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7 top benefits of expanding people analytics use

HR leaders can use people analytics to benefit their companies in multiple ways, including diversity, equity and inclusion efforts and retention. Learn more about these benefits.

While many organizations use some form of people analytics, others may have only started exploring its potential or may not be taking full advantage of the data the technology produces. HR leaders should therefore consider expanding their organization's use of people analytics to increase retention and improve diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts.

Here are seven benefits that companies can experience from using people analytics, and how HR leaders can help bring them about.

1. Enhanced employee experience and engagement

HR leaders can gain information about employee experience and engagement by gathering data from survey responses, employee feedback and system usage information, and then analyzing the responses. HR leaders can then pass the results to company leaders so they can potentially make policy or strategy changes.

For example, the HR department could send out a survey asking employees to name one new perk they'd like to receive from the company, such as signing off early on Fridays during the summer. Company leaders can then consider instituting that policy.

2. Improved acquisition and retention

As employers' hiring numbers continue to drive a hot job market, HR leaders need to prioritize talent acquisition and retention, and people analytics can play a critical role.

Acquisition metrics can help highlight current and future skills shortages at the company and help match candidates with current roles and appropriate talent pools.

In addition to potentially improving retention through the use of analytics tools that measure and act on employee feedback, HR leaders can examine a variety of metrics for departments with high turnover rates, and then act on that data. For example, an individual or policy may be mentioned multiple times in employee exit interviews, or employees in a specific department may be unhappy with bonus distribution.

3. Recognition of key workforce trends

Analytics can reveal important workforce trends such as training and development success, flight risk and performance. For example, HR leaders may discover that certain learning investments are improving productivity while others are less effective.

The organization can potentially save money by dropping those learning investments that aren't increasing productivity.

4. Expanded diversity and inclusion

Many companies are examining and attempting to improve their DEI efforts, and analytics can help HR leaders identify areas where the company might be struggling.

For example, analytics may show that the company is failing to meet its DEI recruiting goals for the accounting department. HR leaders can then create a plan to fix the problem.

5. Identification of skill gaps

Employee skills remain an important area for analysis even after the hiring process is completed. As an organization grows and responds to market changes, its employees must reskill and upskill.

Through analytics, HR leaders can identify those skills employees must possess to meet current, upcoming and long-term demand. For example, the finance department may want to begin using robotic process automation, but no one in the IT department has experience implementing bots. Company leaders can decide to train some or all of the IT department on bot implementation or hire someone with bot experience.

6. Boosted workforce planning

Workforce planning and identifying skills gaps go hand in hand. HR leaders can use analytics to examine and determine departmental budgets. Analytics can also help identify the need for new company positions or employee moves to new departments.

For example, if a company's sales department expects an increase in business over the next year, HR leaders can use analytics to examine the department's workload over the last year and the amount of new salespeople the company will need to handle the new business.

7. Better decision making

Real-time data and quick access to metrics and dashboards can help HR leaders make better decisions. Analytics also helps HR deliver accurate information to other company leaders so they can make the best decisions possible for the company.

For example, HR can examine what practices -- such as asking recruiters to extend Zoom interviews as an option for job candidates -- have worked best for recruiting in the past and ensure they are followed.

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