Workforce Analytics – Transforming Human Resource (HR) Management

Workforce analytics happens when BIG data meets HR.

Much like big data has revolutionized marketing and finance; workforce analytics is poised to transform human resource management. Workforce analytics is helping redefine the HR practice of talent management by enabling organizations to identify top performers, predict employee success, calculate compensation, reallocate resources, and analyze labor market trends.

Key HR Strategic Trends

According to a GigaOm research article, following HR strategies have been gaining ground, thanks to availability of better analytics and prediction software.

  • Reduce Attrition
  • Predict Employee Performance
  • Rethink Compensation

Some use cases

HR professionals who continue to depend on Excel spreadsheets to compare salaries against industry benchmarks are falling fast behind the times.

These days, workforce analytics can predict the impact of compensation pretty accurately. Certain software solutions offer tools that crunch data including revenue per sales rep, percentage hikes in compensation plans, and bonus payments to predict the impact of compensation changes on employee productivity, satisfaction, and attrition.

Forward-thinking HR leaders may also use workforce analytics to model proposed incentive programs before actually rolling them out. Failing to pay a sales rep what he’s worth or, worse, granting a new hire a better commission cut than a veteran can have a negative impact on employee retention and workforce morale. However, by testing a variety of incentive programs in a production environment and tracking how a slight variation in compensation pay might impact the bottom line, workforce analytics can save a company hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenue and workers

Working with Xerox, a maker of printers, Evolv found that one of the best predictors that a customer-service employee will stick with a job is that he lives nearby and can get to work easily. These and other findings helped Xerox cut attrition by a fifth in a pilot program that has since been extended. It also found that workers who had joined one or two social networks tended to stay in a job for longer. Those who belonged to four or more social networks did not.

In another instance,  it was found that people who fill out online job applications using browsers that did not come with the computer (such as Microsoft’s Internet Explorer on a Windows PC) but had to be deliberately installed (like Firefox or Google’s Chrome) perform better and change jobs less often. Some analysts think that people who bother to install a new browser may be the sort who takes the time to reach informed decisions. Such people should be better employees.

Watch out for

I have heard some folks talk about how companies would like to cull activities from an employee’s LinkedIn account and predict potential job moves, or they can review the location data from employees’ smartphones (yes it is possible if smartphone has Mobile Device Management client deployed on their phones). These types of data gathering activities can be questionable due to privacy laws, so consult your legal before embarking on such initiatives.

Software Solutions

  • Evolv workforce science platform
  • Fusion HR Analytics from Oracle
  • Workforce Planning and Analytics Software from SAP SuccessFactors
  • Cognos Workforce Performance Talent Analytics from IBM
  • Workforce Analytics Solutions from Kronos

Conclusion

Algorithms and big data are powerful tools. However, these need to be used wisely.

Now that is something you would not want to miss out if you are planning to be a big and successful enterprise. Many companies are identifying the importance of Workforce Optimization and making it an essential part of their Human Resource Management System or Enterprise Resource Planning. There are various companies with state-of-art Workforce Optimization software that could do all the activities needed to sustain a productive workforce, including human resources planning, payments and benefits, time-keeping and attendance, training and development, recruitment, performance management, and forecasting and scheduling. So if you still haven’t thought about Workforce Analytics, better go for one now.

References:

http://searchfinancialapplications.techtarget.com/definition/workforce-analytics

http://searchfinancialapplications.techtarget.com/essentialguide/A-guide-to-HR-analytics

http://www.technologyreview.com/news/514901/the-machine-readable-workforce/

http://www.economist.com/news/business/21575820-how-software-helps-firms-hire-workers-more-efficiently-robot-recruiters

http://webreprints.djreprints.com/3097890100842.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/21/technology/big-data-trying-to-build-better-workers.html?_r=1&

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About adhirmattu

A Senior Information Technology Executive with expertise in building world class global IT organizations to improve company profitability and growth. Experienced in supporting multiple large scale acquisitions & global system implementations with consistent track record of reducing cost of IT service delivery.
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