When it comes to the forefront of the global human resources landscape, Diane Gherson is someone you want to know.
As Chief Human Resource Officer at IBM, Diane has helped to revolutionize IBM over the past 13 years. Under her leadership, she has transformed global workforce outcomes through talent analytics and data, with special emphasis on predictive analytics.
I interviewed Diane to learn her thoughts on several topics, including the future of work, how technology is disrupting human resources, how to build a lasting culture, the best way to give feedback, her favorite interview question, her best career advice and where she eats breakfast.
Zack Friedman: It’s no secret that technological innovation brings rapid disruption. The field of human resources is no different, and we are seeing massive change in data, analytics and artificial intelligence. What are the historic shifts impacting human resources today?
Diane Gherson: I see three major disrupters that are upending HR:
- Consumer-grade expectations. Employees and job applicants have new expectations because of their rich digital experiences outside of work. They express themselves and connect on social media; the world is searchable and transparent; their questions can be answered 24×7 in a live chat. And then they come to work.Our job in HR is to create that connected, transparent, mobile, personalized, searchable and 24×7 universe through our workplace and our tools. It means investing in new technology and reinventing all our processes through the lens of the employee.
- Ready access to artificial intelligence and deep learning is creating the opportunity to spot patterns and predict outcomes.This improves our decision support capability and workforce management – whether it is to select candidates who will be more successful, match an employee to job openings or infer an employee’s skills from her digital footprint. We also can use bots to improve our productivity – for example, our analysis tells us that last week we saved 500 hours of Q&A time by training a Watson AI powered bot that answered more than 10,000 questions.