Using Data to Drive HR Results

January 9, 2015 Zuman

Big data is everywhere these days, and is often seen as the solution to a number of business problems. Data needs to play a role in your human resources department’s decisions or you could risk making the wrong hires.

Why does HR need to become more analytical? Research from the Boston Consulting Group revealed companies with high-performing HR teams also have better financial performance. The study assessed 22 key HR competencies and found there were three areas that had a clear connection to financial results: leadership development, talent management and performance management. Talent management was a huge hurdle to overcome because attracting the right recruits today is crucial for your company’s success in the future. A quality talent pipeline needs to extend to various levels of the business, not just entry- or mid-level positions. Top performers in HR know they need to develop a wide range of talent and provide opportunities for career advancement. This process doesn’t stop when new hires enter the business – they need to continuously develop or they may start looking for a new job elsewhere.

BCG found that companies with a people operations mindset achieve better results.

“Overall, what these findings reveal is that ‘people’ companies are far more proactive and more strategic about ensuring they have the talent they need – today and in the future,” said Rainer Strack, a senior partner at BCG and co-author of the report. “They fully understand the connection between talent and sustainable performance.”

How can you become a top performer in HR? It comes down to data.

Integrating data analytics for better HR performance
High-growth companies are in a constant state of change. Without big data, you may not be able to determine if your current workforce is able to take on the next big challenge in your industry, Forbes reported. However, human resources can be a source of panic for business leaders because these departments often don’t only rely on clear metrics. HR systems may not be scalable. This can make hiring the right people a difficult prospect.

Competition for the best and brightest new hires in the tech industry is already a tricky process. These same employees may be trying to decide multiple job offers at similar firms, which makes it hard for your company to stand out. Additionally, even if you have skilled employees, they may not have a clear understanding of how to scale the business. Human resources managers and business leaders need to collaborate to balance their current talent requirements with the company’s future needs.

Data analytics are especially valuable for attracting passive job seekers. Because competition for candidates with advanced technical skills is so high, many companies see employed workers who are not actively looking for a new position as an attractive prospect. Even if these individuals are happy in their current jobs, they may be swayed by a better offer, which is why so many recruiters go after this segment.

It’s time to modernize HR operations
The old methods of recruiting top talent are hardly relevant in today’s business climate, CIO magazine pointed out. Cold calling prospective candidates isn’t a scalable process for high-growth companies. Even having HR employees scan through resumes and conducting phone screenings is inefficient. Data can tell you a great deal about whether a candidate will be a good fit for your organization. You can’t leave recruitment up to guesswork when the future potential of your company depends on it.

Hiring is already challenging. Recruiters only spend an average of six seconds reviewing a candidate’s resume, according to an infographic from MedReps.com. In addition, each corporate job opening receives an average of 250 applications, which is overwhelming when you consider many of the people don’t have the required skills. It can take time to sift through each resume looking for the best candidates to interview, and hiring managers may end up making a guess. Great candidates could go unnoticed in the huge stack of applications. However, hiring managers can hold out for the perfect candidate, and a key position may go unfilled for many months. However, the average time a job is open in the tech sector is 38.9 days.

This is highly detrimental for growing your business. You may need to determine the most important skills and assess whether someone is a good cultural fit, rather than leaving the position open in hopes of finding your dream employee. Sometimes these issues can emerge due to a disconnect between HR and other departments. Executives or supervisors for specific roles may need to collaborate with HR employees to ensure hiring managers are pursuing the right candidates.

Implementing data analytics can help your company make better hiring decisions and start a people operations mindset.

About the Author

Zuman

Zuman is the premium solution for HR, payroll, benefits administration delivering superior control, lower risk, and enhanced employee engagement for growing companies.

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