What in the World are People Analytics?

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And Why Do People Analytics Matter?

Analytics. It’s a word that either evokes intrigue or dread in most individuals. While many organizational departments are on board with using data to measure success and assist with future strategy, there are still a few that are resistant to big data usage. Human Resources has historically relied more on relational tools coupled with past trends to successfully carry out the management of people. However, the term “people analytics” (also coined “talent analytics” or “hiring analytics”) has been buzzing around for the past few years. And it is making its way into the day-to-day jargon of HR professionals. With the increasing talk about HR technology, Deloitte Human Capital Trends found that, currently, 26% of HR Professionals report using technological or analytical tools in their organization, up from 14% in 2014.

From recruitment to strategic planning, data can better inform and assist HR professionals across the board. Yet the majority of HR departments have yet to implement analytical solutions. As overwhelming as it can sound, implementing a data solution doesn’t have to be all inclusive. Starting with just 3-5 meaningful metrics can make a big impact. The first step is to identify areas that need improvement. To help get the ball rolling, we’ll look at three HR functions that can benefit from using people analytics.

 Managing Turnover

Turnover can be a big pain point for any organization, especially when it comes to high performing associates. With the myriad of predictive analysis tools in the HR market today, an organization can know with greater confidence whether a key player is a flight risk or not. In addition, using data can give an organization a much clearer picture of what is truly important to employees. For example, a company may choose to increase wages, which may or may not address a turnover issue. Instead of making costly assumptions, employers can be empowered with a more factual and transparent approach to increasing employee satisfaction.

Planning Career Paths

Helping plan an employee’s career path is accepted by most organizations as necessary to promote growth and help retain talent. However, putting all associates in a similar funnel is ineffective and frustrating at best. By gathering pertinent information about various personas within an organization, meaningful career paths can be developed based on that information. That creates buy in and promotes effectiveness on the job. By using data, an organization can create better strategies for growing associates to their full potential, from the ground up.

Recruiting Talent

By using metrics in recruitment, an organization can better gauge the effectiveness or efficiency of the hiring process. From cost of hiring to lengthy fill rates, a company can begin looking at what may be hurting or helping when it comes to recruiting. In addition, when looking at first year attrition, management can begin narrowing candidates to those more likely to be successful in certain positions. By using data, a company can save substantial time, money, and energy by focusing in on what works in recruitment and ditching what doesn’t.

The number of metrics to HR is vast. While these examples may not be a top priority for your organization, analytical tools exist for nearly any focus area. Whether the choice is to source that data in house or to hire in analytical support, there are many options available to help harness information. From online tools to assist in mining data to full-service agencies that do all of the heavy lifting. No matter the option, taking Human Resources to the next level by leveraging big data will move any company forward.

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