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Watson Candidate Assistant and IBM Watson Recruitment

Behind the Code with Craig Shoneman, Offering Management Director, IBM Talent Management Solutions

Craig Shoneman, Director, Offering Management, IBM Talent Management Solutions TotalPicture interviewCraig Shoneman

Raise your hand if you've been in recruiting and HR long enough to remember when Kenexa was the cat's pajamas. It wasn't that long ago. In 2005 Kenexa went public and grew rapidly through acquisitions like BrassRing and Salary.com.

Kenexa was ranked the #1 most popular Talent Management Solution in 2012 and 2013 with 9,000 customers and 30 million users. Back in 2011 I interviewed the then-CEO of Kenexa, Rudy Karsan, who co-authored a NYT bestselling book "We: How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement," which you can still find on TotalPicture.com (see the side bar). And, let's face it, engagement is something many companies still struggle with.

In 2012, IBM bought Kenexa, which remains the foundation of many products geared to the HR and recruiting markets, like IBM Kenexa Talent Frameworks. Today I'm joined by Craig Shoneman, Director, Offering Management, IBM Talent Management Solutions. According to Craig's LinkedIn profile, he is "focused on disrupting the HR technology space by leveraging IBM Kenexa solutions and IBM Watson capabilities to help our clients attract, hire, and source talent and develop that talent in a unique way. Today, we're going to focus on two new products, IBM Watson Candidate Assistant and IBM Watson Recruitment.


  • Craig, welcome to TotalPicture. Tell us about your background and your current role at IBM?
  • You're based up in the Boston area where Kenexa, BrassRing, and Salary.com have their roots?
  • Looking at IBM, some of your products are branded IBM Watson, some IBM Kenexa - it seems they're all playing in the same HRIS sandbox, so how do you differentiate what's Watson and what's Kenexa?
  • Let's start with IBM Watson Candidate Assistant - I'm a member of the CandEs council - which is the Candidate Experience Awards program, so I'm painfully aware of the ATS black hole: candidates spending hours cutting and pasting their resumes into clunky ats's - it's still a huge problem Craig, you agree?
  • What is the IBM Watson Candidate Assistant?
  • Is this basically a chat bot?
  • How does it fit into the big picture of talent acquisition?
  • How well does in integrate with other tools recruiters are using to track their candidate interactions and pipeline?
  • Okay let's shift focus and talk about IBM® Watson™ Recruitment. What is it?
  • I'm assuming IBM's in-house recruiters are using these tools. I read Watson Candidate Assistant, was first piloted by IBM itself. What is the feedback you're getting from them?
  • I'm sure you know that a lot of recruiters and sourcers believe that AI, machine learning, predictive analytics, chat bot stuff is going to disrupt their jobs. Big time. Like they won't have one. What's your response?
  • Next month I'm heading to Las Vegas for UNLEASH. The expo floor will be crowded with all kinds of shinny new things. What makes your solutions, specifically Watson Candidate Assistant, and IBM® Watson™ Recruitment stand out?
  • I've read that Watson Candidate Assistant is currently offering a three-month trial. How can our listeners learn more, and where can they sign up for the trial?
  • What haven't I asked you would like to share with the audience?
  • How can our listeners connect with you?

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Peter Clayton

About Peter Clayton

Peter Clayton, Producer/Host, is an award-winning producer/director of radio, television, documentary, video, interactive and Web-based media who has created breakthrough media for a wide array of Fortune 100 clients.


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