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Here’s why HR professionals can benefit from mastering HR analytics

SOURCE: LOIC VENANCE/AFP
Can HR professionals keep up with the digital transformation that’s taking place in organisations?


By U2B Staff 

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Just about every industry is becoming increasingly technology-based, which means many job functions across various industries are bound to be affected by digital transformation. Similarly, the role of an HR professional is also increasingly affected by technology, with HR analytics being among the areas of expertise that’s expected to grow.   

With technology changing at breakneck speed, data has become an essential tool when making decisions, and there’s growing demand for HR professionals to have these skills. As such, HR analytics can be useful for those working in HR departments to stay ahead of the curve. 

Consulting company AltexSoft describes HR analytics as “the analysis of employee-related data using tools and metrics” to obtain insights about people. 

This allows HR professionals to make informed decisions regarding areas such as recruitment, training and performance evaluation, to name a few, which would help HR professionals understand their workforce better and in return, make better decisions that would help organisations enjoy better ROI. 

Valamis, a Finnish enterprise software company, notes that HR analytics provides measured evidence of how HR initiatives are contributing to the organisation’s goals and strategies,” it said.

This helps optimise the HR function and help improve an organisation’s productivity and revenue. 

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Gearing HR professionals for the future of work

There’s a host of benefits to HR analytics. 

AltexSoft notes that this includes smarter recruitment and people management. For example, using specific tools, HR talent can explore and analyse an individual’s activity on social media and other sites to forecast their tendency to express toxic behaviours like sexism, sexual harassment, intolerance, or bullying. 

HR analytics can also forecast employee turnover by using predictive analytics with machine learning. “For instance, McKinsey used ML algorithms to determine the three variables driving 60% of the attrition among their managers. The findings showed that these variables weren’t connected to the number of working hours, travel, or compensation.”

People analytics can also help HR talent predict sick leaves or days off. “Using absence forecasts, managers would be able to reschedule shifts and/or assign extra staff,” notes AltexSoft.

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Upskilling in HR analytics

There are a myriad of ways for HR professionals to upskill in the area, be it via microcredentials of executive education.

eCornell, for instance, offers HR Analytics, a two-month online course that will teach candidates to review HR data, identify key questions that drive the analytical process, and explore basic calculations for correlation and regression. 

Students will also “mindfully interpret findings, looking beyond data as they take a holistic view of the situations they encounter” while eCornell adds that the course “does not assume students have prior analytical training or knowledge, nor does it require access to current HR data or metrics”.

Coursera offers People Analytics, an introduction to the theory of people analytics. Students will explore the state-of-the-art techniques used to recruit and retain top talent, and understand how data and sophisticated analysis is brought to bear on people-related issues, such as recruiting, performance evaluation, leadership, hiring and promotion, job design, compensation, and collaboration. 

Without a doubt, HR talents need to stay competitive and continuously upskill to ensure they continue to not only make informed decisions, but remain competitive in the workplace.