People Analytics is The Future of Human Resource
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People Analytics is The Future of Human Resource

By Surabhi Mittal, Vice President HR, LANXESS   |   Monday, 02 July 2018, 11:37 Hrs
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Emergence of the employee experience which is now something that many HR leaders and executives around the world are focusing on. Companies are nurturing their human capital through the creation of management programs, policies, and procedures, by fostering a positive work environment through effective employee-employer relations. Corporates are developing a workplace that integrates dimensions like engaging culture and performance management with the help of insights found through analyzing employee data. This data significantly provides a better understanding of employee’s perception and posses the ability to bolster employee engagement and productivity at a day-to-day level to deliver business results.



In the era of big data, the HR professionals are also adopting a data-driven approach to gain valuable insights into their workforce. Analyzing employee data with an objective to contribute towards the growth of the business is known as People Analytics. People analytics uses data and analysis – often provided by recruiting software - to understand a broad range of issues related to employees including performance management, leadership and recruiting. With the use of People Analytics, business leaders are able to utilize resources efficiently to fuel the progress of the business.



Many companies have scaled their Public analytics capability by using cloud-based analytics as part of its strategy to take more of its human capital decision-making on facts.  People analytics shows how each business-unit is performing relative to key performance indicators which are primarily around talent retention, personnel costs, and headcount.



The companies are investing heavily in programs that utilize data for workforce planning, talent management, and operational improvement. Companies are using interview data, candidate screening data to reduce unconscious bias in recruiting. New tools to look at social and local hiring data help companies identify people who are likely to look for new jobs much before they are even approached by competitors. The use of external data for people analytics has grown significantly, as more than 50 percent of companies now actively use the social network and external data to understand attrition, retention, and other performance metrics.



In 2017, according to a Forbes survey, 69 percent of the companies studied have taken various steps to improve utilization of people data but few have been able to derive an optimum output of the analysis. One of the major reasons behind this is the separation of Public Analytical capabilities from the rest of the business which restricts its application in the organization. HR staff does not have a grasp on basics of analytics that are essential to share insights generated by the Public Analytics Team with the rest of the business. To bridge this gap it is important for the HR staff to acquire basic data literacy skills to have a better understanding of the business issue. Including analytical curriculum to teach analytical skills and knowledge can develop average analytical capabilities of HR practitioners. Taking analytics into consideration while making the decision is a habit that companies work culture should incorporate. HR leaders should champion the data-driven decision-making culture and enlist the support of their senior executives in communicating the importance of data-driven decision-making.



The data generated by the PA team does little good if it can’t be easily accessed and translated into compelling stories that move business leaders to action. To improve the results, data and insights generated by public analytics team must be shared throughout the organization. HR leaders need to develop sharing mechanisms, such as a self-service model, shared services, or automated dashboards. In high-performing analytics functions, these delivery mechanisms are robust and frequently used and form a critical part of the analytics ecosystem.  Without a good delivery method, people analytics won’t scale. 



To identify and pursue critical business projects, Public Analytics team should create strong working partnerships. Such strategic partnerships can create connections needed to identify the most pressing and relevant problems in the business, such as improving sales performance or assessing the quality of internal versus external hires.   



Organizations need to build an extended people analytics system—one that enables data and analytics to be broadly embedded in everyday work streams and decision-making processes. Such an ecosystem features data infrastructure, strategic partnerships with business leaders, analytics capabilities throughout the HR function, mechanisms to share data and insights with a wider audience, and a companywide data culture.



In India, Analytics is gaining importance for its capability to provide insights on talent acquisition and retention. India produces millions of graduates every year, but there is a gap between qualification of majority of the graduates and the skill set required by the companies. Thus, employability of fresh out of college workforce is questionable and a war for talent acquisition is ongoing. Even if an organization manages to hire the right people, retaining them for a long term is a huge struggle. High attrition can significantly affect the goals of a company in short as well as long-term. If companies in India have to attain their growth targets, compete with multinationals, and thrive in an immensely competitive market, they need to optimize their workforce with the use of people analytics.



The challenge of scaling is the critical next step in capturing the full potential of people analytics, but it isn’t the conclusion. Using people analytics to enhance the employee experience and spur employees’ productivity on a daily basis, as part of their regular workflow, are certainly business imperatives. Organizations that can do so consistently and rigorously can not only take proactive actions to correct and resolve issues but also make work more enjoyable and meaningful to their employees.



The experiments going on in the analytics space are expected to bring robust analytical models which will drive high predictability and impact.  People analytics will implement evidence-based decision making – removing the reliance on gut feeling which will enable HR professionals to talk confidently about workforce needs at the highest level. It will predict possible scenarios related to workforce issue so the companies can anticipate effects of its policies on the employees. Companies who efficiently utilize this analysis coupled with the way in which workforce metrics influence their bottom line and help to drive and predict future success will have the edge over their competitors.

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