New Eightfold Employees Came to the Company Because ’This Is It’

Todd Raphael
Todd Raphael

Eightfold, which helps companies scale, retain employees, and attract diverse candidates, is actually doing all that itself. The workforce has tripled over the past 12 months and expanded to offices around the globe.

Here’s a look at just three of those many new hires.

Tracy Flynn is Eightfold’s first head of human resources. “I’ve worked in talent acquisition, diversity & inclusion, and as an HR generalist at Visa,” Flynn says, “and what Eightfold’s technology offers is actually what we talked and dreamed about.”

“A big company may have 15 to 20 different HR technology tools. It’s mind boggling to get those into a place where you can really use them intelligently. In my previous role, we always thought, ‘wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to integrate all these silos in a product that would allow us to leverage our candidate and employee data to impact the talent lifecycle.’ When I saw Eightfold, I thought, ‘This is it. The capability of being able to integrate information from so many HR systems, so many technology pillars in an organization.”

As much as what the system does, Flynn was intrigued by how it felt to use it.

“It enables HR to simplify very quickly and very seamlessly to address really critical functionality in a company. It’s so intuitive to use the platform. It’s beautiful. I also saw major brands being so excited once they saw the platform in action. It’s value spans all sectors — public and private, universities, governments, and we are also applying this to the contingent workforce. Any company that’s around 1,000 employees and above could really use this.”

Or, it could be a company growing quickly; Flynn is using Eightfold for its own hiring. “We’re embracing the Eightfold platform for ourselves in every aspect of recruiting as well as for our own employees’ career planning,” she says.

Greg Thompson is the new product lead for platforms and integrations. “I’ve lived through my fourth decade in human capital management software,” he says. “I’ve seen a lot of evolution. In the beginning it was all about counting — butts in seats. We then evolved to somewhat more strategic decision making by HR. So the 2000s were a little more advanced. And the “teens” (2010-2020) were about getting insights for the business.”

But now he says, it’s about intelligence. Not just responding to a query, but really getting intelligence from the information you have about talent. Regarding SuccessFactors and Workday (both of them ex employers of his, that Eightfold’s platform works alongside), he says, “they don’t give you intelligence. Lever and Greenhouse — they’re workflow engines. We’re not trying to replace them. We don’t have an ATS. The ATS’s actually do well at what they do. But a system should be more than just about compliance and record keeping.

“One area we see the market talking about,” he says, “is this whole thing about employee experience and candidate experience. How it feels to use business systems. It needs to be intuitive, it needs to be simple, it needs to be engaging like Eightfold.”

Also, with a lot of systems, users end up forgetting about someone after they applied.

“At Eightfold,” he says, “we store candidate information, but we also update that information from publicly available sources. We look at their LinkedIn profile at least every 90 days, for example, and automatically update Eightfold accordingly. So past applicants proactively get their newest skills and experience updated without having to re-apply for a job later.”

That continual update to people’s profiles, paired with top-notch AI that helps people figure out the next job for them while recruiters and managers figure out the next job for employees, is the type of intelligence Thompson says the talent field has needed for years.

Michael Watson, a former customer of Eightfold while at Gigamon, is heading up a new Eightfold Talent Transformation Advisory team.

When Watson started recruiting about two decades ago, his main tool was a little less sophisticated than Eightfold. It was a phone. And, a recipe box. He kept records on candidates in the recipe box, and just rotated them around, so if someone wanted to be contacted in six weeks, after that time he’d give them a call. He had what was basically a milk crate with deeper information, full of files on people he’d use to keep track of what they were up to.

“We’ve gone from that collecting all this information about people,” he says, “to now being ready to take 20 years of data on people what has worked, what hasn’t, what schools are working for you, what don’t, and making sense of it all. We previously hadn’t had tools that helped people make informed decisions.”

Watson says that one Bay Area technology company, for example, found that the best salespeople went through college in five, not four years. (Perhaps they were involved in more social activities during those years. “Sales is a different beast,” he says.) At other companies, he has seen that non-elite universities produce the best salespeople; even so-called “party schools” produce the highest-performing employees for some companies. “We have all this data that can tell us a story,” he says.

At Gigamon, he used the Eightfold platform to surface those stories, to get intelligence on employees and candidates it didn’t have prior. He loved the product, and got to the point where he started dramatically cutting LinkedIn spending because of it. Watson’s building out the Talent Transformation Advisory team to make sure companies know what needs to be done to get the most of it.

The advisory team is comprised of human-resources and recruiting professionals who’ll sit down with customers and help them with more than just “how do I use this product?”

“Whether it’s change management, messaging, building templates, helping with metrics — we want them to really go live with Eightfold knowing how to get the most value out of the product.

“It’s such a robust platform,” he adds. “It’s not just a sourcing tool. It’s not just a stack-ranking tool for candidates. It’s a holistic platform.”

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