Analytic and Assessment Tools Gain Traction Among Headhunters

September 28, 2016 – Search firms continue to expand into new areas whether it be via acquisition, alliance or launching new services. The trend has been seen at large recruiters and small boutiques alike as recruiters hope to provide clients with best-in-class services for finding, assessing, onboarding and retaining their senior level talent.

The latest meeting of the minds? Executive search firm Allen Austin has partnered with ENGAGE, a sourcing intelligence platform that combines big data and predictive analytics to identify potential targets, to increase overall business intelligence, and enhance sourcing efficiency.

The firm forged the alliance as it looked for productive technology to improve speed, execution and growth predictability, particularly one with advancements in analytics.

Accessing Passive Candidates With Science

“Our executive search and leadership advisory practices needed an application that specifically addressed certain variables that slightly differ from those of staffing, and ENGAGE absolutely nailed it for us,” said Paul Moran, managing partner of Allen Austin.

ENGAGE has access to nearly 100 million passive candidate profiles and eight million candidates identified as ‘likely to engage’ on a weekly basis. The combination of research capabilities with analytics allows the firm’s executive search consultants to gauge the search for predictive success before even officially launching their search.

Cutting Research Time In Half

“Utilizing our proprietary Foresight (strategy focused on long-term relationships) process in combination with ENGAGE’s predictive analytics, we are potentially cutting our research and candidate development time by half,” said Rob Andrews, Allen Austin chairman and CEO. “These powerful analytics will enhance speed of execution and support our commitment of bringing our clients the best possible talent in the market, not just a suitable slate.”

According to Randstad Sourceright’s 2016 ‘Talent Trends Report,’ the use of talent and workforce analytics continues to increase, with 73 percent of respondents using this data to create more efficient workforce planning, 63 percent for more accurate mapping and addressing of skills gaps and 56 percent for identifying high-potential employees for development.

Leveraging New Tools In Workforce Management

“As the workforce management and technology landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace, HR and talent leaders must understand how they can leverage new tools and capitalize on the power of talent analytics to adapt their strategies and account for these changing trends,” said Rebecca Henderson, chairman, global leadership team of Randstad Sourceright and group president, talent solutions, Randstad U.S.

Analytical and Assessment Tools Gaining Traction

Russell Reynolds Associates recently formed a partnership with Hogan Assessments, a global provider of personality assessment and leadership development. The alliance is designed to increase the success rate of executive appointments and accelerate the development of rising leaders. It combines Russell Reynolds’ expertise in advising senior executives and boards on executive search and succession planning with Hogan’s suite of assessment instruments, data assets and scientific acumen.

“The cost of betting on the wrong leader has never been higher,” said Clarke Murphy, chief executive officer of Russell Reynolds Associates. “That said, innovation in the executive assessment space has not kept pace with the rate of change confronting senior executives.”

Mr. Murphy said the initial stage of working with Hogan will be “sharply focused” on the creation of an assessment approach that is purpose-built to predict success (both short- and long-term) in senior executive roles. “For decision-makers, ‘increasing predictability’ really means ‘reducing risk,’” he said. “The risk associated with executive selection and hiring has always been high. But, as executive roles have become more complex, the risk of making the wrong hiring decision has increased meaningfully.”

Options Group just recently named Debbie Freer as head of OGNext, the firm’s classified strategic initiative. OG iQ will provide solutions in culture assessments as well as competency assessment, metrics, identification of key talent, and benchmarking.

Late last year, Heidrick & Struggles acquired Co Company, a London-based advisory boutique specializing in advises clients on organizational performance, including team dynamics, performance management & leadership assessment, development and transformation.

And of course less than a year ago, Korn Ferry finalized its acquisition of Hay Group for $452 millionHay Group now includes Korn Ferry’s former Leadership and Talent Consulting segment. Hay Group, founded 72 years ago, is a global leader in people strategy and organizational performance. The acquisition is expected to catapult the combined company into the larger global talent management and people analytics & advisory sector.

“Over the last decade, we have seen a transformation in the way high-performing companies attract and acquire talent,” said Josh Bersin, principal and founder at Bersin by Deloitte. “Recruiting is now a strategic business function that includes marketing, recruitment, assessment, analytics, and integrated process management, involving managers, recruiters and sourcers.”

Investors Pouring Money Into HR Analytics 

Reflektive, an HR analytics and employee engagement platform, recently secured $13 million in series A funding led by Lightspeed Venture Partners. Reflektive is using the new funding to accelerate development of its platform, enhance customer success and hire across all departments to support its mission to revolutionize performance management.

“We have met with thousands of human resources executives who struggle with their outdated performance management processes and systems,” said Rajeev Behera, Reflektive co-founder and CEO. “Our technology has found a very strong product-market fit in helping companies transition to a modern and integrated performance management solution that optimizes employee performance, drives company alignment, and provides continuous talent development.”

Randstad Holding, a firm specializing in HR solutions, has led a seed financing in Focus Orange Technology through its Randstad Innovation Fund. The investment is centered around the development of Crunchr, Focus Orange’s analytics platform. Crunchr collects, validates and consolidates people data into meaningful insights around strategic workforce planning, succession, talent management and employee preferences.

“Crunchr fits Randstad’s objective to offer comprehensive total talent management solutions,” said Linda Galipeau, Randstad executive board member. “We have high expectations of Crunchr’s HR-analytics tool and of its potential to give our clients insights in their human capital and workforce planning.” 

“I think data analytics is going to change the whole industry,” said Steve Potter, managing partner, U.S. Operations, for Odgers Berndtson. “The big ah-ha is coming. And the big ah-ha is where technology addresses the qualitative aspects of recruitment, not just the bricks and mortar, which is find the person, look at their resume, see if they’ve got the experience, etc.”

Contributed by Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor, Hunt Scanlon Media and Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media

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