Using workforce analytics to leverage big change

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With a limited budget, how can HR professionals convince senior managers that workforce analytics can offer real value to their business?

IBM Managing Talent Consultant and industrial organisational psychologist Marija Potter joined HR professionals from a range of industries at the Robert Walters HR Breakfast seminar in London to discuss the value workforce analytics.

She explained what a centralised hub for gathering and analysing data on employee habits and performance can offer and how HR professionals can prove this to the wider business.

Show the benefits by starting small

With the software necessary for large scale workforce analytics implementation coming with a high price-tag, HR professionals need to justify an extra line in their budget by demonstrating how gathering and analysing this data can solve real business problems.

This might seem like a Catch 22 situation – how can you prove the value of workforce analytics until it has been implemented? Marija shared three case studies from her experience where HR professionals used workforce analytics to add significant value to the business on little or no budget

Case study 1: Workforce analytics in graduate recruitment

A HR professional at a major international bank with responsibility for the graduate scheme used workforce analytics to offer increased insight into the quality of the graduates being recruited, exposing biases in hiring practices.

By gathering data internationally on the performance of graduates at assessment centres he was able to demonstrate that the tendency to hire applicants with post graduate degrees was not supported by their performance at these centres.

He was able to demonstrate that in many cases applicants with only undergraduate degrees would outperform the preferred candidates in a number of fields. Accordingly, the company was able to amend its hiring process for graduates and ensure the recruitment of higher quality individuals

Case study 2: Using workforce analytics to boost sales performance

A multinational FMCG firm was struggling with underperforming sales teams. By leveraging workforce analytics their HR department was able to provide insight to individual sales people on their own strengths and weaknesses and offer broader data to national sales managers.

They could then identify the traits possessed by the most successful individuals and teams and use this information to direct training to address specific issues in underperforming teams and individuals.

Case study 3: Finding what makes the right people

A US based cinema chain was struggling with concession sales at many of their locations. An analysis of the attitudes of frontline staff revealed that those locations with a majority of staff who were motivated by customer satisfaction outperformed those that were not.

The company had previously had an undiscerning hiring policy for front-line staff, believing that they could then train anyone to have a customer focused outlook. The workforce analytics findings showed that this had not been an effective strategy, and the company was able to revise its recruitment policy.

In each case, the HR professionals involved were able to achieve results on a minimal budget and demonstrate the potential to add real value to the business by aggregating data from a variety of sources.

In doing so, they were able to justify greater investment in workforce analytics projects which in turn could offer greater added value to the business. 

With a limited budget, how can HR professionals convince senior managers that workforce analytics can offer real value to their business?  

Review the presentation in full here.

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