Building better workforces by design: How Amdocs and Cloudflare use AI-powered talent intelligence to drive outcomes

Find out how Amdocs and Cloudflare use AI-powered talent intelligence to find candidates and improve opportunities for existing employees.

Building better workforces by design: How Amdocs and Cloudflare use AI-powered talent intelligence to drive outcomes

Whether you’re a talent leader in a start-up experiencing rapid growth, in a global enterprise, or somewhere in between, finding and retaining talent is likely one of your top concerns. The last thing you need is a complex, multi-phased technology implementation that may or may not make your job easier — or deliver the results you need. 

You might know that AI-powered Talent intelligence can help you sort through the noise, but starting the process can still seem daunting. 

At this year’s Cultivate, we heard from Scott Tomtania, Global Head of Recruitment for Cloudflare, and Asaf Jackoby, Vice President of Global Human Resources for Amdocs, on why they chose to adopt a talent intelligence platform to solve their biggest talent challenges. Their experiences revealed that both the implementation and the results exceeded their expectations. Here are some key highlights from that discussion. 

Related content: Hear from Cloudflare’s Scott Tomtania on the importance of inclusion and breaking down silos in AI HR tech implementation.

Fast-tracking recruiting to support rapid growth

For a cybersecurity start-up on the verge of IPOing in 2019, Cloudflare was in a period of high growth. Finding and hiring talent as quickly as possible to meet objectives was critical, but the challenge was it often took about four months to hire one employee. Tomtania said that the hiring team was bogged down by looking for the perfect match, which took too long. 

He started digging into the company’s ATS and discovered that there were thousands of applicants in the system, but there was no way to curate it or get a view of their skill sets. However, when one of his recruiting specialists suggested Eightfold, he was skeptical.

“At first, I was thinking, ‘Here we go again with another person trying to solve everything in the world with AI,’ ” Tomtania said. “But I decided to give Eightfold a try to test and learn. We decided to attend the Grace Hopper Conference as a recruiting event. At this conference, you receive thousands of applicants, and we thought here’s this AI tool we can use to see if we can really identify people with the right skills we need. And we ended up hiring five people from that conference alone using Eightfold.”

Tomtania said that this was a great example of how AI in HR tech can weed out and identify skills, but he still wanted to further vet Eightfold. 

“We looked at a lot of our metrics and found out Eightfold metrics around our talent were almost identical to everything we crunched on our site,” he said. “So when we downloaded data from Eightfold it matched, and that was a key selling point for me.” 

Ever the skeptic, Tomtania then decided to go to his toughest critics — the CFO and the head of product engineering. He knew they would ask the tough questions. 

“One thing that stood out for the CFO and head of engineering was that they viewed Eightfold as a diversity-recruitment platform,” he said. “It was completely unintended. We just wanted to see how we can identify the right skills, faster, but it became our de facto diversity-sourcing platform.”

We just wanted to see how we can identify the right skills, faster, but it became our de facto diversity-sourcing platform.”

Related content: Amdocs’ Asaf Jackoby on building an employee-centric culture.

Mitigating attrition with an employee-centric strategy

When you’re a multinational company that provides software and services to the largest telecommunications organizations in the world, your 35,000 global employees are essential to serving your customers. But what happens when talent is hard to find, or employees leave because they aren’t able to move upward through your organization? This is where Jackoby and his HR team at Amdocs found themselves. 

“We needed to think differently about the organization, and change our thinking around rigid career pathways since they weren’t relevant anymore,” Jackoby said. “So we set out to build the organization around employees and to be more agile in finding the right skills while helping employees with internal mobility. 

“We realized early on that we cannot do coaching for 35,000 employees or explore the whole market for the 900-plus jobs within our organization,” Jackoby continued. “We needed to do this at scale, and only AI technology could help us with that.” 

The bigger challenge for Jackoby’s team were multiple HR systems that weren’t operating as a cohesive talent management system. Employees and potential candidates often would get lost or confused in the hiring or L&D processes. He said that Eightfold stood out because it could serve these two purposes. 

“We looked at Eightfold from two angles: one is an overlay on the ATS as our skill repository, and two as the portal for opportunities the organization can offer internally to employees,” Jackoby said. “Eightfold now acts as one portal to help us to consolidate everything so employees and candidates get a much better experience.”

Related content: Harness the power of talent intelligence to drive better talent outcomes with a skills-based approach.

Boosting internal mobility with AI-powered talent intelligence

When adopting new technology, even if it solves a critical problem like talent attrition, the hardest part is often change management. Jackoby and his team knew this when they rolled out Eightfold, so they went to managers with data. Their findings showed that employees who applied for an internal position and were turned down were four times more likely to leave the company. 

“The data spoke for itself,” Jackoby said. “Managers were able to see the value of internal sourcing. For us, this was a quick win and the change management was less complex. This is something we did when we went global.”

Jackoby’s team basically re-architected the internal-mobility program at Amdocs. Now, recruiting efforts include proactively reaching out to existing employees for internal opportunities. 

“We now understand that the tenure in job roles is not what we thought before,” Jackoby said. “Managers used to say, ‘We need to wait until a person is fully trained to be productive,’ but we found people were switching jobs after 18 months, or six months, so it was not relevant. So we reduced dramatically the period when people can move between jobs. 

“We are also more proactive about internal opportunities,” he continued. “We don’t wait for someone to apply. We can now go in and offer a position to employees without asking managers if their employees are ideal for the position. This is a major change for us, but it has contributed a lot to employee retention.”

Tapping into new talent resources with AI

Another unexpected benefit of using talent intelligence for Tomtania’s team was tapping into a new talent resource. In 2020, many companies were cutting their intern programs. But on the heels of an IPO, Cloudflare still needed to find talent, so Tomtania was reluctant to cut the intern program. 

“We looked at some data in Eightfold and found we were receiving lots of applicants for our intern roles, and many of them were even applying for full-time roles because they were out of school,” Tomtania said. “We ended up doubling our intern program in the middle of the pandemic, and this became a great source of new talent for us. 

“Eightfold gave us a way to be very creative and nimble in helping our organization solve our talent challenge regardless of the infrastructure that existed.”

Watch the full panel conversation on “Intelligent by design: How leading organizations are solving their greatest talent challenges” from Cultivate, now on demand.

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