Engage founder and CEO on AI’s impact on business performance

Ladders recently spoke with Joe Hanna, founder and CEO of intelligence platform business ENGAGE, on what his business model, how talent acquisition and business performance is affected by artificial intelligence, and more. 

Joe Hanna
Joe Hanna

Please provide some brief background on ENGAGE and what purpose it serves

Engage offers the first Total Talent Intelligence platform for forward-thinking companies that recognize the impact of people on business performance. Engage combines an enterprise’s internal talent data, external competitor and market data, with predictive AI models for the most holistic and validated talent intelligence worldwide. From talent acquisition, engagement and retention to predicting business and financial performance, Engage brings the future into view to keep enterprises on the leading edge.

The platform solves difficult data and AI challenge: predicting people’s job security and likelihood to change jobs. By predicting the movement of key talent, Engage assesses the Talent Retention Risk for over 50,000 companies which is also aggregated at an industry and macro labor market level.

How has AI impacted the field of talent acquisition, recruiting and/or HR?

AI has begun to completely transform the way people source and engage with candidates while driving efficiency and effectiveness for the talent acquisition and talent retention segments of HR. At the same time, it has created significant confusion for people within the HR space. AI has become one of the most overused acronyms and it hasn’t yet reached the full potential of its capabilities. There are a number of companies selling “AI” that isn’t rooted in science and research, lacks validation and in many instances isn’t even AI.

What can it do from a broad strokes perspective to improve business performance?

It is not a secret that organizations with more engaged employees and lower turnover perform better, and ensuring employees and employers are a good match from the start saves time, reduces costs and increases productivity. The Engage Talent platform gives companies talent-driven intelligence that quantifies the impact and proves it with empirical research so that they can make more informed decisions about talent acquisition, engagement, and retention. This is critical for companies to stay competitive in today’s tight labor market.

What industries are most impacted by turnover and why?

Engage Talent recently explored the financial services, healthcare, and tech industries, and found that financial services employees are most likely to change jobs in the next 90 days. They also are the most likely to be interested in a new job and in responding to a recruiter. Workers in healthcare are least likely to change jobs. It is important to note that, like most data points within human capital, things tend to be cyclical and in order to maintain a competitive edge you must rely on data solutions that are consistently up to date and accurate while providing you the data in a manner that allows you actually use it.

What can employers do to maintain employee job satisfaction and prevent high turnover?

The first step in any employee satisfaction and retention program is understanding the employee. Knowing what is important to them in their current job, or as part of their career aspirations is critical … what are they seeking? Is it a positive work environment, growth opportunities, working for a resilient company or one that is stable. If the employer isn’t fully invested in getting to know their employees and what is important to them, they will be shocked to learn that those individuals may be the most likely to engage with a recruiter and ultimately leave their current company.

What are the keys for organizations/businesses to build a strong company culture? What makes a strong company culture?

The recognition that the people are the culture and who you hire will maintain or change the inherent culture of any organization. Building an environment that focuses on Customers, followed by Employees and then Executives, in that order, ensures that employees recognize they are valued and empowered to shape the company culture.

What has been the most satisfying moment of your career/proudest career achievement, and why?

There isn’t a single thing I can point to. For me, it has been a journey of building valuable relationships with customers and colleagues over a long career that often blurs the line of my professional and personal life, rooted in mutual respect as a result of always putting their needs ahead of your own.