Empower AI is a leading provider of enterprise solutions and artificial intelligence services to U.S. defense, intelligence, health, and civilian government agencies. Empower AI has 2,000 employees operating at more than 100 locations worldwide.
Challenge: Hiring the right people at the right time, which means improving candidate experience, data standardization and integration, and automating reporting processes
Solution: Combining iCIMS talent acquisition data with Visier for more data flexibility and visibility into the entire employee lifecycle
Clay Worley leveraged the power of Visier combined with iCIMS to bring the full picture of Empower AI's talent acquisition to company’s leaders
Handling classified, mission-critical information is all in a day’s work for the employees at Empower AI, a leading provider of enterprise solutions and AI services to U.S. government agencies. Empower AI's specialized workforce helps solve the nation’s critical IT challenges, which means hiring the right people, at the right time, is essential.
Their HR team is laser-focused on finding top talent with the IT, AI, data science, and engineering skills needed to fulfill their contracts – and this often means recruiting, interviewing, and onboarding 200 or more people in a very short period of time.
With long-term, multi-year contracts at stake, Empower AI relies on the integration of iCIMS (their talent acquisition platform) into Visier (their people analytics solution), to get a single view of both the candidate pipeline and their entire human capital management function across all employee lifecycle activities.
“As we looked at the dashboard and metrics from iCIMS, we wanted to understand how to translate this into other data we were producing from Visier,” says Clay Worley, SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer at Empower AI. “So, how do we make the connection? Visier is the easiest way to make the connection.”
Bringing iCIMS and Visier together for better recruiting
Empower AI first sought Visier to overcome the data challenges they faced, enabling them to be data-driven in achieving their business objectives. Lack of data standardization was an issue that plagued their recruiting efforts.
This lack of consistency meant that when comparing data from iCIMS and Visier, leaders would notice some of the information did not match, leading to questions around data validity. These standardization issues arose because of how definitions were initially set up in iCIMS causing calculations for certain metrics to differ across the two platforms.
Additionally, Empower AI needed the ability to track key information not readily available in iCIMS. To get the complete picture on their overall quality of hire data, they needed to pull in metrics contained within their HCM on training and development, promotions, turnover and retention, plus information on tenured employees.
Data across the entire employee lifecycle, from hire to retire, is essential for building the best recruitment strategies for attracting high-performing talent.
Better visibility into time-to-fill, expensive processes, and more
With Visier, the team now has clarity around metric definitions. Visier is also their source of truth about their people, connecting all of Empower AI's human capital information with talent acquisition data in iCIMS.
“Quality of hire becomes easier for us to see in Visier because there’s so many components that play into quality of hire that aren’t tracked in iCIMS, “ explains Clay. “I didn’t want to go back to iCIMS and say, ‘build these other people metrics’ because I don’t want them to be the expert in everything. I want them to be really good at applicant tracking.”
— Clay Worley, SVP and Chief Human Resources Officer at Empower AI
Using Visier, Clay set up time-to-fill metrics in different ways that give insight at a high level (enterprise and division time-to-fill), all the way down to the granular level (specific business unit and contract time-to-fill). This enables the team to see where exactly they are wasting resources, losing revenue, and performing inefficiently in their recruitment process.
Visier has also helped Empower AI identify a large number of requisitions that were left open long after required (due to changes in business requirements many of these requisitions did not need to be filled). Now the team can ensure recruiters work only on the roles that truly need to be filled.
The team will be continuing to focus on streamlining talent acquisition processes to achieve operational efficiencies. They will also connect their sourcing and applicant data from iCIMS with more data from Visier—including workforce performance, diversity, and promotion data—to get a holistic view of the operational landscape.
Getting the whole company on board with data-driven problem solving
With data trust issues taken care of, the HR team’s next to-do was getting the rest of the organization using Visier.
Clay and his team spent time working with different areas of the business, including leadership, Talent Acquisition, Business Development (BD), and their Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) council, to understand each unit’s challenges, what questions they had and what information they needed. This approach helped HR understand what problems needed to be solved and how the data could help, rather than just providing teams with data to digest themselves.
“Instead of just giving teams the data and asking them to use it,” explains Clay, “we are saying let us help you solve your specific problems and answer your specific questions.”
For example, their BD team frequently requested help with slicing and dicing certain statistics to be used in developing their contract proposals.
The HR team worked with BD to understand all the data they needed to complete a proposal and to fulfil a contract. They found that the majority of information needed to complete a proposal was around talent acquisition data and skills data. This helped them to build a custom dashboard within Visier that BD could access whenever they needed.
HR has also set up automatic push notifications from Visier to specific teams, executives, and managers, so they could regularly get analyses with key metrics and important areas to pay attention to. This helped to drive people analytics adoption, with leaders and teams now more willing to dive into the data themselves.
Making diversity goals easier to reach
Empower AI's recently formed DEI council asked HR for help collecting data that would identify areas of opportunity and help them to set and track their goals. The HR team built them a specific dashboard in Visier to inform their program focus and understand risk areas within the business.
By tying in performance and talent acquisition data with gender and ethnicity demographic data, the DEI council was better positioned to understand where they needed to focus their efforts. The dashboard also includes Visier Benchmarks so the council can track their progress against the rest of the industry and identify opportunities for improvement.
Improving the candidate experience
“Visier has things that I’ve been excited about since day one,” says Clay. “There’s a visualization I call the ‘spaghetti chart’ that shows where candidates enter the process and how quickly we’re either moving them through or disqualifying them. That’s how we discovered people were bouncing back and forth throughout our process.”
This visualization shows how job applicants are flowing through the recruiting pipeline. *Fictional data used for customer privacy.
While iCIMS showed where applicants were sitting within its pipeline, by moving the data into Visier, the HR team could now see where improvements needed to be made throughout the talent acquisition processes.
When contract proposals in development require many different stakeholders and not a lot of time to get it all done, Empower AI has relied on the ability to see clearly where bottlenecks are.
“Each step can really impact candidate and employee experience. By looking at all stages of the process, we can see where things really slow us down and cause issues for hiring managers, recruiters, and candidates,” adds Clay.
With data from their entire employee lifecycle now at their fingertips, the Empower AI team is able to not only deliver better recruiting experiences, but also better DEI programs, business outcomes, and HR operational efficiencies.
Improved candidate experience
Granular visibility into time-to-fill
Organization-wide people analytics use