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This article explores the role of data analytics in HR and how HR professionals should go about leveraging data analytics in HR decision........
Human Resource functions have become an essential part of most businesses in today’s world: it’s more than administrative roles. Like most industries, the HR sector is evolving due to the influence of various factors, such as technological developments. Data analytics is among the notable technological advancements HR professionals leverage to streamline some HR processes, especially decision-making. For instance, HR can make evidence-based decisions that positively impact the workforce or enhance employee management.
This article explores the role of data analytics in HR and how HR professionals should go about leveraging data analytics in HR decision-making processes.
Data analytics is the process of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting data using various tools and techniques to gain insights that support informed decision-making or address a specific question. This process is not different in HR; HR-related data from various sources (employee performance metrics, recruitment records, engagement surveys, etc.) is collected, analyzed, and interpreted to identify trends and useful information to solve problems. Generally, HR departments use data analytics to make impactful decisions that involve solving an underlying problem, identifying future trends, or formulating proactive measures that affect their workforce differently.
Data analytics plays a significant role in strategic decision-making in HR processes or areas, as discussed below.
Data analytics provides HR teams/professionals with insights into candidates’ demographics, feedback, preferences, and meaningful patterns that support decision-making related to the recruitment and onboarding process. There are various ways HR teams can leverage data analytics to their advantage. For instance, big data analytics helps identify the patterns and behaviors of a candidate. It may also help identify potential passive candidates who may not be actively applying for opportunities, thus increasing the chances of finding the best fit for certain roles.
Data analytics can also help optimize or streamline the recruitment process and candidate experiences by looking into certain metrics. Lastly, predictive analytics helps identify a suitable candidate for a role and minimize biasness in candidate evaluation.
Employee engagement and retention are important for the HR department and overall business, especially in a competitive market. Using data analytic tools, HR managers can identify patterns and trends that help them proactively address issues and create effective strategies that foster better employee engagement and high retention rates.
For example, data analytics helps gain insights from data such as employee surveys, performance reviews, turnover rates, and satisfaction scores. With such insights, HR managers can identify some factors influencing employee engagement and retention and act accordingly. Also, insights from data analytics open up avenues for improving employee experience.
Data analytics is an integral part of effective performance management. It helps HR teams run data-driven performance management by analyzing real-time data (such as KPIs and surveys) to assess/evaluate employee performance, identify high-performing individuals, and make future predictions. Consequently, HR managers and other business leaders can easily come up with effective ways to retain talent and boost employee performance.
Data analytics helps HR teams in different ways, such as identifying skill gaps, assessing training requirements, and designing effective learning programs, which ultimately helps minimize a lag between demand and supply of skills in an organization. Also, data analytics from management systems helps identify high-potential employees and customize their development plans. More importantly, data analytics helps assess the effectiveness of training programs through metric analysis, such as learner feedback, completion rate, assessment scores, etc.
HR professionals can leverage data analytics to make strategic decisions related to workforce planning based on historical data, market trends, and business goals. As a result, a business will have the right people with the right skills in the designated roles. For instance, analyzing performance data can help HR professionals spot talent gaps and take the necessary actions, such as hiring new employees and facilitating upskilling programs.
Here is a step-by-step process on how HR professionals should leverage data analytics in HR processes.
First, the HR team and leaders have to define an underlying problem and the objective they intend to achieve. For instance, it can enhance onboarding, improve employee retention, boost employee productivity, etc. Knowing what metrics you intend to track and analyze based on your objectives is also essential.
The next step entails gathering relevant data from relevant sources. Data can be sourced internally or externally depending on what your objectives and metrics are to be analyzed. Common data sources include performance reviews, HR information systems, engagement surveys, learning management systems, payroll data, exit interviews, employee surveys, etc. However, it’s vital to collect accurate and quality data.
Data integration is also essential at this stage to create a comprehensive dataset of all data from different sources.
After collecting data, you need to use statistical and analytical tools to help analyze the data. Such tools help identify certain patterns and correlations within the collected data. Depending on the data type to be analyzed, one could choose to use different analytical techniques (descriptive, prescriptive, or predictive).
Data visualization helps present analyzed data clearly and understandably for decision-making. Common ways of visualizing data include charts (pie, column, bar, line, scatter, and bubble charts), tables, and graphs (line, bullet, bar, and bullet graphs).
An organization’s HR team needs professionals knowledgeable about statistics and analysis to help interpret the results of the analyzed data. Interpreting results also ensures a holistic understanding of the analyzed data by the HR team or other relevant stakeholders such as leaders.
The next step entails making decisions based on the insights from the analyzed data. It is also good to constantly monitor the impact/effectiveness of HR decisions made.
Data analytics is one of the advanced technological advancements transforming how businesses manage their people. It is a powerful tool that HR professionals can leverage to make informed and strategic decisions impacting different aspects of HR management, from talent acquisition and employee engagement to workforce planning. As a result, it’s easier to create a healthier workplace and effective HR strategies that drive organizational success.
However, for an organization to successfully leverage data analytics in HR decision-making processes, there is a need to have the right technology, tools, and professionals who understand data analytics. This kind of approach helps extract meaningful insights that can be implemented in decision-making and achieve great results.
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