Seismic Shift In The Use Of People Analytics

Seismic Shift In The Use of People Analytics

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It was Charles Kettering, US entrepreneur and associate of Henry Ford who once famously said, “the world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.”

This is especially true in the ever-changing world of HR and Talent Management.

In fact, according to a new report from Deloitte Consulting, recruitment, talent analytics and performance management are all undergoing a seismic shift in companies across the world.

The “2017 Global Human Capital Trends” report showed that people analytics in HR is going mainstream, and permeating more functions of business than ever before.

The survey of 10,400 business and HR leaders across 140 countries also ranked the top 10 trends, with ‘organisation of the future’ emerging as a top priority for HR teams.

Also in the top 10 on HR’s agenda was careers and learning, talent acquisition, employee experience and performance management.

People Analytics is spreading quickly

The report showed that rather than HR holding the reins, executives and managers are now hands-on in using predictive analytics for workforce planning and talent management.

Despite the accuracy and quality of data remaining a challenge, managers throughout businesses are now expected to use data in more widespread decisions.

“Why do we have work grievances in this plant?” said Josh Bersin, principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte.

“Why do we have low productivity in this department? Why do we have turnover in this sales office? Why do we have a low retention rate or low engagement rate over here? That is where analytics is going.”

The report showed that in many companies, human resources analytics are now used across all business segments, including operations, finance and HR.

Plus, many CEOs now have direct access to data which helps to explain employee costs, hiring metrics and attrition.

Radical changes in learning and development

Second top on the trend list was learning, with new employee learning systems bringing radical change. In fact, the figures showed this is the fastest growing area of HR technology spending.

Traditional learning management systems are moving aside to make way for a new generation which harnesses external online courses, video and microlearning.

“We don’t have time to sit down and go to two-day classes every month to learn something,” Bersin said.

“We want to learn on the job when we need it in a fast video format. There is lots of that content available, but the corporate infrastructure to support it and enable it is not there in 95% of companies.

Companies have old-fashioned learning management systems that were designed to register you for a course. They were not designed for video content management and video distribution.”

Talent acquisition is hot property

With widespread talent and skills shortages, it may come as no surprise that third on the trends list was talent acquisition.

With 20 to 25% of people changing jobs each year, and candidates becoming more particular, companies are struggling to acquire talent, Bersin said. “It is becoming a hot part of HR.”

Businesses are pushing ahead though, using predictive analytics in HR, video interviewing and social recruiting, the report said.

HR teams are (still) up against it

When asked how well the respondents’ teams were able to address these talent issues, HR executives’ responses showed that HR is struggling.

Just 36% of HR teams rated their capabilities as good or excellent, compared to 39% last year.

“We believe that the HR function is in the middle of a significant identity change,” the report said.

The mountain of challenges facing HR were highlighted by the report.

Not only must HR deliver efficient talent management programs, but it also needs to invest into employee productivity and engagement, as well as job and structural design.

Chatbots are becoming part of HR

Bersin spoke about how HR are using cognitive computing (software that learns) to underscore the importance of their function and deliver value through data.

The report showed that many companies are now using chatbots to support employees with day to day queries, such as how to complete expenses or get company equipment fixed.

This data can then be collated and analysed, alerting HR to any issues that need further attention. The more HR can automate such functions, the more they will be able to analyse results to gain insights.

“That’s why HR has got to get its act together,” Bersin said. “The rest of the business is doing this at a much faster pace, and the HR data needs to be just as fast and easy to get to.”

How is your business navigating these HR trends?

What’s for certain is that these trends signal a dramatic shift in the way that HR and Talent Management professionals are managing each stage of the employee life-cycle.

Predictive technology for analysing core competencies, simple behavioural assessment tools that enable fast, accurate hiring decisions for time-poor HR teams and data-driven sales team diagnostics that pinpoint top-performers quickly, are all part of the new landscape.

The question is no longer “if” HR teams need to adopt these powerful new approaches to hiring and developing top talent but rather “when” and “how quickly” they can implement and adapt them to produce results for their organisation.

So how do you handle the changes that your HR function is going through?

What are the hurdles that stand in your way?

Share your experiences in the comments section – we’d love to hear what you say.

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