As more organizations climb up the HR analytics maturity curve, we continue to see new success stories coming from data-driven HR leaders who strive to move the needle on business outcomes. Whether it’s a video game developer using analytics to make headcount predictions, or a social media giant using data to determine the ROI of a new parental leave policy, the common thread is this: evidence-based HR functions can drive organization-wide change.
For this roundup of top HR analytics articles, we compiled stories that reveal what makes strategic HR leaders excel: actionable data. As you get ready for time spent reading at the lake, by the seaside, or in your backyard, here are a few popular HR analytics articles:
When starting on an analytics journey, some HR departments fall into the trap of collecting data for data’s sake. This Human Resource Executive Online article illustrates how successful HR leaders from Electronic Arts, BAE Systems, and IBM do more than just collect and report data – they put that data to work. For example, Electronic Arts (a Visier customer) was able to determine the probability of either exceeding or meeting fiscal-year headcount plans using detailed sensitivity analyses related to average hiring and termination trends.
Written by the chief people officer for a retail point-of-sale and inventory management software company, this Human Resources Director Australia article outlines six lessons for using technology to shape a successful people analytics strategy. Tip #4 (use varied sources of information to make the analysis richer) is particularly salient. Indeed, this helps make the data actionable because – when a problem and its impacts are illustrated more clearly – HR can get more buy-in from senior leaders for key programs.
This Gallup article covers some of the more sophisticated applications of HR analytics. It demonstrates how large-scale macro data sets can make workforce analytics more relevant and effective, using a government agency as an example. By shifting to a data-analytics approach that focused on incorporating external, macro-market intelligence, the agency was able to make critical adjustments to its recruitment strategy. The result? The agency surpassed its annual recruitment goals by 25 percent.
“Actions based solely on gut instincts are a thing of the past,” writes Kai Beckmann (a member of the Executive Board and Chief Administration Officer of Merck KGaA/EMD Millipore, a Visier customer). Here, Beckmann describes how Merck KGaA is pioneering a digital, data-driven transformation within HR. In fact, Merck KGaA now has a mobile people analytics app that is enabling 3,000 managers and HR employees to access information on employee headcount, diversity, staff turnover, performance assessment, and compensation. When combined with the individual experience and managers’ insights, the results provide a fact-based platform for making decisions on a wide variety of issues.
This article is adapted from a fascinating panel discussion with HR executives from LinkedIn, Salesforce, and Facebook. These data-driven leaders provide specific cases demonstrating how their HR departments have successfully leveraged data in decision making. For example, Ross Sparkman, head of strategic workforce planning at Facebook, explains how the social media giant’s implementation of a four-month parental leave policy for both male and female employees was based on a cost-benefit analysis to “understand the opportunity cost of retaining certain individuals, as well as the cultural well-being and workforce engagement that such a policy would create.”