Tech Unpacks More Data for HR Pros

By Bowes, Barbara | Winnipeg Free Press, June 16, 2018 | Go to article overview

Tech Unpacks More Data for HR Pros


Bowes, Barbara, Winnipeg Free Press


The human-resource management profession has had a long history in contributing to the success of our businesses, as well as for not-for-profit agencies. HR professionals recruit and select new staff, orient and train employees, provide advice on interdepartmental and/or interpersonal conflicts, mediate, investigate and generally solve the multitude of people problems that might arise. These professionals also keep in tune with the latest legislation and advise management so as to reduce any potential risk.

However, as office technology continues to improve, human-resource professionals now can provide even more strategic advice by collecting and thoroughly analyzing various HR data. Known as HR analytics, this strategy and process allows organizations to analyze employee data, so as to identify issues that are essentially hidden from the naked eye. It’s all about providing insights into the people side of your organization, and using this information to make good decisions about people, structure, systems and processes.

For instance, are you aware of your employee turnover rates? Do you know which departments suffer from higher levels of loss? Are you aware of whether or not these losses are the result of resignations of newer employees, long-term employees or males versus females? HR analytics can provide the answer.

On the other hand, while many organizations have been collecting data systematically, they haven’t done a good job of analyzing the data to identify and quantify the specific employee issues impacting business outcomes. That’s why there’s been such a big push for HR professionals to adopt a more data-driven approach to their human-resource services. In other words, just keeping records and data simply isn’t sufficient, because data by itself fails to add any value to an organization.

So, what exactly does an HR analytics approach look like? What type of analysis is possible? The following are some basic ideas of how analytics can be of assistance in strategic decision-making.

Recruitment — the typical analysis on recruitment is known as “time to hire.” In other words, the time it takes from the first step in the recruitment process to the time when a new employee starts. While this is a useful statistic for identifying the really hard-to-fill jobs, an analysis can also help to identify just where the best candidates come from. It can also help you to assess your advertising strategies by examining how many of your applicants were actually qualified and/or whether or not your recruitment marketing strategy simply attracted a larger percentage of the wrong candidates. The data also can provide information on the entire process of managing your job applicants.

Retention — analytics can assist you in determining the tenure of your employees, and identify departments where tenure is shorter than expected. This is known as “employee churn” and it can be a very costly issue for organizations. The statistics might well direct you to examine the departmental leadership style and other potential issues typically found in the high-turnover departments. Accompany this information with exit interviews with departing employees, and you’ll get a good picture of what is really going on.

Daily time and attendance — this area was one of the first to be used by HR professionals and it continues to be important data today. Analytics will allow you to examine departmental areas where attendance is a problem in general, and it will help to identify individuals whose own personal attendance is problematic. Knowledge of attendance issues can also give rise to the need to examine other workplace issues, such as employee accidents and job safety strategies, ergonomics, training and whether or not your employees have the right work tools.

Demographics — time passes quickly and before you know it, some if not several of your employees will be starting to think about retirement. …

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