What do people analytics tell us about HR?

HRMS analytics functions offer insights into HR performance. From recruitment to workforce planning to employee turnover, analytics provide a snapshot of the current situation. Between your long-term business goals and the supporting HR strategy, you have a destination that you’re aiming for. People analytics are a way of checking (and correcting) your route.

What are people analytics?

In a nutshell, analytics are reports based on combinations of information from your HRMS data. In the past, the focus was more on reporting the past – basic: how many? and how much? reports, or more comprehensive performance numbers used for benchmarking. However, analytics take a deeper look  into the available data - using statistical analysis and segmentation HR models used for strategic decision-making – and can even visualize the future through data-based predictive scenario planning.

According to 2017 research from Deloitte:

  • People analytics are the highest priority that 71% of companies see in their organizations.
  • The most common uses of people analytics are recruitment, performance measurement, compensation, workforce planning, and retention, in descending order.
  • However, just 8% of companies have usable data.

More efficient planning

It should be obvious that more information and deeper analysis of the implications of that information should lead to better planning, both at the strategic and day-to-day levels of the organization. Of course, whether it does or not depends on the managers using said information but more and more HRMS analytics functions are offering data visualization options, charts and images to make the information more accessible and usable.

Some of the longer-standing analytics are focused on issues such as employee turnover, skills and performance and can be invaluable to your succession planning and talent management strategy. 

Real-time insights

Manager self-service often includes a personal dashboard, customized with the statistics and analytics relevant to individual managers’ roles and teams. The instant availability of such analytics, even ‘low-level’, relatively simple number-crunching, mean that managers and supervisors can make more informed decisions, without having to wait on their HR business partner or similar to provide the data.

More effective recruitment

By drawing on historical hiring data, such as source of candidates, cost of hiring, and the subsequent performance of new hires, recruiters can identify the business’s most ‘profitable’ sources of applicants and employees and target those sources in future campaigns.

Similar analysis of departing employees, including roles, teams, geographical locations, reasons for leaving and other relevant factors, can enable prediction of which roles (or types of role) are likely to see vacancies in the future; enabling recruiters to stay one step ahead.

Boosting engagement

The key to creating better employee engagement, motivation and commitment lies in understanding what drives your employees. For years, staff opinion surveys and similar questionnaires have provided reams of data about motivators and potential obstacles. Applying an analytic approach to that data can shed fresh light onto what really drives your workforce.

In essence, people analytics tell HR where it’s succeeding, and where it’s failing. They allow HR to adopt a more strategic approach to workforce planning and management, and also offer useful insights to managers and senior executives. In other words, people analytics give us the data needed to shift the HR function from administrative to strategic.

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Dave Foxall

About the author…

Dave has worked as HR Manager for the Ministry of Justice for a number of years, he now writes on a broad range of topics including jazz music, and, of course, the HRMS software market.

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Dave Foxall

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