IBM receives more than 8,000 resumes a day, making it No. 1 on job-search site Glassdoor for Gen Z applicants, said IBM CEO Ginni Rometty at CNBC's @ Work Talent + HR Summit on Tuesday in New York City.
But that's not the only way the technology giant, which employs roughly 350,000 workers, knows who in the workforce is currently searching for a new position. IBM artificial intelligence technology is now 95 percent accurate in predicting workers who are planning to leave their jobs, said Rometty.
During Rometty's seven-year tenure as CEO, IBM has been improving its AI work devoted to the retention of its employees.
"The best time to get to an employee is before they go," she said.
IBM HR has a patent for its "predictive attrition program" which was developed with Watson to predict employee flight risk and prescribe actions for managers to engage employees. Rometty would not explain "the secret sauce" that allowed the AI to work so effectively in identifying workers about to jump (officially, IBM said the predictions are now in the 95 percent accuracy "range"). Rometty would only say that its success comes through analyzing many data points.
"It took time to convince company management it was accurate," Rometty said, but the AI has so far saved IBM nearly $300 million in retention costs, she claimed.
The AI retention tool is part of a suite of IBM products that are designed to upend the traditional approach to human resources management. Rometty described the classic human resources model as needing an overhaul, and said it is one of the professions where humans need AI to improve the work.
Rometty said that since IBM implemented technology more widely including cloud services and other modernization, the tech giant has reduced the size of its global human resources department by 30 percent. But she added that the remaining positions are higher pay and able to perform higher-value work.
"You have to put AI through everything you do," she said.