Savvy HR professionals know when the time is right to turn their backs on the status quo and embrace change. In fact “agile ninja” should be on most of our job descriptions.

Healthcare HR are no different than other HR in this regard. Even more so, the current and upcoming marketplace are serving as a prod to encourage change in several ways. A retiring generation leaving the workplace, an inexperienced new generation joining the workforce, and a massive upswing in the number of healthcare positions all conspire to create a never-before-experienced worker shortage. How can positions be filled quickly with solid, qualified employees? A new way of accomplishing this is with the introduction of people analytics.

The term is a bit new-wave and intimidating, but people analytics is key to paving the way to productively recruiting and managing talent, and maintaining a high-performing workforce. People analytics uses large amounts of information, or data, within a series of calculations to help choose job candidates who are the best fit for your organization.

Sounds good, right?

HR professionals know that, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in healthcare is expected to grow 19% from 2014 to 2024, more than any other industry. This means that we must look for new ways to make certain our workforce is strong and qualified.

Wondering what exactly people analytics is, and curious how leveraging it helps those responsible for HR in Healthcare organizations?

We’ll give you two answers.

#1: It offers insights to streamline hiring. Data is gathered from a multitude of sources, from online surveys, to social media, to search engine results. All of this is combined to use in calculations, and, voila! we have people analytics. Accessing these results is a gold mine of useful information when choosing employees. In addition to other talent management tools like assessment tests, interview practices, and screening procedures, people analytics puts another piece of the puzzle into place in determining the best candidates.

#2: It increases operational efficiency. Finding a highly functioning, knowledgeable workforce is crucial to the healthcare industry. The stakes are high if you make a bad decision, and can cause injured patients, expensive lawsuits, and tarnished reputations. People analytics affords HR professionals a way to place the right people in roles that advance productivity and achieve workplace success. Plus, it’s easier and more clear-cut than other, more traditional ways of operating.

People analytics is being used more consistently throughout many industries, and is a trend that will keep delivering helpful benefits to HR professionals. Healthcare organizations, with their unique placement in today’s hiring marketplace, benefit from embracing people analytics in four crucial areas.

Decreasing turnover

Losing good employees, especially without new hires to properly fill the roles, is a major concern for every HR professional in healthcare. The Boomers are aging while the industry is growing, creating shortages in experienced top talent. People analytics is able to identify talent to fill these gaps. If HR creates a strategy that harnesses the information gained from people analytics, they can use that to find and keep the best talent. This benefits the organization by building a force of well-trained, seasoned, loyal employees.

Increasing employee engagement

Understanding what drives employees is a consistent issue. If employee engagement is low, work is shoddy, sick time increases, and turnover is inevitable. People analytics shows highly predictive data about a candidate’s preferences. By utilizing people analytics, HR managers gain an understanding of what motivates a group of people, and managers can better outline a performance plan that keeps them interested and satisfied with their careers.

In addition, people analytics arms HR with an understanding of how the company culture fits into whether or not employees are engaged. Looking for and pinpointing innovators and mentors that help drive progress is key in creating a positive, functioning culture where everyone thrives.

Minimizing costs

Every member of your C-suite would undoubtedly list minimizing cost as one of their top five goals. Hiring is an expensive endeavor, especially when the wrong person is chosen. Leveraging the information that people analytics provides, and using it in conjunction with other, more traditional recruiting and screening tools, enables HR to move the process forward faster and gain a larger number of successful new hires. Little else opens up a seat at the table like successfully cutting costs without disrupting quality care or employee morale.

Shortening time to hire

It’s no secret that the interviewing and hiring process is wrought with obstacles that slow it down. On one end, there is pressure to fill the open position, while, on the other, there is an obligation to properly vet the applicants’ experience, education, background, and general fit. If HR moves too slow, there are consequences such as current employees working overtime, patients receiving reduced quality of care, and chances of a mistake happening. Move too fast, and you may end up with an unqualified, or even dangerous, new employee that doesn’t fit with company culture. Employing people analytics enables healthcare HR professionals to feel more comfortable about a decision earlier in the process than ever. Since it is so highly predictive, people analytics can determine how well a person fits within a role faster than simply interviewing them or looking at their resume.

Gaining a seat at the table requires keeping an eye out for cost-effective ways to streamline efficiencies and build a strong employee base. The C-Suite needs to be able to see a clear connection with people analytics and hiring better, higher performing employees.

It’s vital for HR healthcare professionals to educate themselves on the growing trend of people analytics. Failing to do so holds back the entire recruiting process, is costly, and time consuming. Embracing the disruption that people analytics is causing in healthcare hiring puts you ahead of the game, and gives you a leg up on your competition who are vying for the same job candidates.

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