A Data-Driven HR: The Rise of People Analytics in Hiring

Twenty years ago, when technology hadn’t had its breakthrough yet and most operations were still manually performed, the concept of ‘data’ was foreign to many. In HR particularly, professionals dealt with people, not numbers. But once a department perceived as ‘traditional’ and ‘old-fashioned’ – while being notorious for its unhealthy amount of paperwork – is now a field which data is quickly becoming a must-have skill.

Getting Accurate HR Intel

“Data analysis is now a necessary tool to move beyond the gut feeling.”

A data-driven culture is shifting the HR landscape, where data analysis techniques are now used to understand, improve, and optimize the people side of business. Over the last five years, there has been a 242% increase in HR professionals with data analysis skills. Leaders are letting go of old practices, utilizing people analytics to assess everything from candidate experience, onboarding strategies to employee retention:

  • How long does it take applicants to complete a pre-hiring assessment? Which part do they spend the most time on?
  • How long does it take a hiring manager to respond to each applicant?
  • What’s the average time period to hire one person?
  • What type of skills do your current top performers possess?
  • How diverse is your labour pool right now?
  • Which areas do your candidates or employees need improvement on?
  • What keeps your employees happy at work and when are they most productive?

Embracing Technology and Analytics

Don’t be the kind of manager who receives applications, only to let them sit in your inbox for days or even weeks; or the kind of manager who hires without understanding the temperaments and skills required for the role. Technology these days has already made it much easier for us to get information right away. So, make use of it.

Online tools that can help automate your hiring process – for example, by auto-sending e-mails and employment surveys to applicants – is now a reality, and, the future of HR. People analytics has allowed talent pros to customize benchmarks to hire better, screen and filter out unqualified candidates, remove bias out of the process. By leveraging data and taking proactive steps to improve your HR functions, you can be ahead in today’s tight labour market.

In the words of SHRM, “tomorrow’s HR leaders will need to be bigger, broader thinkers, and they’ll have to be tech-savvy and nimble enough to deal with an increasingly agile and restless workforce.”