how organizations can create a workplace that attracts and retains the best employees.

What is Employee Engagement in HR?

Employee engagement is the level of commitment and enthusiasm that employees have toward their work and company — and it’s a critical aspect of employee satisfaction, productivity, and ultimately retention.

Many factors can impact employee engagement, including:

  • Opportunities for growth and development: Does the organization provide various ways for employees to chart their career paths and develop the skills needed to get there?

  • Leadership and management style: Are leaders understanding of, involved in, and committed to employee growth and engagement?

  • Company culture: Has the organization created a place where employees feel comfortable expressing themselves and participating in group or company activities without fear of retribution for their beliefs and/or personal backgrounds?

  • Work-life balance: Do employees feel like they can prioritize their personal life while still succeeding at work?

  • Communication and feedback: Do employees and managers engage in regular reviews and frequent 1:1 meetings to ensure both parties are satisfied with the work being produced? 

Companies that consider the strategies above and implement them accordingly can see increased employee productivity, higher-quality work, a stable workforce, and reduced turnover — all of which ultimately lead to increased cost savings and ROI.

With 63% of employees reporting that they left a job due to inadequate growth opportunities and only 36% stating that they feel engaged in their work and workplace, it’s imperative that companies boost feelings of growth and belonging among their workers.

Related reading: Boost Employee Engagement and Retention with a Talent Marketplace

What is Employee Retention?

Employee retention is an organization's ability to keep employees for a prolonged period of time. However, employee retention is not just about keeping employees for a long time, but keeping the right employees for a long time.

It can cost a company anywhere from one half to two times the amount of an employee’s salary to replace them (think recruitment costs, training costs, and lost productivity). Retaining employees help maintain team morale and productivity, creates a sense of stability and continuity, and preserves valuable institutional knowledge and experti

Employee engagement is directly connected to employee retention. At Phenom, we believe one critical way employers can better engage and ultimately retain existing talent is by investing in their learning, development, and growth within the company. 

To do so, organizations should consider implementing the following strategies and resources for their people: 

  • Career pathing: Are employees empowered to envision their future career and know the steps required to get there? 

  • Internal gigs: Does the organization provide short-term internal projects or gigs that promote on-the-job learning and upskilling?

  • Internal mobility: Are employees aware of open job opportunities throughout the company, and have the ability to easily apply?

  • Employee Resource Groups (ERGs): Does the organization promote community, engagement, and diversity through internal networks that employees can join?

  • Mentoring: Can employees easily be partnered with best-fit internal mentors that will help them grow and progress in their career paths?

  • Learning and Development: Can employees take courses that will help them grow the skills needed for future career advancements?

Related reading: Designing Employee Retention Strategies for 2023 

How can organizations improve employee engagement and retention?

To ensure employees have visibility into the opportunities for growth and mobility, many employers are leveraging talent marketplaces. This internal platform has emerged as a powerful solution that allows talent to access personalized recommendations for career pathing, upskilling/reskilling, gigs, internal mobility, mentoring, learning and development, and even ERGs. 

Implementing this technology such as Phenom Talent Marketplace can also provide executives and managers critical talent data and insights that can inform decision-making. As employees utilize the talent marketplace, leaders can get a stronger overall picture of the skills that are available at both the team and

As a result, organizations can build a more agile workforce that can keep up in the midst of changing economic and societal conditions.

Investing in Employee Experience to Boost Engagement and Retention

The success of every business today depends on its ability to promote employee engagement and retention. Not only are engaged employees more productive, satisfied, and committed to their work, organizations can better leverage the workforce and boost

For more information about improving employee engagement and retention, download our Definitive Guide of Employee Experience.

Maggie BleharMay 3, 2023
Candidate Experience
Key Findings From the State of Candidate Experience: 2023 Benchmarks Report

Every company is on a journey of transformation, and if the last few years taught us anything, it’s that we will not survive if we remain narrow-focused on simply winning the war for talent. AI technology and automation are reinventing all businesses

In this ever-changing market, the strongest TA strategy starts with a positive candidate experience — and by extension, a compelling career site that turns visitors into applicants and hires. To keep up, employers must embrace cutting-edge practices

Our recently released State of Candidate Experience: 2023 Benchmark Report ranks how well Fortune 500 companies attract, engage, and convert talent — including an additional audit on their use of AI.

Let’s unpack key takeaways from the report, successes and challenges of the Fortune 500, and opportunities for improvement for all companies. Watch the full episode here, or read on for the highlights.

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>> Access the full State of Candidate Experience: 2023 Benchmarks Report here <<

What is the State of Candidate Experience Report?

Our launch of the State of Candidate Experience: 2023 Benchmark Report marks the seventh year Phenom has provided an extensive overview of how Fortune 500 companies approach their digital candidate experiences. As the first interaction with a company and its culture, career sites must convey a strong employer brand, provide easy access

To gather data, Phenom audited how well Fortune 500 career sites performed in attracting, engaging, and converting candidates, with an additional audit on their use of AI. Organizations are scored on career site capabilities such as:

  • Intelligent search functionality

  • Presence of a chatbot

  • Personalization

  • Use of AI and automation

  • Compelling content and job descriptions

“It’s awesome to see how it’s evolved – we’re always finding something new in the data,” said Monica Montesa, Content Marketing Director at Phenom.

What trends has the report uncovered?

For the first time, the report digs into data to identify changes in the candidate experience that have occurred over the past three years — the time period since the pandemic changed the world of work.

Findings reveal that organizations are shifting to build personalization and convenience into the candidate experience by applying tools such as AI and automation. From 2020 to 2023, we found:

  • 250% increase in presenting job recommendations based on browsing history

  • 150% increase in the use of AI-powered chatbots

  • 145% improvement in easy site navigation

  • 87% increase in displaying recently viewed jobs

  • 74% increase in video content

  • 50% increase in well-written job descriptions

“When we talk about the change in what job seekers now expect and how companies need to transform and reconsider how they’re making jobs accessible to candidates… we are really seeing that come through in the data, especially in the last three years,

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Despite these increases, there is still a significant gap between the solutions available and what companies have implemented. Although organizations are adopting AI-powered technology to deliver hyper-personalized experiences that strengthen candida89% scoring poorly in this area. According to the 2023 audit:

  • 86% did not present job recommendations based on browsing history

  • 85% did not use chatbots

  • 85% did not display recently viewed jobs

  • 84% did not provide job recommendations based on candidate profile

  • 80% lacked compelling content on their career sites

Are some best practices and technologies becoming ‘must-haves’ rather than ‘nice-to-haves’?

“There are still more jobs than there are candidates. And candidates are more selective now than ever before,” Montesa said. This means certain elements of the candidate experience emerge as critical must-haves for winning top talent.

Innovators are using a combination of chatbots, personalization, and other tools to build stronger connections with candidates. They’re also helping candidates navigate to the most relevant information quickly and easily. “The sooner people are able

There’s also a renewed focus on employer brand content that gives site visitors an authentic look at company culture and values, such as employee testimonials.

“People really want to know what they’re going to get themselves into. It’s a big decision to make. Just one quick look at a job description isn’t always going to be enough. What we’re seeing in the data is that companies are really starting to recog

What needs the most improvement when it comes to creating an outstanding candidate experience?

Lack of follow-up during the post-apply period stands out as a major opportunity for most employers.

“What happens after [candidates] get that initial email confirming that their application has been submitted?” asked Montesa, adding that too often, it’s … nothing but crickets. “It’s just not setting up a positive experience at all.”

Reducing candidates’ frustration by keeping them in the loop regarding hiring status forges positive connections with silver medal candidates, and is a win for an employer's reputation. (Remember, social media amplifies negative experiences!)

Other areas where the Fortune 500 are struggling include:

  • Maximizing social: Only 15% of career sites had a social login option — and only 3% had curated social media content embedded within their career sites.

  • Consistent branding: Only 12% of career sites had branding on each page to indicate to the candidate that they were still on the same career site.

  • Speed to apply: Only 11% of career sites had an intuitive job search and apply process, requiring less than three clicks to apply.

  • Search functionality: Only 12% of career sites had a type-ahead search feature available, and only 11% of career site searches could understand the context of the keyword and separate it with proper grouping.

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How can employers use the report to assess how they stack up against competition?

It’s a basic business tenet: understanding the competition is a major component of strategy.

That’s why the State of Candidate Experience categorizes findings into 14 different industries to provide a view of how an industry as a whole is performing, including Consumer Goods, Energy and Utilities, Healthcare and Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing

It also covers specifics on how each individual company ranks in attracting, engaging, and converting candidates.

Companies not in the Fortune 500 also have the opportunity to see how their career site compares by requesting a personalized career site audit from Phenom.

Does the report cover recommendations for improving the candidate experience?

If having the data is table stakes, taking action against it is the real game. “What can you do with that information? How do you proceed from there?” Montesa said.

The State of Candidate Experience Report features a special section dedicated to recommendations for improvement. Suggestions range from quick fixes to long-term approaches, including steps such as:

  • Implementing AI technology

  • Boosting personalization and other capabilities to ensure a seamless, relevant experience

  • Staying up to date on emerging technology, such as generative AI

  • Becoming more active on social media

  • Creating more content that showcases your company culture and employer brand

Opportunities abound — but don’t be overwhelmed. “It doesn’t necessarily mean we have to implement all of these things right away,” Montesa said. Rather, stay focused on the changes that will make the most impact for your organization and job candida

To unlock a more compelling candidate experience, view the full report findings

John HarringtonMay 26, 2023
Employee Experience
What Every Company Needs to Know About Workforce Intelligence

Talent management and people managers are carefully evaluating the most effective ways to upskill, evolve, and retain their employees. But too often, they lack the data and context needed to inform the decisions that guide employees — and the organiz

Enter workforce intelligence and employee relationship management. Phenom’s Jesus Latorre-Socas, Lead Project Manager, reveals how this power combo provides the insights and data leaders need to maximize employee productivity, growth, and fulfillment

View this episode of Talent Experience Live here, or catch the highlights below.

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What is employee relationship management?

An employee relationship management tool is like a CRM, but for internal talent, Latorre-Socas said. It’s a central digital repository that captures data on employee aspirations (e.g., career goals and interests) and communications with managers. It

By utilizing employee relationship management, talent managers can take appropriate actions such as initiating upskilling projects to enhance job performance or facilitating career advancements.

What is workforce intelligence?

Workforce Intelligence is an advanced analytics tool that ties in as a function within the employee relationship management tool. “It’s really taking all of that great organizational data and giving you intelligence around things that you can take ac

The main dashboard of the workforce intelligence tool presents hiring trends, churn rate, retention risks, and high performers. Talent management can further analyze this data in three key areas:

  1. Dynamic role architecture: analyze skills, competencies, and additional contexts to determine which employees are available to upskill or reskill into future roles

  2. Comprehensive employee profiles: identify tenure, performance, growth trajectory, fit for openings and progressions, and options for succession planning

  3. Skills intelligence: determine where gaps and training needs exist, provide visibility into endorsed skills, self-reported skills, open jobs and roles that require skills, and the learning opportunities, mentors, and gig projects available to address gaps

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How does leveraging workforce intelligence give organizations a competitive advantage?

Similar to conducting research before making a consumer purchase, workforce intelligence helps guide both talent management and talent acquisition decisions by surfacing valuable information that would otherwise not be readily available.

It gives decision-makers context and data insights to illuminate whether an open role could be filled internally rather than “buying” external talent. For example, workforce intelligence data can identify employees who have been accessing learning on

“You need data to understand how to take action,” Latorre-Socas said. “Workforce intelligence is extremely crucial to any talent lifecycle, and even more crucial for employees.”

With employee data stored in an employee relationship management tool rather than multiple spreadsheets or resumes — along with a workforce intelligence tool that quickly sifts through and analyzes that data — HR leaders gain valuable insight to fost

“If you think about re-shifting, or re-shuffling, those are big keywords these days. How do you find that talent internally? That’s all part of the intelligence happening,” Latorre-Socas said.

Related reading: 3 Reasons to Invest in a Talent Marketplace Platform

How can employee relationship management and workforce intelligence help managers develop employees?

For innovative employers, workforce intelligence and employee relationship management are edging out the traditional approach to internal mobility — where an employee is limited to waiting for a position to open up, and then applying with fingers cro

Instead, talent leaders can use workforce intelligence to track employee activities (e.g., participation in skills development opportunities, training courses, or mentorship programs), self-selection of skills and interests, and expression of aspirat

“Tracking activities is a crucial intake for us from a Phenom perspective to bring forward even more intelligence,” Latorre-Socas said. “If you’re not collecting that transparency from your employees, you’re not giving them the space to be able to br

The other side of the equation? Talent managers not only have a view of internally available skills and hiring potential, they can easily identify employees who are interested in taking their career in a certain direction.

They can also identify skills gaps employees will need to bridge before reaching those career goals. Workforce intelligence can match employees to relevant development opportunities (e.g., projects, mentoring, coaching, learning courses), helping organizations cultivate internal tale

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How can workforce intelligence be used to grow leaders?

There are two potential avenues to pursue when it comes to using these technologies to cultivate leaders, Latorre-Socas explained: coaching or mentorship.

Coaching tends to be more informal. It often takes the form of a one-off conversation to discuss skill sets and aspirations — think a coffee break, lunch, or even a drink after work.

Mentorship programs, a natural follow-up to coaching, are more formal. They involve matching an employee to a senior colleague to build leadership skills in preparation for taking the next step in their career. Mentorships provide two-way value, building skills for bot

But mentorship programs often suffer a common problem, according to Latorre-Socas: lack of visibility. “The biggest problem around mentorship programs is they’re not easily accessible to the organization. They’re siloed to a certain department, to ce

That’s where workforce intelligence comes in, serving to connect employees with others who would make good coaches and bring transparency to mentorship opportunities. “Let’s open the floodgates, let employees find mentors, find coaching opportunities

Related reading: The Art of Mentoring: Why It’s Important and How It Improves the Employee Experience

How are organizations benefiting from employee relationship management and workforce intelligence?

Transparency. Flexibility. These are the most commonly cited benefits of using tools like Phenom Employee Relationship Management and Phenom Workforce Intelligence, Latorre-Socas said. This technology also gives employers a competitive edge with job candidates by showing that

Phenom helps clients achieve strong workforce intelligence by unifying data from various systems within TA and talent management (e.g., a CRM and Talent Marketplace). When those systems can “talk” to each other, it opens the window to visibility on organization-wide talent and skill needs.

Importantly, these tools help leaders prioritize action by illuminating levels of engagement throughout the organization. Is there a department or business unit where employees rarely take advantage of development opportunities? HR leaders can interv

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How can these tools optimize succession and workforce planning?

Employee relationship management and workforce intelligence tools play a vital role in workforce planning, tracking data points on several key elements:

  • Where there are flight risks

  • Employees who are over-tenured and may be ready to make a move

  • Self-selected career pathing preferences and interests of employees

  • Skills inventory of both inbound and outbound skills

  • Manager feedback on employees who would make a good fit for upcoming job openings

These are all insights leaders can use in succession planning, before looking externally.

“If you don’t have a system that aggregates all of this data into a single place, you’re going to struggle to do things like succession planning and workforce planning. Understand how you can help managers be the best manager they can be to promote t

Related resource: 6 Elements for a Meaningful Employee Experience

It’s time to get personal

Workforce intelligence and employee relationship management technology are becoming crucial to providing the personalized journey that today’s employees want. Employers need to be able to tailor the experience based on interests and activities much t

“It’s not enough to just capture bullet points from employees,” Latorre-Socas said. “It has to be intelligence you’re taking in.”

Learn how to create a stand-out employee experience. Check out the Definitive Guide to Employee Experience.

Maggie BleharMay 24,2023
Customer Stories
CHRO Perspective: Co-Innovation Through Crisis and Beyond

As CHRO at Kuehne+Nagel, a global leader in logistics and transport solutions, Lothar Harings has seen talent acquisition and management trends rise and fall. In his view, new expectations from candidates, employees, and customers demand that HR leaders reimagine the talen

Speaking at this year’s IAMPHENOM, Harings shared how his company is staying competitive in an evolving labor market with intelligence, automation, and an experience that increases talent attraction, engagement, and conversion while keeping people at

Shifting Expectations: Today’s 3 Key Labor Market Drivers

So what do today’s employees and candidates want most, and how can organizations deliver it? According to Harings, the three most important labor market drivers today are:

  1. Purpose and belonging

  2. A combination of digital and human touch

  3. Excellence in service

Purpose & Belonging

Now more than ever, people want to know that the work they’re doing matters — that it’s contributing real value to the organization and the greater good. Workers want the ability to integrate their personal and professional lives, and to feel they ha

Meanwhile, instilling a feeling of belonging has grown more complex with the sudden shift to remote and hybrid workforces. “How can you transmit this idea of belonging to a company when you are not physically present? I think it's a big challenge for

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To connect with candidates and employees on this level, employers need to find a way to weave purpose and belonging into TA messaging.

Harings explained how this concept played out at K+N when it came to attracting candidates to the company’s healthcare transport services division during the pandemic. As a leading provider of healthcare transport logistics, K+N ensures supplies reac

But when K+N re-shaped the message from “we deliver products to hospitals” to “we help hospitals save lives by ensuring they receive critical supplies,” the impact on engagement was immediately noticeable.

“This gave such a boost to our people,” Harings said. “All of a sudden, they really understood the bigger purpose of what they were doing, and how their specific tasks helped ensure the highest possible level of service and quality. It helped them re

Digital & Human Touch

Using technology is essential to creating the kind of experience that meets these new expectations. But tech alone isn’t enough — companies need a combination of digital and human touch to engage employees and candidates.

“I truly believe that technology and AI will not replace human beings, but it can and should enhance the experience. It should help us,” Harings said.

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It’s up to HR, however, to ensure that human interaction doesn’t get lost in a sea of technology and digital solutions, Harings continued, and that every person feels treated as an individual and receives a personalized experience at work. In fact, H

“Our way of talent development and of succession planning will be very much more employee-centric than company-centric. And that's, I think, a fundamental change,” said Harings.

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Excellence in Service

Companies need to recognize that it’s their people, not their product, that will make the key difference in customer engagement and market share. Employers should extend the same principles of service excellence to their employees and job candidates, too — those who serve as the face of the company

“I consider this a great opportunity for HR to step up and be more in the center of the strategy,” said Harings. “As a matter of fact, in our company, I think it's absolutely clear that the key differentiators are our people in the crisis, where even

In fact, K+N refrained from enacting layoffs when the pandemic hit — a demonstration of service excellence to employees that has paid off in terms of strengthened trust and engagement, Harings noted.

Designing the Talent Experience with Phenom

Kuehne+Nagel partnered with Phenom in 2018 to transform their talent acquisition and management processes with a new level of intelligence, automation, and experience — and keep all talent stakeholders at the center of a holistic, streamlined approach.

“This platform enabled us to have an integrated approach between external search and internal mobility,” Harings noted. “It helps us now drive the development of the four key roles within this process: the candidate experience, the recruiter experien

K+N’s key Phenom products include:

K+N can now deliver deep personalization to career site visitors, boosting attraction and conversion with tailored content, images, and AI-driven job recommendations. Candidates also benefit from a chatbot that’s available 24/7 for FAQs and seamless

With these career site updates plus efficiency-building tools that dramatically reduce manual tasks like screening and interview scheduling, recruiters now have more time to function as the valuable talent advisors they are while building more meanin

Meanwhile, K+N is enabling a sense of belonging for employees — whether remote, hybrid, or on-site — and actionable internal mobility with the help of Phenom Talent Marketplace. A convenient employee portal gives employees hands-on control over their career journey, with AI-driven recommendations for internal roles, skills-gap analysis, and suggestions for career development oppor

“The technology is there to provide transparency, empowering people to make their own choices,” Harings said. “And then HR and hiring managers are there to support those choices,” he explained.

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The Power of a True Partnership: Results that Make an Impact

Implementing new technology isn’t known for being easy, but Phenom was there to support K+N throughout the journey, recounted Harings, ensuring the solution design matched their vision for how technology should serve their people. “A true partner act

Harings also attributed success to being empowered to make changes without going through a complicated request process, as well as practicing continuous and proactive change management.

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The results of K+N’s enhanced talent experience? Multi-faceted success that speaks volumes:

Increased candidate attraction

  • 1.8 CRM profiles

  • 740K leads

Increased candidate engagement

  • 8.6M job seekers

  • 11M career site visits

  • 29M page views

Increased candidate relationship-building

  • 27% apply conversion rate

  • 430K talent community subscribers

  • 12% campaign conversion rate

Increased employee engagement

  • 44K talent marketplace sign ups

  • 4K employees made referrals

  • 13K referrals received

Of particular value, noted Harings, is Phenom Referrals which makes it easy for employees to refer their professional networks to open roles, accelerating recruiting efforts while contributing to long-term retention.

In less than a year after implementing Referrals in combination with their internal Talent Marketplace, 11,000 referrals were made, 6,000 referrals applied (54% conversion rate), and 500 referrals were hired. “This is a conversion rate of 10%, which is, as you know, ten times higher than a normal conversion rate when you have just an external offer,” Harings shared.

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Leading Your Organization through an Evolving Talent Market Landscape

New technology. New approaches. New messages. New goals. They’re all essential to thriving today, as changes occur at a dizzying pace. When it’s time to make transformation happen, Harings advised keeping three principles in mind, which have shaped h

Authenticity. Leaders need to gain trust through honest, transparent communication. “I think the key element is, try to stay authentic. Don't try to separate you as a person from you as a leader,” he shared.

Curiosity. “Curiosity, for me, is the best indicator of future success,” Harings said. In fact, recruiters should assess job candidates for curiosity, he added — it’s a predictor of their willingness to learn and grow.

Do it. We’re inundated with endless information — so much so that it can prevent action in favor of performing analysis after analysis. His advice? “Do it, monitor it. And if it's wrong, correct it, but don’t go into the endless loop of another analysis.”

All sage advice from a CHRO who has led his company through crisis and beyond.

To dive deeper into the product or full platform benefits for your organization, request a demo

Jenn ThomasMay 22, 2023
Employee Experience
4 Ways to Support Employee Growth: Career Pathing Best Practices

Career pathing is an integral aspect of the employee experience. Without it, employees are more likely to look externally for new opportunities when they’re ready to take on more responsibility. 

By implementing career pathing best practices, you can better engage and develop your workforce while supporting existing talent on their unique career paths. This type of support goes a long way, especially if investing in your workforce is a pillar of your employer brand or cor

In this article, we’ll explore how you can leverage them to create a culture of continuous learning and development, ultimately driving employee engagement and retention in both the short and long term. 

Career pathing best practices that foster employee development

Career pathing best practices help businesses remove the confusion and provide clarity about what opportunities are available to employees within the company. Here are a few to keep in mind when launching a career pathing program at your company:

1. Leverage technology to create clear career paths 

Using manual tactics to account for skills and competencies can be time-consuming — and by the time you’re done cataloging all of that information, it will probably be out of date. Using AI-powered technology, you can automatically sparse skills, competencies, and interests from employee profiles and quickly take action. This information creates a great foundation for career paths that are unique to each individual. 

Related: 6 Ways To Engage Employees for a More Meaningful EX

Another important element is to develop frameworks that also outline the preferred skills, experiences, and competencies required for different positions throughout the business. Evaluating existing employees and their career paths can be a great pla

After collecting both types of data, an intelligent platform can pair employees with potential next steps based on the needs of the business and their existing expertise. This simultaneously offers a personalized experience that transitions talent from confusion to clarity. 

2. Support career pathing with ongoing development opportunities

Encourage employees to engage in ongoing learning and development by offering training programs, mentorship opportunities, and internal gigs and projects. This not only helps employees build new skills and knowledge but also enables them to explore a

Related: Talent Marketplace: The Next Evolution in Internal Mobility and Career Intelligence

Giving employees the opportunity to explore and acquire new skills empowers them to grow while exposing them to different departments they may not have otherwise had access to. This type of hands-on training fosters an agile workforce that’s prepared

3. Foster a culture of open and continuous feedback

Encourage open and honest communication between managers and employees by fostering a culture of feedback. Regularly check in with employees about their career aspirations, goals, and progress, and provide constructive feedback and guidance to help t

These types of check-ins allow managers to build meaningful connections with their employees while understanding where they want to go in their careers. Managers also gain the ability to recommend learning and development opportunities that could sup

Continuous feedback also lends itself well to identifying potential issues early and determining the best course of action before an employee leaves in search of better opportunities. 

Related: Creating a Company Culture Where Employees Learn and Thrive

4. Provide recognition and rewards to highlight individual achievements 

Recognize and reward employees who demonstrate strong performance, and offer incentives such as bonuses, promotions, and increased responsibility for those who show potential for advancement. This not only motivates employees to perform at their best

Pairing recognition and increased responsibility with regular check-ins also ensures that the employee has the ongoing support they need to succeed and work toward their next career goal.

Support career pathing with Phenom Talent Marketplace 

Through artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing, Phenom Talent Marketplace leverages intelligent insights that support career pathing best practices. By parsing relevant data and highlighting potential career journeys, employees can visualize their future without looking externally for new opportunities. 

Discover how Phenom Talent Marketplace can support your existing talent management strategies while expanding your offerings and fostering employee engagement along the way. 

Kasey LynchMay 22, 2023
Fosway 9-Grid for Talent Acquisition showing Phenom as a Strategic Leader
For 3 Years in a Row, Phenom Named Strategic Leader in the Fosway 9-Grid™ for Talent Acquisition 2023

We’re thrilled to announce that Phenom was named a Strategic Leader in the Fosway 9-Grid™ for Talent Acquisition 2023 for the third year in a row!

The #1 HR analyst in Europe, Fosway annually releases its 9-Grid™ for Talent Acquisition to help organizations better compare HR technology vendors, and make more informed investments based on the solution’s potential, performance, presence, total cost of ownership, and future trajectory.

Fosway identifies Strategic Leaders as companies that provide a rich suite of capability across a broad scope of features and have the sophistication to consistently meet the needs of complex enterprise-scale customers. According to Fosway, Phenom has proven its ability to deliver higher levels of innovation, customer impact, and advocacy compared to alternatives in the market.

Maintaining our Strategic Leader position reinforces that our talent experience platform is enabling global enterprises with the intelligence, automation, and experience needed to quickly attract, identify, engage, and hire the right talent.

Access the Report

English | German

Why It Matters

According to a European Labour Authority report, the competitive talent market and high job vacancy rates remain a priority on the European Union’s policy agenda. To better connect with candidates and quickly fill open roles in a scalable, sustainabl

“Artificial intelligence (AI) is accelerating disruption in the TA market,” said David Wilson, CEO, Fosway Group. “Phenom’s position as a Strategic Leader on the 2023 Fosway 9-Grid™ for Talent Acquisition reflects the company’s continued innovation in AI and the candidate and talent experience. Recent acquisitions continue to give the company even greater traction in the European market.”

The report, which once again positions Phenom in the Strategic Leader zone, solidifies us as a leader in the talent acquisition market with a solution that maximizes both performance and potential.

What Sets Phenom Apart

More than 500 global, diverse enterprises leverage our vast network of data, contextual industry models, and deep learning to achieve measurable, defensible results. And we are fully invested in the success of our customers’ teams, their outcomes, an

With the Phenom platform, our customers have made tremendous accomplishments:

  • Generating 11X more internal and external applications and achieved a 50% reduction in time to apply >

  • Driving a 176% increase in applications and a 165% increase in hires YOY >

  • Delivering 8X more candidates and 20% faster hires >

  • Saving 78% of recruiters’ time with automated screening and scheduling >

  • Decreasing time to schedule an interview 98% (from 5 minutes to 5 seconds) with automation >

  • Increasing recruiter productivity 567% and reduce agency spend >

  • Cutting 65 days off time to hire >

By continuing to deliver innovation, scale technology, and elevate customer support, the largest enterprises in Europe are able to solve their most complex talent demands.

In addition to the existing talent acquisition technology available that has been available for years (e.g., Career Site, CMS, CRM, Video Assessments, AI Scheduling), we recently announced Phenom X+ — a new platform-wide generative AI capability — and 18 new platform innovations, including:

Generative AI
for TA, which improves efficiencies by providing sourcers, recruiters, talent marketers, and other talent acquisition professionals with the ability to generate personalized content that delights candidates and dramatically speeds up the hiring proce

High-Volume Hiring, which automates job discovery, application submission, and offering extension processes for frontline and hourly workers.

Automation Engine
, which gives organizations the backend interface and control needed to configure and iterate on hiring workflows – complete with intelligence for ongoing monitoring and qualitative analysis of performance plus recommendations to optimize in real-tim

Interview Intelligence, which eliminates the black box of the interview process by providing transcripts, key takeaways, and actionable guidance to the hiring team to move forward with decisions faster.

Workforce Intelligence
, which provides context and oversight to HR teams within their organization, including hiring trends, churn rate, retention risks, and high performers, to improve talent onboarding, development, and retention.

Candidate Hub
, which brings transparency to candidates throughout the hiring process, making it easy to discover relevant roles, understand hiring status, prepare for interviews, and reschedule when conflicts arise.

Trailblazing New Paths for HR Tech

The future of every company depends on its ability to embrace and quickly adopt intelligence, automation, and experience. In the midst of a hiring slowdown, hiring and retaining best-fit employees is more important than ever. To learn more about how book a personalized demo today.

Download the Fosway 9-Grid™ for Talent Acquisition 2023: English | German

John HarringtonMay 20, 2023
Still questioning the ROI of AI? Look How Blockbuster v. Netflix Turned Out.

With all we know about the benefits that artificial intelligence (AI) brings to hiring, developing, and retaining amazing talent, why are some companies still on the fence?

The answer for all of us is clear: Fear. Fear of the unknown, the legal concerns of where to begin and end using AI in talent, and the worry that using AI in a powerful way will change how we work. These are natural concerns as HR practitioners as th

I posed that and several other questions to my friend, author and researcher Ben Eubanks. He stopped by my podcast for the kind of rich conversation about AI that his keen analysis is known for as Chief Research Officer at Lighthouse Research & Advisory. Here’s what he had to say about AI holdouts.

“I liken them to Blockbuster,” he said of the former video store chain that once dominated the movie rental market before Netflix innovated them right out of business.

“Blockbuster said, ‘We're going to hold off,’ and by the time they decided it was time to go all in, it was too late.”

His point: Innovation waits for no one. There’s a limit to how much change people can adopt. You can’t waste time while other employers are moving ahead — and hiring and developing their people faster — and then suddenly expect your recruiters and talent managers to move twice as fast to catch up. That’s not how it works.

Expectations have changed. Today, people want personalized job recommendations tailored to their skills as much as they want movie choices based on past viewing habits. No one has time to scroll through 1,000 movie titles, so why would anyone sift th

Those are just some of the refreshing insights Eubanks brings to the table. It’s no wonder, then, why people flock to his research and books to make sense of where the talent market is going and why.

Watch my discussion with Ben Eubanks here, or listen on Apple and Spotify.  

Our Brains on Autopilot

With Generative AI dominating the news cycle, we naturally feel like it is moving too fast and there needs to be a slow down or we won’t catch up. The natural tendency is to just let it take over.  We need to resist this inclination too. I asked Euba

As ironic as it sounds, “Our brains want to run on autopilot. They are geared to conserve energy, so letting AI take over is a natural human byproduct,” he answered. Yet not paying attention to something that actually helps us perform better is a risk, he added. We need accountability, and talent leaders need to stay in charge of AI and the inputs for the system to make a long term positive, transparent, and equitable impact.

“Neither you nor I should expect [HR practitioners] to be software engineers or data scientists, so finding a great partner is important,” Eubanks continued.

I mentioned Phenom’s belief of keeping humans in the loop and he fiercely agreed. We dug into that subject a little more when he shared his recent research that asked employers about using algorithms. Here’s what he learned:

AI and Humans are a Partnership

Eubanks explained that it’s not an either/or battle between humans and robots; it’s a partnership. He recounted an interesting story in his book, “Artificial Intelligence for HR: Use AI to Support and Develop a Successful Workforce,” about a weeks-long competition between recruiters and AI to see if a recruiter was better than an algorithm at sourcing.

“The humans won,” Eubanks laughed. But there’s more to the story than that.

It took the winning recruiter up to 40 hours of repetitive tasks to do something an algorithm did in mere seconds. The point of the exercise was to show that AI freed recruiters from time-consuming manual work to engage in more enriching creativity, curiosity, and compassion.

“That was a fun thing that I found in the book that I’ve used over and over again,” he said. “Let's bring [recruiters and AI] together, because that's where we're going to get the best results.”

That was precisely the motivation behind my SXSW presentation, I shared with him. I titled my talk, “AI Doesn’t Make Hiring Decisions, People Do,” which brought a nod and a smile.

During the talk, I did an informal survey at the beginning to see who in the audience was an HR practitioner, and a few hands went up. When I asked the crowd if they were motivated to be there out of concern about AI, almost every hand went up. I mean, it wasn’t even close.

So there’s still some educating we need to do — and we need folks like Eubanks to reinforce why we need to spread the word, calm nerves, and speak the truth. He’s keenly aware of what’s going on in the HR space like few are.

Mental Health, Skills, and Other Trends

Naturally as time wound down, our conversation shifted to the big picture trends he’s seeing out in the labor market. We’re five months into 2023; let’s hear from him on where things stand.

Mental health
is worth keeping an eye on. In fact, it was one of the patterns I predicted months ago in my Fast Company article. The workplace has emerged as ground zero because Gen Z is demanding it. It used to be that you checked your emotions at the door when the workday began, but things have changed, and employers need to get on board.

I’m going to look at that more closely when I host a webinar in a few weeks for Mental Health Awareness Month (you can join me by registering here). 

Skills are another trend to watch. While learning and development have always been a priority, the difference is that today, more companies in the last two years are asking how they can develop talent in a way that’s affordable, personal, and tailored, Eub

“The easiest job to fill is when we don't lose them in the first place,” he said.

Hear, hear to that!

Eubanks quotes Jim Rohn’s famous saying that “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If that’s the case, and you’re hanging out with folks who think AI is scary, then it’s time to run with a new crowd. Don’t become like

Put your future glasses on and see the trends that will positively change work and help talent professionals find more satisfaction in what they do. The HR practitioners who experience the power of AI daily will win, and they’ll see what efficiency,

Loved my time with Ben! That’s one way to get smarter together! Watch my discussion with Ben Eubanks here, or listen on Apple and Spotify.  

If you’d like to discuss the topic of AI, skills, mental health — anything at all — at your organization, let’s connect. 

About Smarter

“Smarter” is a podcast where I engage with top experts and senior leaders to uncover the big people trends, unlock the insights, and listen for new ideas related to purpose, people, and the processes that work the best. Let’s get smarter together.

Jess ElmquistMay 2, 2023

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