People Analytics: 6 Stats HR Leadership Should Care About

People Analytics: 6 Stats HR Leadership Should Care About

Emily Smykal

The business environment has entered into what many are calling the “golden age of data.” Big data has played a notable role in the appointment of this moniker, because leading companies are starting to routinely capture insights that were unthinkable for a long time.

HR has been a bit behind the curve in this respect, but the use of big data, and particularly people analytics, to drive results is becoming more common. In fact, some companies are doing a standout job in this area.

Businesses are building new teams, adopting new software, leveraging external data, and establishing inter-departmental partnerships all to improve their people analytics. And to get the insights they need, the best HR teams have access to everything from employee feedback and engagement programs to real-time analyses of recruitment channels and off-the-shelf predictive models.

This results in better recruitment and retention, but also better business performance. Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 report, People analytics: Gaining speed, surveyed talent acquisition leaders and executives across 130 countries to gauge their views on analytics in HR. In this post we’ll discuss six insights from the report.

1. 32% of companies feel ready or somewhat ready for analytics

That’s compared to just 24% of respondents in last year’s survey. Almost 40% of HR leaders and business executives worldwide said they are replacing or plan to replace their existing HR systems in the next two years. We are undoubtedly seeing faster adoption of the tools and strategies required to process HR data and make use of people analytics.

2. 82% of respondents who work in HR describe people analytics as important

And now 77% of executives agree with that statement, an increase from last year. Plus 77% of all organizations surveyed feel people analytics is important. The highest rates of support for people analytics can be found in Australia (86%) and Italy (84%). In the U.S. 79% of respondents view HR analytics favorably, while rates are lower in Germany (70%) and France (60%).

3. 52% of those who think people analytics are important describe themselves as excellent at multi-year workforce planning

A further, 38% say they are managing it adequately. These HR leaders and executives are looking ahead to their talent needs in the future, and have confidence in the methods they use to anticipate those needs. Some businesses have used people analytics to identify the candidate traits that are more likely to lead to success on the job. Others develop analytical models that can help predict negative characteristics, such as which employees will be more likely to lie or cheat.

4. 29% of companies think they are effectively leveraging external data as part of their people analytics

This includes collecting and analyzing data from social networking platforms, employment brand data, data on hiring patterns, external turnover trends and demographic data. All of that information is used to predict a company’s workforce trends and attract candidates based on the results. Only 8% of respondents felt they were doing an excellent job of utilizing this kind of data, but there clearly is growth in the uptake of external data as part of an organization’s people analytics.

5. 44% of companies are using their workforce data to predict their own business performance

That’s compared to just 29% of respondents in 2015. So people analytics isn’t just benefiting HR teams and their efforts, it’s informing company decisions to drive better results. People analytics can tell an organization who wants to work there and why, how well they perform their job and why, and even identify future leaders.

6. 51% of organizations now review the business impact of their HR programs

This could mean aggregating all business data to analyze high versus low performing employees, predict retention and turnover, determine future risks, understand employee engagement, and more. So people analytics is being used to analyze and drive business performance, while at the same time HR analytics are being reviewed in terms of their effect on the company. That figure increased from 38% last year, and demonstrates just how well people analytics can help secure a seat at the decision-making table for talent acquisition leaders.

What Does This Mean for Recruiters?

If you’re not already working in an organization that prioritizes people analytics, there are some steps you can take to promote its adoption. Start by keeping your company’s priorities as your main focus. If your HR efforts are trying to solve a problem that’s not on your senior leaders’ radar, you’ll end up wasting resources.

HR leaders who apply people analytics to those aspects of the business executives care about, and that generate profits, find that some analytics projects end up paying for themselves. Improving productivity or production quality, reducing risks, promoting customer acquisition and retention can all come from people analytics. And they can all help your organization make more money.

Develop a single team that can manage your people analytics and integrate all of your efforts. This includes recruitment, employee onboarding and engagement, compensation and workforce planning. Letting these projects grow disparate or disconnected will reduce the efficiency, and possibly the accuracy, of your people analytics.

Also, don’t forget to leverage the analytics and skills outside of your team. Your organization probably includes IT staff, programmers or designers, marketers, and their related analytics teams. Most of them are already familiar with analytics in general, and many will be eager to get involved in another data project. And last but not least, explore your options in terms of analytics tools. These coworkers may already have recommendations, but HR-specific technologies are proliferating quickly, and you should be able to find the tools that are right for you.

Interested in data and analytics in recruiting? Check out our new eBook, “An Exploration into the Depths of Recruiting Analytics.”

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