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The future is now for data-driven HR

The future is now for data-driven HR

In this day and age, every HR team should be able to make a good guess at predicting when employees will leave, where to recruit the most suitable candidates, how to identify and attract those suitable candidates, and how to keep them happy once they become employees.  If you can’t, it would suggest that you’re not making the most of your data.

Bernard Marr, author of ‘Data-Driven HR: How to Use Analytics and Metrics to Drive Performance’, believes that data is HR’s “most important asset”, based on the value it can add to the company. If you’re not turning data into actionable insights, then, you’re doing your organisation a massive disservice.

Make data a priority

Marr understands why many firms underuse their data – but he isn’t particularly sympathetic to those who see data analysis as an ‘if we have the time’ task.

Writing for Forbes, he argues that too many HR teams spend the majority of their time on “admin tasks or legal issues”.

“Clunky staff appraisals, the day-to-day minutiae of recruitment and people management, and wasteful, expensive activities like annual staff satisfaction surveys take up time that could be better spent elsewhere,” he stresses.

As a result, data serves a limited purpose; for example, used only to measure absenteeism, therefore limiting its role to reportage. However, data has more proactive uses.

Data is rarely wrong

Marr sets out that data must be used to make better decisions. When used to its full potential, data can help HR teams make HR processes and operations more efficient and effective, improve the overall wellbeing and effectiveness of the company’s employees, and inform a successful company culture.

He uses Google as an example of a company which is using HR data right. Despite operating in an industry where staff turnover is consistently high, it manages to retain its best people and keep them happy.

Data told Google that giving staff free meals, generous paid holiday allowances, access to ‘nap pods’ and space to grow their own fruit and vegetables at work would make it a great company to work for. In the last 11 years, Google has been voted the top company to work for eight times. The data doesn’t lie.

Marr wraps up by acknowledging that data shouldn’t inform HR strategy entirely – people should remain the primary driver – but it should be playing an increasingly important role in decision making.

If you’re finding that data is decidedly missing in your decision making, it’s time to give it more prominence. Contact e-Resolve today to discuss how you can go about bringing your data to life.

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