Since the reduction of all-paper systems and the introduction of GDPR, it has never been more important to make sure your employees’ personal data is stored properly, and looked after within your organisation. However, there is much more to data than simply protecting sensitive information. It can also help to drive your entire programme, from performance management to productivity. But whether you’re supremely skilled in data or a complete novice, how can you make sure you are managing your team - and the information you hold on them - in the best way possible?

HR practitioners and their role within the department

The skills of professionals within the industry, as it stands, are sometimes limited when it comes to handling and implementing new technology systems in the workplace. A lot of HR professionals are not trained in the tools needed to capture employee data and to, ultimately, implement change through utilising it. The skills to look for when hiring an HR practitioner have shifted over the years. Today it would be highly beneficial for a business for their HR teams to have experience using analytics tools. 
The way around this is to upskill your staff to be able to utilise and understand these tools. Companies can now use data to track their employee engagement on social media, through surveys and more. There are a huge variety of outlets that businesses can utilise to capture people data. While HR practitioners are more aware of data analytics, it is still a specialist skill set and finding these professionals in the candidate-led market of today can be a challenge. 

HR practitioners working together

It is crucial for any team, in any business, to work together in harmony. Experienced HR practitioners should possess a high level of emotional intelligence, which is likely to have been developed over time working with different people in different business environments. However, the transition from learning directly from people, to learning from data and analytics, can be a difficult one for some professionals. However, with the development of technology affecting all sectors in business, it is unarguably the way in which HR departments are heading.
HR teams should work to embrace the inclusion of people analytics and develop their teams to be able to understand and action the data that they are working with. Consider integrating data into HR processes and encouraging HR practitioners to work with the information available to them. This would be a positive step forward towards a more streamlined HR function, combining the power of data with the specialist skills of your people.

Securing the partnership: HR and data analysts

To ensure that this partnership is harmonious, it is important for businesses to make sure that they are complying ethically. Today, businesses are collecting an array of personal and sensitive data from people, and the harnessing of this data is crucial in informing business decisions and strategies. 
Collecting data on your employees is a great step to help implement change, however, businesses must be careful not to collect data and use it in an unethical manner. It is important to be sensitive with the information you are tracking on your employees, as staff could feel an invasion of their privacy if they know their employer is watching their every move. Make sure your employees are completely aware of any data you are recording or holding in relation to them. 

The benefits of measuring the employee experience

People analytics can be linked to driving business value. It has its benefits in that you are able to measure high performance in the business, and where areas aren’t performing as high, you can attempt to uncover the reasons for this, and begin to implement change.  Another benefit of this information is that it can be used to streamline your recruitment processes. Through the efficient use of data and analytics to assess your candidate pool, you can quickly identify the best-suited applicants for the job. 
Watch our video below on Five Steps to Fixing a Problem, with Dr. Max Blumberg. Where we explore how people analytics can help to measure and improve performance in business.

How data can implement change in your business

There is a clear and growing need to use data to support business decisions. Everything in business should be done for a reason, and the reasoning behind any movement is usually backed-up with data. People analytics and data can be used to significantly improve recruitment. Hiring people using better information will ultimately lead to better decision making. 
If you are looking for information on hiring in the human resources sector, why not get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today? Alternatively, have a look at our article on how to best source and retain top talent.