WSJ Explains How Catalant Is Reimagining a Blended Future of Work

Chuck Leddy

By now it’s fairly obvious that AI and machine learning are transforming the HR space, especially when it comes to workforce planning and management. The HR software market is now $11.5 billion, having grown by 23 percent in the last two years, according to Gartner research. And it’s projected to grow another 25 percent by 2020.

In the recently published article “Meet Your New Boss: An Algorithm,” The Wall Street Journal describes the future of work as a blended workforce composed of full-time employees, on-demand talent and artificial intelligence. Emphasizing the increasingly important role of advanced technology, such as software-based solutions and digital platforms, WSJ highlights Catalant’s role in developing agile talent solutions. By matching organizational needs with the right skills, whether internal or external, Catalant is helping more and more enterprises meet their ongoing, dynamic business needs in a flexible and cost-effective manner.

By following an AI-enabled process of accessing talent, any organization can meet its needs as they arise, and in an agile way. As the pace of business change quickens, especially as the demand for specialized, technical skills evolve, the ability to access and leverage the talent you need, when you need it, has never been more strategic.

Hybrid Approach to Optimizing Business Outcomes

The optimal use for AI involves allowing the technology to perform tasks that are best-suited to its strengths — tasks that depend upon pattern recognition and algorithm-based, routinized modeling. AI, specifically algorithms, are often better than humans at analyzing large amounts of data, identifying historical patterns that reveal capabilities and using that data to make data-driven decisions about who can do what and with whom.

“What managers do mostly is identify potential [talent], build teams, assign tasks, measure performance and provide feedback. Generally speaking, humans aren’t very good at these tasks. Someday, we might not need managers anymore,” says Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, a professor of business psychology at University College, London, who believes AI can offer an upgrade over managers.

Machines are not a substitute for human judgment, however, so people are still needed to make complex or nuanced decisions. This hybrid approach gets the best from both AI and human capabilities. AI can remove routine work from people’s plates, speed up administrative work and provide data to help managers improve decision making. Humans won’t work for a robot, but they’ll likely work with them.

Blue Chip Companies Partnering With Catalant to Adopt AI Talent Solutions

Shell Oil and General Electric, two well-known global firms, are currently leveraging Catalant software to match their available internal skills with organizational needs, assigning tasks and project teams through AI and machine learning. Executives simply input their needs for a particular project, and the software scans the entire company for available talent. The task is assigned by a simple mouse click. What’s more is that the software keeps improving its matchmaking capabilities. “The program tracks and evaluates [work] activity so it can refine the next round of matches,” explains WSJ.

Catalant, of course, offers this same matching software and platform to organizations seeking external on-demand help. If a scan identifies internal skills gaps, organizations can access the Catalant platform to scan for external specialists or consultants to fill those gaps.

WSJ also highlights other companies that, along with Catalant, are helping to shape the future of work:

  • Nexus A.I. uses its algorithms to search employees’ profiles and histories to evaluate which employees would work best together on particular project teams. Nexus A.I. also performs automated performance reviews of employees.
  • B12 is a website-design startup that has built a system it calls “Orchestra” to assemble and manage the workflow of blended teams made up of full-time employees and on-demand talent.
  • Kronos Inc. recently launched software that evaluates employee vacation requests without human intervention and assigns tasks based on a mix of worker preferences and qualifications.

WSJ makes it clear that technology is transforming human resources. Organizations that truly understand the blended future of work will stay agile by increasingly leveraging online talent platforms such as Catalant’s to meet ongoing, specialized business needs.

Read the original article published by The Wall Street Journal: “Meet Your New Boss: An Algorithm.” For more information on the power of Catalant’s online marketplace, download the recording of our webinar Enabling the Future of Work.