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"A Bloomberg terminal for HR people" - Josh Bersin's Galileo AI assistant is unleashed

Sarah Aryanpur Profile picture for user saryanpur May 20, 2024
Josh Bersin expands on his firm's new generative AI tech as it goes on general release.


As the Josh Bersin Company kicks off its annual Irresistible conference in LA today, the firm’s Galileo AI assistant has gone into general availability mode. To date, around a hundred customers have been using the tech in beta mode. So, what’s the skinny? According to Josh Bersin himself:

It is a deeply-trained AI assistant, primarily targeted towards HR professionals, and uses 25 years of research, case studies and vendors and benchmarks and just amazing amounts of information. It has been trained using our extensive HR resources, and is not scraping its data from the Internet. I like to think of it a like a Bloomberg terminal for HR people.

Built on Sana AI, Galileo has a workgroup version for small teams of two or three people, up to an enterprise version. The enterprise version also has the option to create a protected environment for the organization. It will allow users to talk to other AI tools and access Galileo from other available systems. Bersin says:

A lot of companies want to put their own content into Galileo, their own hiring practices, their own pay models, and then turn it over to their employees and let their employees ask questions. So it's actually not just our content, we expect it to be client content too.

Galileo also shows sources of information, allowing users to read a research report, listen to an audio or a video of the original interview that provided the information.


The Josh Bersin Company is also lifting the lid on its Trusted Partner Program at this week’s conference, with four partners providing additional data for Galileo, Lightcast, Visier, Oyster, and Heidrick and Struggles. Each brings particular skills to the mix.

Lightcast assesses and collects skills and job related data from the labor market. Bersin explains:

It scrapes job postings from around the world, getting data from economic departments and state agencies and they have this massive database of job titles, job descriptions and skills, and they classify skills as essential skills and differentiating skills. So we've collected all that skills data for Galileo. So you can start asking Galileo questions about ‘How do I hire people with this job title? What are the other job titles or roles that I might be considering?’. It uses that skills data to create interview questions. Most companies are currently trying to figure out how to build a skills model on their own. So this is a huge way to get started.

The second partner is Visier, which has 1000s of companies that are using Visier to run reports on retention rate, or time to hire, or cause to hire or whatever, and has produced a benchmark database based on all this real world data. Bersin comments:

We have extracted two particular benchmarks. One is voluntary turnover, which is the percentage of people that are quitting in a given year. The second is span of control, and we're getting that data by industry, by job tenure, how many years you've been with the company, by gender, by managerial level. So you could go by job role, and say ‘I'm the head of sales, and 30% of my people just quit. What should I do?’ And Galileo would say, ‘Well, based on benchmarks, you're 22% Above Average, for your industry, so you certainly have a problem’. Or it might say, ‘You're doing great because the average is actually 45%’.

The third partner, Oyster, deals with global employment practices: 

Oyster enables users to ask questions like ‘I need to hire a software engineer in New Zealand. What should be the vacation policy? I want a diversity of job candidates in Australia. What are the diversity practices in Australia versus the United States?’.

Oyster is a global payroll provider that has collected all this data, and is licensing all of its global employment practices to Galileo. So you can ask Galileo virtually any hiring or staffing or managerial question about a particular jurisdiction.

Finally, Heidrick and Struggles, an executive search company, handles about 2000 Senior Executive searches every year. It has built a leadership model that helps it assess who's going to be a good leader in an executive search, and it has shared the documentation in that model with Galileo. Bersin says:

It will let HR people ask questions like, ‘Who would be good? How would I find a good leader for this project? How do I assess leaders in this part of the organization? What are the characteristics of this group that might help me improve the leadership capabilities of their team?’. It starts writing all sorts of answers about leadership, and it then gives you examples. So if the Board has said it needs to build a better leadership program, it will actually walk through and you can ask good questions like, ‘ We're in this industry, and we're growing at this rate and so forth’, and it will say, ‘Well, here's the characteristics of leaders you should look for. Here's the way you assess them. And here's some examples of other companies doing it’.

Bersin believes there is a big existential change going on in HR, where people with highly skilled professional jobs are moving between industries and taking their skills with them. In the US, 40% of workers change jobs every year, and half of them are changing industries.  That presents challenges, concludes Bersin:

There is a lot of effort going into understanding the skills models that are needed in a company, and what skills are missing. We’ve been talking about the future of work for 10 years, but the future has landed. Everything about the way people work today is different than it was a decade ago. I think this is the most exciting thing I've done in my career. I've been doing this for 27 years, writing reports and selling people subscriptions and doing websites and stuff. Now people are getting orders of magnitude more value out of the content that we create using Galileo.

My take

With early adopters claiming HR managers are saving more than an hour a day using Galileo, that could make a real difference in addressing the current labor and skills shortages that companies are having to deal with. We’ll be talking to one such early adopter soon.

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