Tools or no tools, we've been talking about people and talent being a hot commodity. IBM believes it has tools that can lead to the right people -- and keep those people happy

The Armonk, N.Y.-based software giant just released cloud-based software and a new "talent and change" consulting practice. IBM's goal is to help organizations use analytics and behavioral science to identify top talent.  

Part of the IBM Kenexa software offering, it is delivered through the IBM Smarter Workforce initiative.

"The offering bundles bring together new and existing software and services from across IBM's Smarter Workforce portfolio including our social collaboration, analytics, workforce science, digital experience, consulting and of course Kenexa's talent assessment and recruitment capabilities," said Zahir Ladhani, ‎IBM's vice president of its Smarter Workforce. "Delivered through the cloud and supported by the new Talent and Change consulting practice, they're designed to make it faster and easier for clients to implement and scale workforce solutions across the organization."

Kenexa Broken Down

Nearly a year and a half ago, IBM began leveraging its new Kenexa offerings by providing enterprises with software that identifies and analyzes workplace information with a view to optimizing workforce talent and the way it is being used. The services were the first manifestation of Kenexa’s human resources products that IBM acquired for $1.3 billion.

social business, IBM's Workforce Analytics, Consulting Eyes 'Talent and Change'

The cloud-based Kenexa offering features:

A new predictive hiring offering. This, Ladhani said, applies analytics to data from behavioral assessments and other sources to identity crucial factors to an organization's success and specific characteristics and talents that top performers share. "This gives HR and business leaders data-driven insight to transform their hiring practices by better understanding the specific traits of top performers when targeting individual candidates with specific roles, teams and organizations," he told CMSWire.

Workforce readiness. IBM here focused on the current workforce's ability to address emerging market opportunities. Ladhani cited the example of helping a sales leader identify skills gaps within her group and what skills will be needed to be successful in the future.

Learning Opportunities

Predictive retention. This compiles and analyzes a wide array of high volume workforce data -- such as exit interviews, previous employee surveys, performance reviews and other sources. It then identifies specific risk factors for attrition such as the characteristics of employees most likely to leave voluntarily and the trigger points that will lead to employee action.

Why IBM?

In a world of workforce analytics solutions, how does IBM stand out? "We believe no one else can match the full breadth and depth of IBM's talent management solutions, services, research and consulting capabilities," Ladhani said.

He cited the Kenexa acquisition as key, in addition to $24 billion in new software and services capability investments in big data and analytics since 2005. The new consulting practice gives clients access to organizational change management methods, tools and expertise gained from previous client engagements and IBM’s own transformation initiatives, according to IBM officials. 

"The new offerings, as well as the Talent and Change practice, bring those capabilities to bear for clients that need to move from fact-based decisions to predictive actions, understand and engage employees in new ways, and manage the change required to transform their workforce," Ladhani said.

As for pricing, Ladhani said the predictive hiring offering comes with a consulting fee for the analytics and assessment development, paired with an annual license for the use of the assessment. 

Workforce Readiness is a consulting fee for the process consulting, a perpetual license cost for each talent framework purchased, paired with an annual license for the skills manager tool. Predictive retention is a annual license fee for the exit survey and a consulting fee for the predictive analytics.