Analysing analytics: from HR to people

Gathering data to better understand markets, businesses and processes is nothing new for organisations; however, the depth of data that is being gathered today has shifted massively over the past ten years. 

Ten years ago, simple HR metrics were used to identify pieces of data, such as 'total headcount,' 'time to hire,' and 'retention rate.' These helped HR personnel develop ways to fix issues in data and employee issues.

As environments become much more digital-focused and companies, such as Facebook and Google, have to process enormous amounts of data to run their businesses, a shift has occurred towards big data. This trend has affected all areas of business, from marketing SEO to financial data. Recently, this trend has touched the HR industry, showing how data can help shape HR processes for success.

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All hail the cloud

Investing in a cloud-based system to manage and utilise data across the entire business can help managers and HR professionals identify areas to focus their efforts on. This is no longer just a role for HR – it can become a business-wide focus.

Recruitment

For example, cloud-based systems that adapt through machine learning can show how key roles in the company can impact the success of the business and financial outcomes. Knowing this can help managers better align the organisational structure around key teams to highly benefit form these key roles. This helps recruitment teams know where and when to begin the process to train or hire talent. 

Bias

Making recruitment, hiring and performance management decisions based on data, instead of solely from intuition, can help eliminate common biases from management. 

Digital hiring can lead to an overwhelming number of job applications. As HR managers sift through hundreds (or thousands!) of job applications, they can experience bias and poor decision-making that can easily be eliminated by cloud computing and big data analysis.

Improving management

High attrition rates are never a good sign of success for a company and all too often, organisations throw bonuses at employees to try to hold retention rates. Instead, cloud-based data has helped companies gather information of at-risk workers. 

Information, such as demographics, professional development, educational background and compensation levels, all have the opportunity to help HR managers identify why employees leave a company. For example, a company may find that longer periods between promotions and lower-performing managers are reasons that retention rate is so low. 

Using this information, HR managers develop more customised employee experience programs to assist in development and increase retention rate.

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Where to begin

A big data analytics program is not just something that organisations can invest in and leave; developing and implementing the systems and processes to work for your organisation will take time and research before investments pay off.

Firstly, your organisation should establish clear leadership roles to pursue a new analytics process. Dedicating a leader to this effort, keeps the project a high priority and helps better benchmark progress. 

When developing analytics tools and systems, it is important to deal with quality data. This data input should remain consistent, timely and accurate from the beginning. Educating stakeholders on the importance of quality record-keeping will help ensure consistent data records for your business.

Finally, when realising the full potential data analytics can have for your business, make sure to put that data to action. HR managers must be able to identify patterns with the data and utilise it to create solutions that will better your organisational strategy.

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References

  • Bersin, J. (2015). The Geeks Arrive in HR: People analytics is here. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/joshbersin/2015/02/01/geeks-arrive-in-hr-people-analytics-is-here/#3a2ce03e73b4
  • Collins, L., et. al. (2017). People Analytics: Recalculating the route. Deloitte. Retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/global/Documents/HumanCapital/hc-2017-global-human-capital-trends-gx.pdf
  • De Romree, H., Fecheyr-Lippins, B., & Schaninger, B. (2016). People Analytics Reveals Three Things HR may be Getting Wrong. Mckinsey & Company. Retrieved from https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/people-analytics-reveals-three-things-hr-may-be-getting-wrong