The HR function has seen a multitude of developments over the years in terms of new technologies, AI, and automation. In particular, the sector has seen a focus on People Analytics over the last year, with consultancies across the world offering this service to their clients, proving that people analytics is continuing to grow within the HR sector. 

Why people analytics is important

More and more HR departments have been implementing new cloud-based HR systems that allow copious amounts of data to be analysed in real time. HR teams are being given the opportunity to use data effectively, including analysing recruitment trends or characteristics associated with the level of achievements, workforce planning, talent management, and operational improvement and productivity. 
As a result, finance directors, managing directors, and other stakeholders are looking for HR professionals to utilise these tools to help make commercial decisions that will benefit the organisation. 
In the past, data was used in many areas such as marketing, sales, and finance to improve productivity or spend. Now, we have the ability to influence decisions around a company’s most valuable asset, its employees. Tools that enable businesses to identify high performers will help drive higher retention and engagement rates, meaning that what was once subjective, can now be objective. 

How people analytics has changed the HR function

A new specialism in HR has evolved through people analytics, with the likes of Google allocating an entire team to people analytics. Which, in time, should develop new departments within other businesses. 
The need for businesses to find candidates with HR analytics experience, or the skills needed to manage HR analytics, has changed the desired skill set for hiring managers. HR skills have developed through the need to utilise analytics for people, meaning that candidates with skills in maths, science, or those with an analytical background, are becoming more valuable to HR teams. 

The pitfalls of people analytics

One potential pitfall is that, due to the fact that organisations are now able to store copious amounts of data, there is more pressure to meet regulations. Considerations need to be made for the governance of your data, how it is used and stored. Also, maintaining the security of your data on a cloud platform.

The benefits of people analytics

Overall, people analytics offers an abundance of opportunities for businesses looking to hire top talent within their industry. On a basic level, it allows you to understand productivity, track sick leave, attendance, overtime, and training. As a result, you can make changes in areas that are underperforming and over time, this can drive revenue and increase productivity within your workforce. Correct usage of people analytics data will allow you to have better information about your workforce, with regard to how they work and what works well within the business. If you are able to understand the behaviour of your teams, then you will begin to better understand how to make the right improvements. 

Using people analytics to motivate, engage, and develop your staff

Data analysis can provide HR managers with the tools they need to make appropriate and informed business decisions, which can drive positive business change and ensure that they are getting the best out of their people. 
People analytics can:
  • Enable you to identify high risk or high-performance employees.
  • Help you to gauge what best motivates your workforce.
  • Assist with allocating your budgets or resources to incentives and programmes that are most likely going to motivate and engage your employees.

Embracing people analytics in your business

If you are struggling to see how people analytics can be brought into your organisation effectively, it is important to implement a programme that easily connects to the systems that you currently have. This way, the data can be analysed against sources from other parts of your business, such as sales, revenue, profit, repeat business, and more. HR analytics can enable businesses to move away from spreadsheet-based data storage, enabling you to hold data in real time, analysing it alongside your organisation's current data stream. 

How people analytics can shape future hiring and development processes

It’s true, businesses can use people analytics to compare the characteristics of high performers and underachievers. This data is likely to influence what types of candidates you interview in the future, as well as how you approach the interview. Once a professional has been hired, you will be able to use people analytics to shape their personal development programme. Similarly, you will be able to measure the results gathered from personal development programmes, which will save money and resources in the long-term. To find out more about how people analytics can drive your business forward, watch our breakfast seminar video with Dr Max Blumberg.
If you are looking to hire for professionals with the ability to drive forward your HR function with people analytics, please get in touch with one of our specialist recruitment consultants today. Here at Michael Page, we can help you find the best professionals that fit within your organisation and vacancy.
Luc Salmon
Operating Director, Michael Page Human Resources 
T: 020 7269 2123