3 Ways People Analytics Can Help You Manage Your Workforce

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Nowadays, recruiters and HR specialists have an outstanding amount of data and analytics tools at their disposal and just like marketing managers can track their consumers’ habits, recruiters can know almost everything there’s to know about their candidates and employees behaviors.

They can track the traffic they receive on their job postings to know where the candidates come from, how much time they spend on the website, and how many of them actually applied to their jobs.

But what are the benefits of having access to all this data? How can a company use these resources to gain a competitive advantage? This is where People Analytics comes into play.

What Is People Analytics?

The Wall Street Journal says People Analytics, “brings together a company’s employee-related data to solve specific business problems”.

In other words, People Analytics is the process of jointly using the different data you have on candidates or employees so that you can make better informed decisions about your recruitment process and your HR practices.

People Analytics can be applied to all aspects of human resources management: identifying your recruitment needs, finding new talent, in addition to managing and retaining your current employees.

Here are a few examples of how people Analytics helped companies solve HR issues.

The Benefits of People Analytics

1. Recruitment: LinkedIn saved time and money

Rebecca White—member of the talent acquisition department at LinkedIn—explains how using people analytics helped her and her team to overcome a major recruitment issue. The company’s growth was so fast that the human resources team couldn’t fill in the numerous new job openings on time.

To prevent this issue from happening again they designed a model to predict the company’s staffing needs ahead of time. The main goal was to merge the employment data each department had to make decisions, which would take every aspect into account, so they could adapt their hiring process accordingly.

By using People Analytics, Rebecca’s team got outstanding results: “because we were able to predict staffing needs, we saved the company 15% of its recruiting budget in our first year”.

2. Management: Google designed a new hierarchical system

In the tech industry, engineers have a significant impact on the success of their company, so their opinions really matter to business leaders. And lots of engineers tend to be skeptical about the importance of communication and management to achieve great results.

To answer their employees’ concerns, Google implemented a flat organization in 2002—removing all engineering managers. But this system failed a couple months later, proving that managers are essential to the company’s success.

To reestablish a management system that would consider its employees’ opinion, Google started Project Oxygen. Their goal was to determine which qualities good managers should have according to engineers. Google therefore asked its employees for feedback through surveys, performance appraisals, etc.

According to these, Google was lacking cross-organization collaboration and strong decision making practices from leaders. Based on these results Google created the 10 Oxygen behaviors of Google's best managers—a guidebook of management best practices.

3. Retention: IBM mitigates the attrition risk and increases its Return on Investment (ROI)

Who better than IBM—a pioneer and currently one of the most advanced companies in People Analytics—to show the importance of using statistics to make employee-related predictions? In fact, IBM was one of the first companies to use a statistical approach for human resource purposes.

They designed a program to find out which employee would be likely to leave the company, and to find solutions to mitigate this risk. The results were outstanding: not only did People Analytics helped IBM to prevent its employees from leaving, but it also helped the company increasing its ROI as Anshul Sheopuri, Director of the People Analytics team at IBM explains it: “The program, called Proactive Retention, has resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars savings for IBM since its inception.

So… What’s Next?

Those three examples show just how much People Analytics allows employers to take control of their recruitment process and to act in a proactive way instead of solving problems as they arise.

Despite being an awesome process companies should definitely implement, People Analytics is still in its early days. In fact, most companies have yet to adopt it. The reason for this slow development is that companies—even the most successful ones—used to neglect the importance of data management. This caused their information to be inconsistent, incorrect, out of date, and located in many places.

To avoid being in this situation, you should make sure your IT, HR and finance departments work in strong collaboration so that everyone in your company has the necessary data literacy skills to fully benefit from People Analytics.

Morgane Bergonzi
Content and Public Relations Manager at neuvoo