Why Infor’s Talent Science Solution Enhances Recruitment and Retention of Top-Performers: A Psychological and Neuroscience Evaluation Overview

Amalgam Insights recently attended Infor’s Innovation Summit in New York City. Senior executives outlined a number of innovations being incorporated into Infor’s suite of products, including ERP, Supply Chain, CRM, and others. In addition to the growing influence of the Cloud, Coleman AI and Birst analytics – an impressive array of broad-based solutions was described.

In my role as a Psychological and Neuroscience Analyst at Amalgam Insights, my focus is on Infor’s Human Capital Management (HCM) solution. I have followed the solution for quite some time, with a particular interest in Infor’s Talent Science product. Dr. Jill Strange, Vice President, HCM Science Applications, provided an update, and Tricia Engel, Director of Talent Acquisition at Wyndham Destinations, outlined a specific use case and customer success story.

Infor’s Talent Science Solution

Infor’s Talent Science solution uses talent assessment and analytics to address the recruiting needs of the modern workplace. A one-size-fits-all approaches to recruitment leads to weak employee performance and engagement, poor job satisfaction and high turnover rates. What is needed are approaches that blend psychology and data science to more accurately assess, place, and retain high-performing talent. Talent Science—that combination of psychology and data science–can achieve these aims, and when incorporated into HCM platforms, can offer insights that are actionable and can increase engagement, performance, satisfaction, and retention.

Infor’s Talent Science team works with the client to identify and quantify the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) associated with success in a particular job. Incumbent employees are administered a single, standardized assessment tool that yields a custom performance profile that captures cognitive, behavioral, and cultural components of the employee in the workplace. Infor’s Talent Science team then builds models that predict the KPIs for incumbent employees from their custom performance profiles. New job applicants are administered the same talent assessment tool, a custom performance profile is constructed for each, and a measure of “fit” is derived that reflects the overlap between the candidate’s performance profile and the ideal profile for the relevant job. Interestingly, but not surprisingly, in many cases the applicant is found to be a better fit for a job that they did not apply for, but for which the company has a need.

The Psychology and Neuroscience of Workplace Performance

Workplace performance is directly affected by the psychological and brain processing of the employee. Thus, it is important to understand the nature of this processing. The brain is comprised of at least three learning and performance systems. These include the cognitive, behavioral and cultural/emotional systems in the brain (as outlined in the schematic below).

  • The cognitive system relies on the prefrontal cortex, is limited by working memory and attentional processes, and is the primary system in the brain that drives workplace performance centered around utilizing information and fact-based knowledge. These are often referred to as hard skills.
  • The behavioral system relies on the striatum and is the primary system in the brain that drives workplace behaviors. The detailed processing characteristics of this system are beyond the scope of this report, but suffice it to say that workplace behavior is distinct from cognition and information. It is one thing to know “what” to do or to have information and knowledge, it is another thing (and driven by a different system in the brain) to know “how” to do it and to act appropriately on information and knowledge. These behavioral skills are often referred to as “soft skills”, and they are difficult to assess.
  • The cultural/emotional system relies on the amygdala and other limbic structures and is the primary driver of what makes each of us unique. Social, emotional and personality characteristics are directly relevant here. The detailed processing characteristics of this system are less well understood than the cognitive and behavioral skills learning systems, but cultural and emotional processes strongly affect both cognitive and behavioral performance.

Figure: Cognitive, Behavioral and Cultural/Emotional Systems in the Brain

Infor’s Talent Science Performance Profiles Align with the Psychology and Neuroscience of Workplace Performance

Infor’s talent assessment tool yields a custom performance profile for each individual that characterizes and quantifies their performance along these three factors. Therefore, the solution quantifies hard and soft skills abilities, as well as cultural/emotional abilities, all of which directly affect workplace performance. This is advantageous from a Human Capital Management perspective because it means that Infor’s solution has the potential to provide actionable insights about all of the important aspects of an employee’s performance through the full employee lifecycle from hire to retire. These insights could provide employers with the information that they need to increase employee performance, engagement, satisfaction, and retention – the goal of HR departments everywhere.

Conclusions and Recommendations

Infor’s Talent Science solution uses talent assessment and analytics to drive change through behavioral analysis. It is grounded in the psychology and neuroscience of learning and performance. Thirty years of foundational research suggests that this is the optimal approach to net long-term gains.

By capturing and quantifying the talent profile associated with each workforce position, Infor provides its clients with the ability to make fast and accurate hiring decisions and increase the long term success of any new hire.

Scenario-Based Learning and Behavior Change: A Brain Science Analysis

Key Stakeholders: Chief Learning Officers, Chief Human Resource Officers, Learning and Development Directors and Managers, Corporate Trainers, Content and Learning Product Managers, Leadership Trainers, Cybersecurity Trainers, Compliance Officers, Environmental Health and Safety Trainers, Sales Managers.

Why It Matters: People skills, compliance skills, safety skills and other skills involve choosing the right behavior in real-time or near real-time. It is behavior change that is the gold standard for Learning and Development, and many L&D vendors utilize scenario-based approaches to elicit behavior change. In this report, we use brain science to evaluate the effectiveness of scenario-based learning approaches in eliciting behavior change, and determine whether this approach helps employees to choose appropriate behaviors and to be more effective managers and employees.

Top Takeaway: Real-time interactive scenario-based learning approaches optimally elicit behavior change by directly engaging the behavioral skills learning system in the brain. Non-interactive scenario-based approaches are effective for behavior change (although to a lesser degree) because they engage emotional learning centers in the brain that draw learners in, and make them feel like they are part of the training. Non-interactive scenario-based approaches are practical and cost-effective alternatives to real-time interactive scenario-based approaches.

Overview

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Todd Maddox Explains Why Extended Reality (xR) Technologies Will Disrupt Corporate L&D

Research Fellow Todd Maddox, Ph.D. has just published a new Analyst Insight: Leveraging Learning Science: Why Extended Reality (xR) is Poised to Disrupt Corporate Learning and Development.

In this Analyst Insight, Todd Maddox, Ph.D. provides guidance on why Augmented and Virtual Reality are set to disrupt corporate learning. This report focuses on a learning science evaluation of the potential for extended reality (xR) technologies to disrupt corporate L&D and show how xR technologies have the potential to improve the quality and quantity of training, to accelerate learning and enhance retention in all aspects of corporate learning to provide the following benefits:

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Why Extended Reality (xR) is Poised to Disrupt Corporate Learning and Development – Part II: The Brain Science

Note: If you missed Part I of this blog series, catch up and read Part I: The Problem. This is part of a four-blog series exploring the psychology and brain science behind the potential for extended reality tools to disrupt corporate Learning & Development.

Four Dissociable Learning Systems in the Brain

The human brain is comprised of at least four distinct learning systems. A schematic of the learning systems is provided in the figure below.

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Why Extended Reality (xR) is Poised to Disrupt Corporate Learning and Development – Part I: The Problem

(Note: This is the first of a four-party series on the Learning Science of xR in Corporate Learning.) Executive Summary Key Stakeholders: Chief Learning Officers, Chief Human Resource Officers, Chief People Officer, Chief Talent Officer, Learning & Development Directors and Managers, Corporate Trainers, Content and Learning Product Managers, Hiring Directors, Hiring Managers, Human Resource Directors,…

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Webinar: Leveraging Psychology And Brain Science To Optimize Retention And Behavior Change

Recommended for: Chief Learning Officers, Chief Human Resource Officers, Chief People Officer, Chief Talent Officer, Learning & Development Directors and Managers, Corporate Trainers, Content and Learning Product Managers, Hiring Directors, Hiring Managers, Human Resource Directors, Human Resource Managers.

On Tuesday, February 5, 2019 2:00pm EST, join the most cited  and referenced learning scientist in corporate learning, Todd Maddox, Ph.D.  as he presents on the psychology of corporate training with Dr. B. Price Kerfoot, Co-Founder of Qstream. 

Together, they will show why corporate learning and development professionals need to learn how to leverage the brain science and technology that change behavior.

In this webcast, you will learn:

  • the psychology of continuous learning for hard and soft skills development
  • the proof behind best practices in microlearning
  • the impact of spaced learning on knowledge retention and behavior change
  • the application of microlearning in corporate enterprise.

And by attending this webcast, you will:

  • Be armed with evaluation criteria for identifying best-of-breed microlearning solutions.
  • Become expert in how to affect behavior change at scale in the corporate learning environment.
  • Provoke thinking that applies proven spaced education research your own workplace L&D programs.

To attend this webinar, sign up on the ATD website and learn more about how to influence behavior, knowledge retention, and skills development based on the science of the brain. And Amalgam Insights thanks QStream for underwriting this opportunity for W. Todd Maddox Ph.D. to share his 25+ years of brain science knowledge with the corporate learning community.

Leveraging Learning Science: Why Skillsoft’s Technology and Developer Learning Content Drives Continuous Adaptability in the Digital Age: A Market Milestone

In a recently published Market Milestone, Todd Maddox, Ph.D., Learning Scientist and Research Fellow for Amalgam Insights, evaluated Skillsoft’s Technology and Developer Learning Content from a learning science perspective—the marriage of psychology and brain science.
This involves evaluating the training content and delivery to determine whether it engages psychological processes and learning systems in the brain effectively.

Amalgam’s overall evaluation is that Skillsoft’s Technology and Developer Learning Content is highly effective. Skillsoft’s Technology and Developer Content portfolio meets the need for continuous adaptability and effective engagement of the task appropriate learning system in the brain with their “watch”, “read”, “listen” and “practice” content and delivery methodology. Delivering the Technology and Developer Content portfolio with Percipio’s ELSA ensures that the portfolio is efficiently organized, is easily accessible on any device, is searchable and is seamlessly integrated into the employee’s flow of work. Finally, Skillsoft’s newly developed “Aspire” offering helps the employee realize their aspirations and desires by building an “Aspirational Persona” and developing a digital learning journey to support career advancement.

For more information, read the full Market Milestone licensed for distribution by Skillsoft at http://learn.skillsoft.com/Website-AR-Amalgam-Leveraging-Learning-Science-Why-Skillsofts-Tech-Dev-Learn_LandingPage.html.

Autumnal Tech Advice from Amalgam Insights

Amalgam Insights has been busy the past month in exploring a variety of trends across IT subscriptions, DevOps, Brain Science, and Data Science. In case you’ve missed it, check out our seasonal newsletter and get educated on the key trends that are augmenting our use of technology including:

  • For IT budget and spend management, traditional asset and spend management approaches are falling short
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being treated as a ubiquitous technology
  • Open Source is now a foundation for enterprise IT
  • Learning and Development suffers from the challenge of taking on cognitive bias.

Catch up with Amalgam Insights’ analysts at work this Fall and find out how to:

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The “Unlearning” Dilemma in Learning and Development

Key Stakeholders: IT Managers, IT Directors, Chief Information Officers, Chief Technology Officers, Chief Digital Officers, IT Governance Managers, and IT Project and Portfolio Managers. Top Takeaways: One critical barrier to full adoption is the poorly addressed problem of unlearning. Anytime a new piece of software achieves some goal with a set of motor behaviors that…

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Amalgam Provides 4 Big Recommendations for Self-Service BI Success

  Recently, my colleague Todd Maddox, Ph.D., the most-cited analyst in the corporate training world, and I were looking at the revolution of self-service BI, which has allowed business analysts and scientists to quickly explore and analyze their own data easily. At this point, any BI solution lacking a self-service option should not be considered a…

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