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You may have heard the big buzz about big data. And HR professionals are starting to see its value, too. Calling it Talent Analytics, HR leaders see that it can provide a new opportunity to measure and predict talent performance within their organizations. How?

How Big Data Fits in HR

Consider this: Payroll is the biggest expense for most companies. In fact, there are around 160 million workers in the U.S. alone, and with most businesses’ payrolls equaling 40% or more of total revenue, total U.S. payroll expense is many billions of dollars.

Yet how well do organizations truly understand what drives performance among their workforce? The answer: not very well. Companies have vast amounts of employee, HR and performance data at their fingertips—demographic information, performance information, educational history, job location and more—but have yet to use this data scientifically to make people decisions.

HR people are hoping to use existing data to make decisions on candidate selection, promotions, staffing across the organization and more, to improve company performance.

How to Leverage Big Data in HR

When looking at HR systems, unfortunately, most companies use several different HR applications, and their core HR systems tend to be outdated. So compiling the data can be complicated and time-consuming. What you need is someone with the analytic experience and skills, someone who knows how to ask the right questions.

This person needs skills in data analysis, cleaning, statistics, visualization, and problem solving. Talent analysts can create applications that can help your HR team assess:

  • Employee retention – What factors affect employee engagement and retention?
  • Sales performance – What do your high-performing sales professionals have in common?
  • Accident claims –Can you predict who is more likely to submit claims?
  • Leadership pipeline – Do you have enough potential leaders in the system?
  • Customer retention – What creates high levels of satisfaction among your customers?
  • Talent gaps – Do we have talent gaps in our current organization, and can we predict future gaps?
  • Candidate pipeline – How can we improve the quality and numbers of our candidate pipeline?

Smith Hanley anticipates additional growth in the area of HR Analytics. If you have an interest in a data role within an HR group or if you are looking to hire an analyst/statistician within your HR department please contact Smith Hanley to see how we can assist you. We look forward to hearing from you!


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