What Data Science Means for HR

December 23rd, 2016

Jon-Mark Sabel



“One of the things that I love about being in human resources is that the profession is constantly evolving,” Sharlyn Lauby says in her article HR is Moving People Science to Data Science - About People. “HR used to be filled with industrial and organizational psychologists and today, HR jobs are requiring data science.” So what exactly does this entail? Lauby argues that this does not mean the “H” in “HR” will disappear. Drawing from the work of Dr. Peter Cappelli, she shares a process by which HR could create more partnerships than ever before:

  • People and organizations partner to create big data.
  • Organizations partner to offer better products and solutions to candidates (and customers).
  • Companies partner with solution providers to be more productive in the workplace.
  • Employees partner with organizations to deliver effectively and efficiently to customers.
  • Customer partner with their favorite companies to buy stuff (and refer others.)
  • And the cycle happens all over again.

In other words, use technology as it is needed. Speed of adoption is not necessarily paramount, but careful adoption is. Utilize demos and pilots to get a feel for the tech. This is where the evolving HR field will really come into its own. While new tech is great, partnerships are essential for making it work. Find Sharlyn: Twitter HRbartender.com

2. 5 Benefits of Promoting Employee Participation

Employee participation is important on several levels. Employees willing to participate in feedback suggestions provide valuable insight into the perspective of employees throughout your organization. “It isn’t that employees are unwilling to offer suggestions, they just don’t feel as though there is a comfortable avenue for it,” Brittni Brown explains. “It is critical for managers and HR personnel to establish clear communication channels.” She details five benefits you can expect from opening avenues of communication and promoting employee participation:

  1. Building a Stronger Community. Employees share their opinions because they care. If they see that feedback is implemented, they will feel more invested in the workplace.
  2. Improving Communication. When more channels of communication are opened, those previously uncomfortable with expressing their opinions will likely provide valuable insight into workflow bottlenecks and elaborate on innovative new ways of accomplishing tasks.
  3. Reducing Stress. Uncertainty feeds stress. Promoting participation and implementing feedback will reduce a great deal of the uncertainty employees experience as a result of uncommunicative management.
  4. Boosting Productivity. When stress is reduced and community is fortified, employees feel more engaged in their work. Who knew?
  5. Increasing Product Quality. This comes as a direct result of boosted productivity and implemented feedback.

While it might be challenging to open those lines of communication initially, expect a torrent of productive feedback once you do.

3. 5 Great Ways to Hack Your Leadership Style

Decisions by leadership make the world go round. Running the minutia of an organization by committee is impossible, so the decisions of a few leaders can have reverberating consequences. Meghan Biro provides five ways to shift to a better model of leadership.

  1. Turn it inside-out. Bounce ideas off employees under your supervision. Use their feedback as a beta test of what decisions will succeed and which will flop.
  2. Forget nice. “Sometimes good behaviour is actually counter-productive, and slows down implementation,” Biro explains. “Just get it done.”
  3. Hands off, but be present. Micromanaging is never a very good idea, but neither is neglecting leadership entirely. Instead, prepare your teams for pitfalls in advance. “Enabling your teams to find their way out of a snag is far better and probably more cost-effective than grabbing the wheel to drive a solution,” Biro says.
  4. Embrace difference. It is the leader’s job to set the primary goal, but this does not necessarily mean everyone will take the same path there. “Don’t mistake shared mission for uniform conformity.”
  5. Stay open. Leadership is a constant learning experience, and valuable feedback can be gleaned from both above and below.

Above all, hone your self-awareness. Self-awareness and authenticity at the leadership level drive self-awareness and authenticity throughout the organization- and such a culture drives the most remarkable decisions. Find Meghan: Twitter TalentCulture.com

4. 5 Inexpensive Ways To Celebrate Your Employees This Holiday Season

At this point, corporate holiday parties are expected. But often there is not a budget to match. Jessica Thiefels provides five innovative, inexpensive ways to make your employees feel special.

  1. Host a Holiday-Themed Activity. From secret Santa gift swaps to Christmas-themed scavenger hunt, there are innumerable ways to show employees that they are appreciated. This can even be a team building activity with a holiday twist, like Conspiracy Santa.
  2. Throw an In-Office Holiday Party. You don’t need an extravagant ballroom to have a good time. Use your own office space to throw a fancy dinner and recognize top performers.
  3. Give Extra PTO Time. The vast plurality of people want travel for Christmas. Help your employees visit family and friends by giving them some extra vacation time.
  4. Establish Friday Half Days. Starting a culture of Friday Half Days is a great Christmas present to your employees, allowing them to feel celebrated all year long.
  5. Host a Friday Morning Brunch. Everybody loves brunch, particularly when it takes the place of doing work. Jessica suggests having “each manager stand up and say something about their team, perhaps even giving a small gift or token of appreciation to everyone.

Find Jessica: Twitter

5. Forget Customer Experience, It’s All About The Employee Experience

We’ve been told that the customer is always right since what seems like the beginning of time. And why not? Leaders in customer service outperform the Fortune 500 by 20%. Tracy Maylett contends that this is a bit of a misnomer. “Only 37% of businesses surveyed said they were ‘able to tie customer experience activities to revenue and/or cost savings,’” he explains. “The degree to which your employees are nurtured and cared for dictates the degree to which your customer experience efforts will bear fruit.” After all, it is the front-end employee who dictates the customer experience. A single disgruntled employee can shatter an organization’s expensive investments training, branding, and customer experience. “The customer experience is the result of engagement and behaviours of your employees,” Maylett says. “Indifferent employers mean indifferent employees. Indifferent employees create indifferent customers. This can only ring more true as social media provides ever increasing interconnectivity. Find Tracy: LinkedIn

The new year brings more access to data than ever before, and it is easy to get swamped by irrelevant metrics. Here are eight recruitment metrics you should be tracking in 2018.