AI tool identifies employees eyeing the exit

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In the battle to retain talent — fueled by a strong economy and low unemployment — HR managers have a new tool to help them identify valued workers who may be eyeing the exit.

AI employee data provider Visier provides a cloud-driven analytics tool — called Visier People — that collects an organization's people data (such as core HR, performance, compensation, recruiting, and learning data) to answer hundreds of HR and business questions. For instance, employers can use Visier People to identify an employee who has a high propensity to leave in the coming six months. Visier People also includes benchmarks that allow employers to compare their results with those of their peers.

The HR director receives a PDF or spreadsheet of the information or a link to the Visier website to view the employee data in real time.

Employers enter information about their staff by answering a series of questions: How large is the workforce? How many workers have left in the past, say, three years? What were their reasons for leaving? The service also asks for their employees’ job responsibilities, their commute time and distance, and the name and title of their manager or supervisor.

Companies are trying to look “at a more holistic level” for retaining their best and brightest, says Dave Weisbeck, chief strategy officer with Visier.

“Employers know that 20%, 25% or even 50% of their staff are their best and brightest and they want to keep them,” he says. “[So] they are trying to figure out what is the best way to do that.”

HR directors also can use the Visier People data if a valued employee informs them that they received a call from a headhunter or a competitor.

“If Sally walks into your office and says she’s thinking about accepting a competitor’s offer, you can go into the application, call up Sally and we will tell you all the information about her,” says Weisbeck. It will display info such as the employee’s propensity to leave, and this could help the manager or HR director speak with the employee in question.

“You can then have a conversation and say, “Sally, I realize it’s been two and a half years since you’ve been had a promotion. Is it about compensation? Is it more about your pay or is about recognition for your hard work?” Weisbeck says. “Very often the case is people care more about promotions than compensation.”

Video game developer EA’s HR analytics team used Visier People to scour four years of employee performance, promotion and cost data and realized that new hires from its university outreach program cost the same or less than their experienced peers. These recently college graduated hires “yielded better performers with more potential at the same or lower cost,” according to Visier. “The team was able to prove that hiring new grads was a cost-effective investment.”

Sometimes the Visier data can yield unexpected and results for companies. In some cases, Weisbeck says, individual managers have learned the hard way that they have created a toxic work environment.

Weisbeck recalls a pilot program with a company that he asked to remain unnamed. While showing senior executives data on their company’s workers who have left, one of the managers attended the presentation.

“It turned out that one of the biggest reasons why people are leaving was one manager. We will literally give managers names if they show up as one of the reasons that people are leaving —and that person was in the meeting when we showed the data,” he recalls.

“They were a little bit taken aback.”

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Employee retention HR Technology Workforce management Workplace management Workplace culture