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Why HR Data Isn’t Just for HR

Posted by Mark DaBell on June 1, 2015

Human Resource Data - Workforce Analytics-web

Who is Making Workforce Decisions at Your Business?

How can we retain and engage top talent? How can we change our performance and compensation process? How can we create more company-wide collaboration? How can we increase employee diversity? These are common issues that many businesses struggle with, and too often, these workforce conundrums are incorrectly thought to be a human resource (HR) issue. The reality is that this way of thinking and doing business couldn’t be further from the truth.

According to Forbes “The Top 10 Disruptions in HR Technology: Ignore Them At Your Peril” most companies spend 30-60% of their revenue on their workforce, and companies that are “datafying” HR have two to three times better results in quality of hire, leadership pipelines, and employee turnover. Yet, only 4% of companies can predict or model their workforce!

The time is now for the C-Suite to start paying attention to HR data. Simply put, the responsibility of a company’s bottom line falls to the C-Suite, and only by having the right insights on what many see as “typical” HR issues – recruiting and workforce planning, comps and benefits, employee retention, engagement and assessment – can the C-Suite gain real value in their workforce while increasing profits and productivity.

Businesses that want to remain competitive and relevant must start analyzing both HR data and business data – together. Not doing so only inhibits growth and productivity as antiquated paper-based systems result in decision-making based on guesswork and hindsight. Bottom line, the C-Suite needs to gain insights on important workforce data that they can easily understand and access anytime, anywhere.

Key business benefits that the C-Suite will realize when building a sustainable, pervasive capability for workforce analytics, especially in driving the talent decisions of managers outside of the function:

  • How the business is doing as a whole: The C-Suite will gain a clear picture of what is and isn’t working: Are workforce decisions, such as hiring decisions and career-path choices, meeting the needs of the business? Where are the biggest inefficiencies? How can these be resolved? The success of a workforce analytics solution is dependent on data-driven insights being shared amongst key business leaders. Today, through user-friendly dashboards, leading solutions can quickly summarize valuable business information and monitor critical metrics in real-time. By enabling users to explore related data, they can comprehend the pertinent statistics through reporting that goes beyond just the data by “telling the story” with compelling business insights.
  •  Improved decision-making processes: By having access to the right analytics, the C-Suite is empowered to make strategic business decisions that are data-driven. With these impactful insights, competitive advantage is recognized. According to a study from MIT Center for Digital Business, organizations driven by data-based decision-making had 4% higher productivity rates and 6% higher profits.
  •  Gain insights into talent flow from the workforce: Business leaders need to make difficult decisions. They need to understand how they can maximize productivity and the effectiveness of their assets and expenditures in regards to the workforce. The C-Suite must understand what skillsets exist in-house and where the gaps are if they want to continue to be competitive. Only with workforce analytics can the C-Suite quickly and effectively improve the bottom line by better engaging their employees to ensure higher levels of productivity and retention of top talent. By removing the guesswork, they are able to drill deeper to understand, measure and manage workforce engagement, environment, and management’s effectiveness to enable and sustain future growth.
  •  Strategic workforce planning: What is the turnover rate? Is there succession planning? Where are the key staffing shortages and how is this impacting the business? Workforce analytics is crucial to the C-Suite so that they can easily manipulate data to understand continuously changing workforce needs in today’s competitive market. By enabling the C-Suite to benefit from data to uncover advanced – and even previously undiscovered – insights into the workforce, the C-Suite is well positioned to forecast workforce trends and prevent a problem before it even happens.

Leading businesses need to become proficient in workforce analytics so as to outperform their competitors and ensure that key stakeholders have the critical information they need to make better business decisions. And for businesses who don’t want to lose ground, this starts with the C-Suite. The time is now for the C-Suite to care, to understand and to accomplish the datafication of HR.

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