When we talk about HR analytics, we’re not just talking about data. We’re actually talking about the story the data is telling. 

Say your company has high employee retention except in one department. Obviously, something is off there, but what? You might assume it’s poor management, inadequate training, or any number of things, but you won’t know what the problem is just by looking at the employee retention rate alone. It’s when you study the data in conjunction with other data points that you can discover the real problem and make informed, logical decisions about how to improve.

But data analytics isn’t just about fixing problems. In fact, the best way to use analytics is by proactively using it to shape policies for company growth and development. If this is a new idea to you, here are three ways to use HR data to become more strategic when making big decisions.

  1. Screening Better Hires
    Hiring is expensive. We wrote about the many costs associated with hiring before, and when your new hires don’t work out, all that money you invested goes to waste. However, analytics can help your company determine how you need to approach screening candidates. Ritesh Patel, Chief Delivery Officer of Mobisoft Infotech, provides an interesting example of how this might work in practice: while interviewing 10 candidates, 6 are found to share characteristics that have been associated with unsuitable candidates in the past. “Using this information,” Patel explains, “you can automatically remove those applicants with these features from vacancies of the near future and improve the recruitment procedure.” By screening candidates early, you avoid spending more time on the candidates who are not likely to be successful. In this way, applying analytics can eventually lead to more efficient hiring and a stronger talent pool.

  2. Managing Compliance
    Another important way to use HR data strategically is through compliance. Director of Product Management at Ceridian Paul Jelinek says that much of compliance reporting may not seem strategic, but that getting out in front of changing compliance rules can not only help your company avoid penalties, but can be used as a draw for top talent. He uses gender pay equity as an example. Some states and countries are now requiring such equity. If your company found it paid female workers less, you could outline and implement a plan to close that gap. Then you would not only be ahead of pending legislation, but Jelinek says that “Some companies that have achieved and publicized pay equity use it as a recruiting tool to attract top talent in today’s tight labor market.” I would add that in many industries, it wouldn’t hurt your reputation with current and potential clients as well.

  3. Streamlining Operations
    Many HR tasks are repetitive. They may not be hard, but they’re time-consuming, so more and more HR departments turn to automation as a way to save time and money. Bernard Marr of Enterprise Tech argues that streamlining functions isn’t only about automating things, however. “In its broadest sense, it’s simply about looking at key processes and activities, understanding what the HR team spends its money and time on, and looking at how to make those processes better,” he says. He gives the example of employee safety and wellbeing, a function he claims is increasingly becoming automated through wearable tech, sensors, and cameras. This tech monitors employees and the workplace to determine stressors employees are exposed to, such as heat in the working environment or weight employees carry. This data helps HR departments find ways to improve safety and avoid accidents.

Speaking of streamlining processes, are you tired of manually building messy HR reports and spreadsheets? Click to get your demo to learn how to pull and view all your people data in one HR analytics dashboard.

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