5 Common HR Goals & How Big Data Can Help

This week on Blogging4Jobs, we are focusing on the theme Big Data sponsored by Jibe. Jibe provides cloud-based recruiting technology solutions that enable talent acquisition teams to strategically identify, attract and engage candidates. Join us April 10th 2014 at 3pm to talk Big Data on Twitter using the hashtag #BigDataHR and join our webinar, “What’s the Big Deal with Big Data in HR & Recruiting” on April 17th at 11a EST. Follow the week by bookmarking us

Big Data isn’t magic. It’s the process of using your business data, a few statistical techniques, and the right charts and graphs to answer business’ most important questions.

For human resources professionals, in some cases that means carefully using the reports that come built into your HR or performance management software. In other cases, that involves bringing your HR data together with data from other parts of the company, such as sales or marketing, and outside industry data to discover a broader truth.

5 Common HR Goals & How Analytics Can Help

If you’ve been wondering what analytics can do for your organization’s HR department, consider these five common HR goals and how analytics can help you achieve them.

Reduce Turnover

The Problem: Smart companies know losing high-value employees is bad for business. They want to do what they can to reduce turnover, but it isn’t always obvious what they should do.

The Solution: The good news is employees who leave often have things in common. Figure out what those things are, and the triggers in the economy that make those employees leave, and you have a chance to intervene before the good ones leave you at the worst possible time.

How it Works: HR academics have a pretty good body of knowledge about what causes employees to stay, including feelings of empowerment, good pay and opportunities for promotion. Careful review of the characteristics of employees who’ve left recently, along with data about the overall job market and employee satisfaction surveys can help you predict who is likely to leave. Add to that information about employee performance, and you can build a list of the specific employees you should be targeting with your retention efforts.

Use Succession Planning to Enable Growth

The Problem: Every organization needs to put a succession plan in place to reduce the risks associated with the unexpected loss of key leaders to attrition, retirement or even death – and to enable top talent to grow into new leadership roles without affecting existing operations But it isn’t always clear where to start creating one or which positions should be the focus of your efforts.

The Solution: When conducting succession planning activities, go beyond looking at specific managers who seem to be nearing retirement age or are due for promotion. Also search for job categories, technical skills, departments, and territories that – on average – may run short of workers or lose institutional knowledge in the near term.

How it Works:  Start with a list of employees that includes their positions, geography, skills, tenure, probability of promotion, and, if possible, predicted demand for each in the job market. From there, a few basic statistical inquiries can help you spot where your biggest pockets of succession risk might lie.

Hire Better Talent

The Problem: You want to bring on the best talent available and ensure a cultural fit.

The Solution: Modern HR departments have far more information available to help them develop good hiring models than their predecessors did 20 years ago. Data on current employees’ performance and satisfaction and information about candidate availability and salary expectations from similar companies help identify and attract the best talent you can afford.

How it Works: To develop applicant screening tests, HR specialists typically start by carefully considering what abilities are essential for the job in question, and then reviewing personnel performance history data and measurements, such as aptitude tests, to determine the traits that predict performance.

Offer the Best Benefits Package at the Best Cost

The Problem: Employers offer benefits to attract and retain employees. They’re expensive, and if they aren’t the benefits current employees and prospective hires want, they’re an expensive waste of money.

The Solution: Figure out what benefits those current employees and prospective hires want so they will be drawn to stay at or apply to your organization. Get rid of benefits options no one uses.

How it Works:  When designing benefits packages, companies should monitor actual benefits usage, employee surveys, and market research to find the right mix of affordable, desirable benefits.

Measure Employee ROI

The Problem: For many businesses, labor represents both their greatest investment and greatest revenue generator. The trouble is it’s often difficult to calculate just how much of revenue is attributable to a given employee and how much that employee costs to select, train and manage.

The Solution:  Today’s HR departments have the tools they need to record every step in a candidate’s journey from recruitment to employment to retirement – including what it costs the company each step along the way.

How it Works:  By pairing that information with the company’s broader financial records, analysts can calculate with reasonable accuracy just how much each employee costs relative to what they produce, and if that employee is over- or under-paid.

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Rusty Frioux

Rusty Frioux is a business analytics consultant based on Baton Rouge, La. A veteran system integration and business intelligence consultant, he’s built and implemented software for more clients in more states than he actually remembers. Along the way, he learned an awful lot about business data. He currently owns and manages DataClear, a data analytics service firm.

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