The role of HR has been evolving rapidly over the past few years, and a lot of that can be attributed to the rise of data-driven HR practices. The implementation and use of workforce analytics is growing among businesses, however, most business leaders are still content with skinny-dipping instead of riding the wave. In this post, let us clear the air surrounding the effect and application of workforce analytics once and for all.
What is workforce analytics?
To quote Gartner, Workforce Analytics is an advanced set of data analysis tools and metrics for comprehensive workforce performance measurement and improvement. Put simply, workforce analytics or people analytics is the process of collecting critical data and insights about the workforce which can then be analyzed for making better decisions.
HR Analytics, People Analytics, and Workforce Analytics
More often than not, the above three terms are used interchangeably, however, there remain subtle differences between them.
HR analytics deals with the metrics specifically about the HR function. Metrics related to hiring, training, expense per employee, etc.
Workforce analytics encompasses all employees working for the organization, be it full-time, freelance or remote. Some of the workforce analytics metrics such as employee performance overlaps with HR analytics.
People analytics on the other hand covers all the people associated with the company and that includes employees as well as customers.
How can Workforce Analytics help you?
Just like a marketer uses data to shape a campaign, companies can use workforce analytics to understand their workforce, deploy resources efficiently, and plan for the future. Here are some of the processes where workforce analytics can make an immediate impact.
Recruitment and onboarding
Finding the right talent has always been a complex endeavor for most companies. Workforce analytics can chip in with useful data on past applicants, their success, and how it relates to the company’s current needs. Based on data gathered from top performers in their roles, it becomes easy for recruiters to identify applicants who can excel in those roles.
Workforce Analytics can also help HR teams measure the speed of the onboarding process by measuring time-to-hire and the time-to-productivity, i.e. the time it takes a new hire to get up to speed.
Turnover and retention
Workforce analytics can track several important indicators to identify drivers of turnover such as time of hiring, promotions, internal movements, duration of employment, performance, and more. All these data can be used by HR teams to identify the reasons for turnover. For example, a high turnover for a particular team might reflect poorly on the individual managing it. Also, a general trend of employees leaving in a year or two might necessitate a review of pay rates, work environment, and/or development opportunities.
Performance and skills development
A workforce analytics system can track the data recorded by most companies during performance reviews. This data can be used to identify the employees who are doing well and also who are not. HR teams can delve deep into the reasons for poor performance and identify if and how employees need to develop their skills. Such data-driven skill development can lead to better performance, higher retention, and also better succession planning.
Diversity and inclusion
According to a McKinsey report companies with top quartile in gender diversity in executive teams are 25% more likely to outperform financially and those with ethnic diversity in executive teams are 36% more likely to financially outperform those with less or no ethnic diversity.
HR Analytics can track the data on diversity to understand how many women or ethnically diverse applicants apply and get through the recruitment process. This data can be useful to identify and remove recruitment bias if any. Also, these data can be used to make the recruitment and performance evaluation process more inclusive and transparent.
KPIs that Workforce Analytics Systems can track
Here are some of the key performance indicators or metrics that can be tracked by workforce analytics systems.
Recruitment – You can track from headcount to demographics to time-to-hire (time taken from job posting to the candidate accepting). You can also track time-to-productivity i.e. the time required for an employee to be fully productive since hiring.
Performance – Workforce analytics can also help you in tracking employee performance, revenue generated per employee, and time tracking.
Other than the above mentioned, workforce analytics can also be used to track employee satisfaction, employee engagement, retention rate, training efficiency, absenteeism, turnover rate, diversity, inclusion, and much more.
Workforce analytics empower HR teams to track key data points and streamline processes such as recruitment, onboarding, evaluation, and more. It can help improve diversity, reduce turnover, improve employee experiences, and automate mundane HR team tasks, consequently adding to the bottom line. So, in a nutshell, if you are a company looking to leverage workforce data to improve your bottom line, then yes! You need Workforce Analytics.
Author Bio –
Snehashish Gurung is a Digital Marketing Specialist at SplashBI. He has been a B2B marketer since 2016 and loves writing about novel SaaS technologies. Visit his Linkedin profile to know more about him!