Enterprises are constantly seeking new ways to use analytics across their organizations, and the human resources department is no exception. According to a Towers Watson survey, companies are spending a good portion of their HR technology budgets on big data and analytics to improve the hiring process, retain employees, and make better business decisions. While big data can give HR a seat at the overall decision-making table when used correctly, many companies struggle with obtaining the data. Additionally, those in possession of hiring and employee analytics struggle with how to best use this data in a way that matters.
The following is an exploration of how HR departments can leverage big data analytics to become strategic business partners in their organizations.
The first data hurdles for HR are obtaining the volume of data necessary to gather insights or, if the volume of data is available, weeding through the countless recruitment insights and job applications to obtain the quality of data needed to make decisions. Fortunately, gathering this information is now more streamlined than ever before thanks to new technology options. Using talent acquisition software to access big data allows HR departments to gather the candidate information needed to track recruitment marketing and operations performance metrics and ROI – and share this information with other stakeholders in the organization. This will ultimately help organizations recruit and retain top talent while reducing operational costs.
On average, every corporate job opening receives 250 applicants. Rather than having HR team members spend copious amounts of time sorting through each application, using big data acquired through talent acquisition software enables organizations to identify the right candidate or group of candidates instantly. For example, certain keywords or skills in a prospective employee’s application might be flagged as key traits that have proven successful with previous hires. Additionally, application or interview evaluation data can help the hiring team more easily reach a consensus on top candidates for an open position.
Analytics also enable companies to hire smarter and find the right people earlier by assessing the sources from which the top performers are originating. For example, if the top performers are all referrals, companies should be taking measures to retain their current employees and to implement a strong referral program. This would ultimately result in cost savings across the organization and encourage more employees to refer qualified candidates.
Turning to big data and analytics can help companies increase the quality of hires while decreasing the associated costs. If this is done effectively, there is likely to be less turnover due to a higher caliber of hires, fewer business misses that are the result of under-performing employees, and less need to hire more people.
Once HR departments gather the volume of data needed to begin identifying trends, this information can better be used to predict upcoming hiring needs. There are trends about hiring patterns that companies can start identifying in the early stages of data collection.
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