For many years HR was regarded as an errand to ‘hire and fire’ resources, but over the period of time, with the advancements in technology big enterprises are talking about the possibility to apply big data; which would aid them in taking effectual decisions regarding the welfare of their employees and the organisation. For this organizations have started to show interest in people analytics and have started to invest in it. Let us understand what is people analytics and how it is empowering the HR?
Human Resource programs no longer need to be based on “soft” reasoning but should be as analytical and data-driven as any other management discipline
- Chris Argyris.
The role of HR consultant has changed. HR is no longer a ‘soft task’ or a ‘people’s person’. The pace at which technological developments are progressing has directed HR professionals to be more business-centric and tech-savvy.
Amongst other technological augmentations like AI in HR, Virtual Reality, Automation, Gamification, Cloud-based HR systems has had a major impact on HR professionals and has taken the HR world by typhoon transfiguring the way HR operates. With the pervasive adoption of cloud HR systems, more organizations are financing profoundly in programs to use data for all aspects ranging right from manpower planning to people decisions, and operational enhancement.
As well stated by Joash Narainsamy, Organisational Wellness Specialist at ICAS Southern Africa
“Workplace analytics can give insight into Absence Management, Presenteeism (present but unproductive), Talent Acquisition and Retention, Fatigue and Accident Management, and tell you exactly where your business is bleeding and what to do about.”
Let’s take a look at what is people analytics?
‘People Analytics’ is the process of scrutinizing the available people-related data to measure the efficiency of the HR programs and identify patterns so as to make profound business decisions. In simple words we can say that it is a process that refers to the technique of analytics that uses technology, statistics and proficiency to enormous sets of talent data which helps the management to make effective business decisions for the organisation as well as for their employees thereby having the opportunity to get better return on their investment in the business as well as in the people whom they employ.
According to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends report:
According to Gartner’s Business Analytics Maturity Model, four defined types of analytics are broadly used. They are
Just as beams or foundation walls are considered to be the base of a building similarly Descriptive Analytics is considered as the base footing of the business intelligence. It is a primary stage of data processing that forms a synopsis of historical data to supply helpful information and probably prepare the data for further analysis.
It mainly focuses on the question ‘what happened’ on issues related to employee turnover, number of openings, time to hire, new hire report etc.
When we do a case study we form a detailed outline of what happened. Just as after we investigate what happened; we then tend to dig deep in order to know why it happened.
Similarly, Diagnostic Analysis focuses on the question why did it happen? It digs right into the depths of the data in order to understand the causes of a particular behavior or event.
For instance: In employee turnover, the diagnostic analysis would help to classify whether the separation was a voluntary one or an involuntary one.
It is characterized by techniques such as data mining, correlation, data discovery etc. It enables you to select potential employees for a position. It unveils meaningful perceptions about talent pools by comparing succession metrics and performance reviews across selected employees.
It is a twig of the advanced analytics and is used to identify and project information about unknown future
possibilities and trending events. It comprises a number of statistical techniques ranging from predictive modeling, machine learning, data mining and artificial intelligence that analyses current data and historical facts to make projections about the future. The outlines found in past and transactional data can be utilized to detect the future risks and opportunities
For instance: While hiring; it helps to identify candidates with a tendency to join or who can be efficacious at the organizations, thus helping the talent acquisition team to fill the position swiftly.
It is a zone of business analytics and it focuses on proposing possible measures to direct towards a solution or a viable outcome. It is associated with both descriptive and predictive analytics. As descriptive analytics seeks to provide insight into what happened predictive analytics aids to predict what might happen.
Prescriptive analytics uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to understand the impact of future and aims to provide the best strategies based on those situations, thereby aiding enterprises to mitigate forthcoming risks or suggest best possible options to enterprises to take advantage of the future opportunity.
Prescriptive analytics is used in industries such as travel, oil, and gas, transportation etc.
Amongst the above mentioned four analytics, Predictive Analytics can be considered as an astounding tool for business enterprises. The reason for this is that it has the capability to give meaningful perceptions into areas such as talent management, employee benefits, and promotions or helps in predicting information about the unknown future happenings.
For instance: Calculation regarding the efficacy of the training courses can be done with the help of analytics. It can show the effectiveness of performed CSR initiatives by an organization and rank them based on their contribution to corporate culture and employee participation as well as it can determine which employees are likely to achieve their targets.
Several leading business ventures have already given thumbs up to analytics.
For example-Employee performance data is used by Google to compute suitable interference time to facilitate both high-performing and low-performing employees succeed.
The development of people analytics is worldwide and not limited to a particular country. It has its usage within the HR domain and the business framework. The areas of its usage are likely to develop in a diverse way in the nearby coming years. People analytics can be leveraged in several ways to enhance the functioning of a company.
To name a few areas where people analytics are/can be used within the enterprise are -
For instance: Google the tech giant is considered one of the best companies to work for. With the use of people analytics, they hire the best applicants and retain them with the highest engagement rate.
However, HR areas such as recruitment, employee retention/turnover, and employee performance are the core areas where analytics can be used and the organization can reap its benefits.
The skills of application stalking procedure have changed the recruitment procedure. The judgment could be
bias after interviewing the applicant irrespective how accurately the information pertaining to the applicant is presented.
As stated by Sujee Saparamadu Orange HRM CEO in an interview with Better Buys,
“When you do small talk before the interview, this leads to subconscious hiring on a confirmation bias. That’s where personality insight comes into the picture.”
In order to curb bias when working through a recruitment process, people analytics can be used as a helpful tool to do the relevant assessments of the applicants. Clarity in terms of data about the candidate’s traits can serve for other comprehensions such as whether the candidate’s behavior and personality traits would be appropriate with the organization’s culture.
Employee Performance is an area where predetermined notions and prejudices are difficult to jiggle.
People analytics provides HR the ability to recognize probable fissures amongst employees within a particular department/team, and what training and guidelines are required to compress and seal those fissures.
An in-depth digging into the information will give organizations a gist of who will be a high and low performer amongst the freshly hired applicants. This will help managers empathize; how to effectively get involved and encourage employees in order to enhance the overall progress of the organization.
The use of people analytics helps to identify the ratio of employee retention. By collecting several data and penetrating deep into the available information, an enterprise can observe employee’s behavior and ascertain the behaviors of employees who are about to leave/are leaving the company against employees who are loyal to the company.
Just as business determines what drives consumers buying decisions similarly such type of understanding lets HR get a fair idea as to what is the reason that makes an employee leave an organization and vice-versa. Rather than banking on gut feeling it is far much better to bank on insights that are proof based. This will help HR to make effective decisions to enhance employee retention.
A lot of the organizations have to still constitute decent and reliable people analytics functions. Those enterprises who have are fuelling ahead and these organisations have not restricted the functioning of people analytics only to the HR domain; but have extended people analytics function to work across all segments of business including finance, HR and business operations so as to reap the benefit of the function’s powerful impact on the business performance.
People analytics is set to be a nucleus element of the future of HR and those enterprises that put employee belief and confidentiality at the midpoint of their endeavors will eventually be the ones that reap the most value. It’s geared up to be an electrifying road ahead.