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people analytics

How Well is Your HR Department Using People Analytics?

By Roz
Published on June 27, 2016

It may sound Orwellian, but one U.S. technology firm has used people analytics gathered by their Human Resources department to accurately determine which job candidates are most likely to become horrible employees who will cheat or steal from the firm and lie to their supervisors.


Still another high-production manufacturer is using people analytics to chart patterns of work absences to determine when people are most apt to suddenly take a day off, so they can automatically schedule extra staff for those days.


HR planning by people analytics is becoming a reality, whether or not we are ready for it.


While futurists have been predicting this trend for about a decade, the advent of delivering more and more HR services digitally has hastened this revolution.


Analytics attached to every service can be used effectively to figure out what makes people accept positions with your organization, what makes some perform better than others, and what makes them stay. It charts patters on employee behavior and predicts trends accurately.


Currently about one third of American companies are collecting the data and then outsourcing it to experts to develop usable models that will help them interpret what they are seeing in the numbers.


Of all the uses people analytics can be put too, helping a company perform better is paramount. When the characteristics of top performing employees can be analyzed, wiser hiring choices can be made in the future.


One software firm is even collecting people analytics from LinkedIn to accurately predict candidates who are most at risk of fleeing the company.


How can your HR department initiate a program to make better use of your people analytics? Here are four steps to build a solid foundation to get started.

  1. Build an excellent analytics team, drawing from all departments Your results are only going to be as good as your team analyzing the data, so spend time and energy securing the best participants from within your company and from outside. Ideally, your team members will be people who will not only be able to build good models to use your people analytics, but they will be in a position to have genuine input into putting the knowledge you gain into effective programs in each department.
  2. Remember the security and privacy of your employees is of paramount importance – The methods used to gather people analytics and analyze employee trends must focus on anonymity.
  3. Do not veer away from your company’s top priorities – You may identify certain issues or problems with your people analytics, but if these things do not concern your top managers at all, then you are spinning your wheels. Before you go searching through your data, figure out what really matters in your organization. Most likely it is linked to the growth of revenue, the growth of the customer base and the retention of customers, the performance of sales teams, and the speed of production.
  4. Keep your data relevant and up to date If your data base is not kept fresh and up to date daily or weekly, your analysis will be faulty. This is a time-consuming task, but it is absolutely essential that your data be relevant and timely if it is to be used to make recommendations and business decisions.

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