C-Suite Agenda

Why Rich Data Is So Vital to First-Rate HR Management

HR Professionals

In recent years, business analytics platforms and advanced business intelligence dashboards have been transforming the way that companies manage their business through rich data, but the HR department has largely been left on the outside of this trend.

A LinkedIn survey found earlier this year that even though there’s been a 242% rise in the number with HR professionals with data analysis skills in the last five years, 55% still need help applying basic people analytics principles. A 2019 study by Deloitte, meanwhile, found that 91% of HR departments were still using basic tech solutions like spreadsheets, and only 38% were using data visualization tools.

The idea of a data-rich HR dashboard may have been somewhat slow to catch on, but in the second half of 2020, uptake is rising. Data-driven HR software platforms, meanwhile, deliver the ability to explore data relating to personnel that’s being entered into the system anyway, allowing you to generate custom reports to analyze these signals from different angles.

As more HR experts adopt advanced analytics practices to improve the employee experience, we’re seeing the impact that people analytics can have on the business’s bottom line.

Reduce Time to Hire 

The longer it takes to fill an open position, the more revenue is lost. Businesses of every size can benefit by tracking the metrics around time to hire. Relevant key performance indicators to track may include:

  • Time to hire per hiring department
  • Number of applicants per position
  • Trends in how applicants hear about positions
  • Cost per hire over time
  • First-year attrition rates

These types of metrics can help businesses to identify opportunities and bottlenecks in their hiring processes.

For example, are there small numbers of applicants for every position, indicating that you haven’t been advertising in the right places, or are HR departments overwhelmed with poorly-qualified applicants that might indicate you’re publishing imprecisely-worded job descriptions?

It’s also important to gather and utilize qualitative people metrics. Qualitative input draws on candidate feedback and survey responses about the application and interview process, so HR departments can spot more ways to finetune workflows and strategies.

Identify and Attract Tomorrow’s Top Performers

Rich HR data allows you to take proactive steps to streamline hiring and retention. New market analytics tools help you to analyze the talent market to identify hotspots of talent and find people who are more likely to look for a new job soon.

AI-powered filters can help you circumvent human biases that might be blocking you from recognizing suitable candidates. They can also help you to spot core competencies that go beyond “on-paper” qualifications and résumé details to discover who is most likely to become the high-performing employee of tomorrow.

In this manner, you can likewise take deep dives into the traits that make people more likely to leave shortly or to stay in your business for the long term, enabling you to identify the parameters that correlate with high attrition rates. Between the cost of hiring, onboarding and training, businesses invest a lot of money into each new hire, making it important to understand what you can do to keep turnover down.

In the years leading up to the coronavirus pandemic, unemployment was low, and there was a distinct talent shortage. Even now, certain key areas are suffering from a skills gap that makes it difficult to find qualified candidates. Rich data can help you make your business more appealing to top talent by highlighting the certifications, soft skills, types of work experience and other requirements that are deal breakers for the applicants you need.

By tapping into publicly available data sets, salary competitiveness dashboards can help you understand your average compensation in relation to others in your industry and geographic area, so you can be more competitive without paying inflated salaries. Other advanced analytics reports can cast light onto what entices top talent to stay, whether that’s in-office perks, work-from-home options, opportunities to advance professionally, health benefits, or something you might never have thought of.

Enhance Your Understanding of Productivity

HR tasks go beyond hiring and retention, and so do HR data analytics. Every business should be measuring basic employee performance metrics, such as absenteeism, overtime hours and quarterly performance ratings. Data analysis enables you to respond quickly if you see a drop in productivity, and to identify disparities between individuals, teams and departments.

Take things a step further by tracking factors like the correlation between completed training sessions and employee satisfaction, mentorship time and productivity, or participation in professional development courses and employee performance ratings. HR dashboard visualizations can uncover surprising correlations and potential causalities that help refine your employee training and development programs.

Time-consuming tasks like managing overtime, tracking sickness and absence rates, and planning schedules can be made a lot easier with rich data. Set up your HR dashboard to draw data from various platforms like time-tracker tools, employee expense platforms, and employee requests for vacation so you can quickly and easily identify trends at a glance.

Once you have all this data in a single central repository, you can explore it in different ways in order to identify the most appropriate workers for promotion, or restructure your workforce for greater efficiency. People analytics can even help you understand which employees work well together and which should be kept in separate teams, or spot key soft skills that could be put to better use in a different position.

HR Dashboards Deliver Advanced Benefits for HR Professionals

Now that the advanced analytics revolution has reached HR professionals, the benefits are clear. With today’s new tech tools and analytics platforms, HR departments can slash time to hire and first-year attrition rates, take proactive steps to locate and attract top talent with greater efficiency, and to improve workforce structure and employee productivity.

Rich data is reminding leaders of companies everywhere that HR has a significant impact on the business bottom line.

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Victor G. Snyder
A Florida native, Victor G. Snyder has served as a consulting business coach since 2003. He founded BossMakers in 2014, empowering entrepreneurs to filter out the noise, achieve flow and tackle the challenges that will get them where they want to be – ultimately, to own success. Turning c-level executives and entrepreneurs into unstoppable business leaders who crush adversity. Victor G. Snyder is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Follow him on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.