HR analytics are now a top priority

HR analytics are now a top priority

According to XpertHR’s latest research into HR roles and responsibilities, HR analytics and software systems rank among the most important strategic matters for HR practitioners in 2016.

The annual survey demonstrated that, for the first time in fourteen years, the role of HR data and HR software was of key importance, especially within the private sector.

The researchers stated that despite there being a clear drive for HR practitioners to engage with meaningful people metrics and HR data for a number of years, the most recent survey displayed that this had really taken hold.

There is now a desire to show the value of the HR function within the organisations, alongside the drive to collect, measure, and analyse data in order to improve overall performance.

The contrast between sectoral differences in HR priorities is more apparent than ever this year. For organisations within the private sector, HR is primarily focusing upon strategic people management matters.

Elsewhere, the fallout from sustained budget cuts continues to be felt heavily by those within the public sector, with HR practitioners having to deal with restructuring, redundancies, harmonising and downgrading terms and conditions in order to meet budgetary constraints and workforce planning.

Noelle Murphy, Senior HR practice editor and author of the report stated: “HR within the public sector is dealing with ongoing and sustained cuts, and as a result, has to continue to be reactive to change rather than having the space for workforce planning strategy.

“The differences between the sectors has never been as stark, private sector HR departments are gaining more strategic ground than ever. It will be interesting to see if this has an impact on recruitment within the HR function itself in the public sector.” She continued.

With the recent stagnation on pay awards, HR practitioners within private-sector services are looking at methods of repositioning benefits and rewards to counter flat annual pay increase.

With HR already facing the challenge of improving the overall rewards and benefits package under tight budget constraints, the introduction of gender pay gap reporting and national living wage puts yet more pressure on HR.

The introduction of HR information systems and people data have emerged as key issues for the first time since XpertHR began exploring the priorities of HR practitioners.

At the top of the list in the manufacturing and production HR agenda, are the continual issues of conducting impactful appraisals and managing performance.

However, just as within the private sector, HR analytics and information systems are not far behind, meaning that the concept of analytics is becoming more ingrained within HR, across all industries.

Nevertheless, for HR practitioners within the public sector, restructuring and redundancies are still part of the daily agenda, meaning change management continues to be their major priority, and their direction continues to be reactive, rather than proactive.

Elsewhere, despite the overwhelming majority (97%) of HR practitioners saying they collected at least some HR data, just 48% believed that the data recorded was sufficient to measure HR performance.

When asked what percentage of time they spent on the gathering and analysis of HR analytics, the median response was just 5%.

The research also revealed that the median number of employees covered by an HR practitioner was just 62, compared with 1:74 in 2015 and only half of its peak of 1:118 in 2007.

We’d love to hear your experiences of HR analytics and information systems within your organisation. Leave your comments in the box below.

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