Korn Ferry Uses Big Data for Executive Search in Energy Sector

Hiring decisions can be some of the most important, albeit difficult, decisions for a company to make. Selecting the wrong candidate can be costly and time-consuming. Korn Ferry is utilizing its four dimensions of leadership and talent (KF4D) platform to make the executive search process in the energy industry more efficient.

KF4D is a talent intelligence engine that builds off of four main facets:

  • Competencies: skills and behavior required for success that can be observed
  • Experiences: assignments or roles that prepare a person for future opportunities
  • Traits: inclinations, aptitudes and natural tendencies a person leans toward, including personality traits and intellectual capacity
  • Drivers: values and interests that influence a person’s career path, motivation and engagement

While there are some individuals who believe hiring should be done only by humans, not computers, Debra Hermann, managing partner for Korn Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting, believes people are becoming more accepting of using big data. She described the KF4D initiative as “a robust tool that answers key talent questions.”

“We feel there is always going to be a human touch in hiring,” Hermann told Rigzone. “I think the power will be in using both [humans and big data].”

Hermann explained KF4D allows for customization of a company’s needs in pursuing executive leaders. KF4D helps answer three major questions:

  • What talent do you need to achieve your strategy?
  • What talent do you already have?
  • How will you fill the gaps?

“For example, if you’re dealing with someone who may be new in their career, you’ll look at that person’s traits and drivers, since they lack depth of experience,” said Hermann. “When you have an executive rich in experience, you can see how they stack up against people in similar positions in our database in terms of their competencies and experiences.”  

The traditional interview format has not become obsolete, but the hiring process has evolved throughout the years. Big data is expected to become a bigger part of recruiting.  

“Many companies still use the interview. I think the interview will always live on and survive,” Hermann said. “Interviews are decently good at predicting outcomes. But, by using our KF4D platform, companies can increase the accuracy of their predictions.”

The oil and gas industry has seen its fair share of restructuring this year, thanks in large part to the current down cycle. These restructurings have included layoffs and new executive leaders.

“In this environment, I think it’s important to select people who are comfortable working in times of turbulence,” she said. “With downsizing, it becomes even more critical to find the best people for the roles.”

She believes KF4D can help in doing so.

“Our database is large and continually growing. The true advantage of KF4D is that we’re measuring the whole person.”  


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