Ready for the HR Data Revolution? Here Are 5 Ways to Get on Board

April 23rd, 2015

Jacqueline Lee

Hiring, Metrics & Analytics, News

With HR data analytics, aka “human capital analytics,” you’ll recruit better people, forecast your hiring needs, and understand your existing workforce. That’s just the beginning of the potential that big data and predictive analytics can bring to your company—these five use cases will give you a glimpse into what HR data analytics can do.

Recruitment: Forecasting Diversity Gaps

John Schwarz, CEO of Visier, suggests using data analysis to identify future diversity gaps. For instance, he suggests using data analytics to:

  • Monitor the diversity of succession pools
  • Identify people from key groups who are at risk of resigning
  • Analyze whether the company awards similar pay raises to minority and non-minority employees

By removing pay inconsistencies and developing internal talent within key groups, you’ll minimize future diversity gaps. You’ll also proactively identify external talent pools, such as women graduating from top technology programs, to solidify your recruitment efforts.

Pre-Employment Assessment: Predicting Candidate Success

Bon-Ton, Inc., a retailer with over 270 department stores, analyzed existing cosmetic sales personnel to determine which employee characteristics correlated wiith better sales success and lower turnover. The data showed that strong problem-solving skills mattered more than friendly demeanor and product knowledge. Based on the results, Bon-Ton created a pre-employment screener to identify candidates with superior problem-solving abilities. After implementing their new screener, Bon-Ton’s cosmetics departments reported lower turnover and higher sales per hour. Chipotle has also used predictive analytics to recruit future rockstars and boost its new hire performance. With data analytics, you can rely on real indicators of future performance instead of depending on your gut instinct.

Employee Evaluation: Identifying Hidden Leaders

Some companies use big data to spot overlooked talent among their existing employees. For example, when one systems integration company used sociometric badges to analyze workers’ movements and productivity, data revealed that workers who talked to four particular individuals finished their work 25 percent faster. Although these four people served as productivity catalysts for everyone else, their own productivity suffered because so many people relied on them. Without data, the company would have continued to overlook these hidden leaders. You can use similar techniques and data analysis to find hidden talent within your company’s walls, saving money on external hiring and recruiting.

Pay Rates: Adjusting Compensation to Lower Turnover

When Juniper faced chronic high turnover within an advanced engineering team, HR worried that the pay structure wasn’t competitive. Data analytics showed that the pay structure actually did match the market, but Juniper compensated advanced engineers at the low end of its range. After the manager started using the full spectrum of available pay, attrition significantly declined. In the same way, you can use data analysis to find the ideal balance between compensation and employee turnover.

Career Management: Making Work More Rewarding

According to a Harvard Business Review report, some HR analysts use unstructured social network data to learn how careers progress over a lifetime. Based on their findings, they’re creating better career development materials. They’re also evaluating candidates based on predictions about their career trajectories. Let big data and predictive analytics take your vision beyond just everyday problem solving. Imagine the ability to sift huge unstructured data sources, like social networks, audio, video, and language usage, to identify the patterns of top performers. Then, you could use these findings to analyze to your own workforce, understanding the patterns you uncover relative to job positions and company culture.

Big Data, Big Insights

Simple data analysis can correct past mistakes, identify hidden opportunities, and give you a glimpse into your company’s future. Now, imagine a world where big data and predictive analytics eliminate bad decisions before you make them. Your gut instinct and your guesses about the future won’t cut it in today’s business climate. It’s time to figure out what data can do for you.