IBM HR Summit 2016 Recap: People Analytics and Cognitive Technology

#PowerUpHR: People Analytics & Cognitive Technology


What I Got Out of the 2016 IBM HR Summit

It has been a couple days since the close of IBM’s 2016 HR Summit and I am still taking in everything I saw. At a high level, IBM’s annual HR Summit is a 3-day conference for all things HR tech.

Going in I expected to see some great keynotes but I was blown away by the passion of every person I spoke with. To see not just speakers, but all attendees so devoted to bringing data to HR was very inspiring. The event gathered entrepreneurs, engineers, HR professionals and thought leaders from around the world. The sessions were extremely useful and informative and paired with great networking opportunities.

It’s extremley refreshing as an entrepreneur to see so many others around you dedicated to the same cause: eliminating hiring mistakes.kenexa8

Why Ideal Attended

As a company, Ideal believes in using data to eliminate hiring mistakes. IBM is an undeniable leader in HR Tech and we’re very proud to be partnered with them. The conference brings together customers, influencers and other IBM partners. It’s a great way for partners like us to meet a wide variety of IBM Kenexa customers and learn about their unique problems and struggles.

This live poll really validated what we do at Ideal and further confirmed the pressing need for data-backed hiring.

My Top 3 Favorite Speakers

1. Fran Hansen – Vice President, Talent at Loblaw Companies Limited – Two HR Departments Become One: Loblaws Culture Journey

Fran discussed the interesting dynamics of managing a merger of two very large companies. Loblaws and Shoppers Drug Mart, two large companies in Canada, recently merged which introduced a lot of cultural obstacles to overcome. It was interesting to hear Fran’s background and how they are dealing with these problems head on, using data. Going through an acquisition myself, I could totally relate to Fran’s discussion.


2. Kevin Kruse – NY Times Best Selling Author and Founder of the Kruse Group

Kevin was a great speaker and really hit on points about leadership and workplace recognition. He gave a really good framework on what leaders could do to drive more recognition for their employees. He gave 3 steps:

    1. Say thanks
    1. Specifically mention the behaviour you are grateful for
  1. Explain what it means to the company and/or how it aligns with the company’s strategic priorities and goals

He gave some great examples of successful leaders that still send handwritten thank yous. As a CEO this is a great reminder of the value of appreciation within an organization.

3. Sheri Feinzig – Director of Research Integration, IBM Smarter Workforce at IBM – Cognitive HR: What Research Reveals Employees Really Think

Cognitive HR was definitely the main topic of the entire summit. To be honest, I wasn’t 100% sure what cognitive HR meant or what it included. Sheri Feinzig did a great job explaining what it means. At a high level, cognitive HR uses machine learning and natural language processing to understand, reason, learn and interact with your job candidates and employees. 

This is exactly what we do here at Ideal, so it was very interesting for me.


The Future of Cognitive HR

It’s very clear that cognitive HR was the key focus of this summit. The below image gave an eloquent summary of what cognitive HR means.


What the 2016 IBM HR Summit Means to Ideal

To Ideal, cognitive HR means using data and analytics to eliminate hiring mistakes. Whether that is intelligently shortlisting candidates or increasing workplace diversity, cognitive HR is an increasingly vital component of people analytics. We will definitely be back. Thanks for a great event IBM!


Were you at PowerUpHR? What did you think? How is your organization beginning to implement cognitive technology into your HR stack?

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Somen Mondal

CEO at Ideal
Somen is the Co-Founder & CEO of Ideal. Prior to Ideal, Somen served as Co-Founder & CEO of Field ID until it was successfully acquired by Master Lock LLC (a subsidiary of NYSE:FBHS) in December 2012. Somen’s leadership has helped earn Field ID a spot on the Profit Hot 50 and Deloitte Fast 50 Companies-to-Watch lists. In 2012, Somen was named winner of the Ontario Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award in the “Emerging Entrepreneur” category.

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