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Xian Xu, Assistant Director of Organizational Development at GovTech Singapore, joins Integrated Talent Management Strategies class.

Xian Xu, assistant director of organizational development at GovTech Singapore, joined Steve Safier and Laura Guerrieri’s Integrated Talent Management Strategies class. She discussed people analytics and leveraging science, data, and AI (augmented human intelligence) solutions in business and talent management. Integrated Talent Management Strategies is a core course in the M.S. in Human Capital Management program; students investigate and practice demonstrating how talent processes such as performance management, leadership development, total rewards, and talent acquisition can affect an organization’s overall capabilities.

Xu has built her career by applying psychology and a focus on data to workplaces such as IBM, where she worked for more than 15 years. Prior to joining GovTech Singapore, Xu was a user-experience lead for talent selection at IBM. GovTech Singapore’s mission is to digitally transform the public sector to deliver better services to citizens. 

In the class, Xu shared how selection science, data, and AI can help mitigate bias in various stages of the employee life cycle, beginning with sourcing candidates and continuing with talent management and development. 

A salient point: Gartner research shows that there are areas within talent management that are particularly susceptible to bias, such as promotion and hiring decisions. Xu shared examples of data solutions that help reduce bias and improve diversity and inclusion outcomes with fairer decisions in hiring and compensation. She shared two examples: augmenting compensation decisions through the IBM Watson Compensation Advisor and augmenting career decisions through the IBM Job Recommendations tool. Xu noted that AI does not replace a human decision but instead aids and supplements managers to make better and higher-quality decisions faster.

Xu’s advice to organizations to better leverage data and AI in talent management:

  • Consider how AI cognitive solutions will strengthen your HR transformation.
  • Start simple, but start smart.
  • Understand the possibilities of your data.
  • Build trust and engage people.
  • Enhance and expand strategically across HR.
The Columbia University M.S. in Human Capital Management program prepares graduates to be world-class HCM strategists able to address changing needs in building and motivating talented, engaged workforces in the private, public, academic, and not-for-profit sectors. The program is available part-time, full-time, on-campus, and online. 

Fall 2023 application deadlines for the M.S. in Human Capital Management program are March 15 for applicants with international documents and June 15 for the final deadline. Learn more here.