The power of HR Analytics during uncertain economic times

It automatically falls on HR recruitment teams to get really strategic in uncertain economic times like the ‘20s have been so far. The outlook continues to yoyo almost daily. And it’s vitally important to be able to leverage HR insights from your HR analytics data, to make smarter decisions, to weather the storm, and come out fighting on the other side.

For example, one week you might be focusing on recruitment, retention and upskilling your existing people. And the next week, you might be having conversations around potential layoffs. And let’s not overlook the fact that some businesses go through the roof during tough times. If your business is one of them, you might be facing high volume and high velocity recruitment.  It’s that unpredictable.   

As a result, the spotlight it is on HR teams to –

  • Anticipate, predict and execute impactful recruitment campaigns that can bend and flex to the changing appetites of the market
  • Ensure your employee are engaged and developed to reach their potential and exceed their own expectations in line with the overall business strategy
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of your employees and see to it that they’re remunerated fairly

For these purposes, it’s worth mentioning a truth bomb that Dave Ulrich, (often referred to as the ‘father of HR) shared with the Economic Times, If a company can’t respond as quickly as the context changes, it won’t survive. Don’t focus on what’s uncertain. Instead focus on what’s certain and what you know.”

Which begs the questions –

  • What do you know about your evolving people information, your risks and your opportunities? 
  • How can you apply what you know, on a rolling basis, as different internal and external factors unfold?

In truth, you need a whole lot of comprehensive an in-depth data to start getting your head around this little lot. And you’ll always be at an unfair disadvantage if you’re constantly playing catch up.

This is where powerhouse data-driven HR analytics and HR insights make an easy ride of what can otherwise be an insurmountable challenge. And here is why…

What Makes HR Insights Superior?

HR insights are likely different – and superior – to any other HR analytics you’ve seen. This is because they combine your people information and your overall business goals. The end result is unique and evolving HR insights that equip you make better-informed and consequently smarter decisions.

The possibilities are awe-inspiring, years ahead of the data you’re able to extract from the variety of digital HR tools you might currently use. Sure, they can churn out all sorts of data. But in reality, the people information that traditional HCM and HRIS are capable of generating is usually disparate, non-aligned, and truthfully, a whole heap of vanity metrics.

Why so? Because you’re limited to static spreadsheet data from different data sources, leaving you with a bunch of spreadsheets that might look impressive. But they don’t ultimately tell you anything meaningful, anything that you can get your hooks in to and leverage, around key factors like –

  • Absenteeism, including annual leave, sick leave and any other paid or unpaid leave
  • Demographics
  • Employee movement up, down and sideways
  • Health and safety
  • KPIs, customer satisfaction rating and sales results against targets
  • Pay, bonuses and other perks
  • Duration of tenure

You see, premium quality HR insights not only lift the lid on all of these different but interrelated segments of people information. But additionally, they empower you with a bigger picture. And this fully animated and illustrated pictures helps you to –

  • Recruit and hire smarter
  • Pinpoint your greatest assets, retain them and develop them
  • Proactively steer your ROI by investing in the recruitment and L&D programs that produce the results you need

You could say that HR insights are your key to controlling the controllables, supporting you on the rocky road through market turbulence. And you’re much better placed to emerge unscathed when you’re able to identify, understand and act upon the positive and the negative forces at play, inside your organization, and also external to it.

Knowing What You’re Dealing With is Half Your Battle Won

In a nutshell, it’s frustrating when immobile and stodgy legacy data doesn’t serve your needs or the broader business needs. But it’s extra gut-wrenching during times of challenge, if you can’t even identify with any degree of confidence which fights to pick.

To this end, exceptional HR insights are your secret weapon for strategically planning the changes and projects you need to deliver, when you need to deliver them, based on combined real time business and people information. For example –

  • Addressing unusually high attrition rates in a particular role, department, team or branch
  • Improving staff retention rates of experienced candidates who are the perfect match on paper, but are leaving in unusually high volumes within the first two years of employment with you
  • Making tough decisions around layoffs due to economic downturn
  • Raising the bar on retention of great people who are leaving in undesirable numbers during periods of early parenting
  • Planning, recruiting, training and mobilizing a new inside sales team, as a result of anticipated increased level of business due to the introduction of new products and services, or increased demand for existing products and services

With this in mind, the final word goes to Dave Ulrich, who explained to HRD Connect, “Digital information has enabled data analytics to move from scorecards/dashboards to insights to intervention to impact. Information impact comes when data informs which actions deliver the most value to key stakeholders (employees, business, customers, and investors).”

In other words, HR insights are anchors, not just to the HR team, but also to the entire business. So, imagine how powerful HR insights are for helping you to keep on an even keel when the outlook is anything but calm.  

At HireRoad, we recently exhibited at Gartner’s Re-Imagining HR event. We had lots of great conversations with HR leaders there, who are keen to use analytics to inform and dictate smarter decision making. In fact, the interest we got at the show was mostly around the topic of analytics. So, it’s top of mind for people right now.

Why not get in touch if you’re inspired by the idea of HR insights that are a pleasure to use, a catalyst for change, and a linchpin during economic storms?