Big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) is expected to add £322 billion to the UK economy by 2020 but just under half of UK businesses are not using any form of data analytics. Employers with the ability to gather and analyse data accurately are better equipped to implement creative talent acquisition and retention strategies, yet HR remains seemingly paralysed or fearful of moving forward with technology.
A recent report entitled The Customer Experience Blueprint supports this impression. The survey found that only 26% of respondents agreed with the statement that 'HR plays a leading role in building digital capability into the entire employee lifecycle’.
The big data divide separates agile HR functions from businesses that struggle to address the talent shortage. HR has the potential to play a key role in increasing competitiveness and initiating hiring strategies that align with company goals.
The first step is for analytics averse businesses to recognise the benefits that technology and big data bring to their organisation:-
Enhanced credibility : Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Businesses that do not move towards even a basic investment in technology risk being left behind. Technology enables HR to make more rapid decisions, enhancing its credibility. HR risks consigning itself to at best an administrative function if it fails to embrace big data, dividing itself unwittingly into two strands, reminiscent of Ram Charan’s suggestion to split HR into HR-A (administration) and HR-LO (leadership and organisation).
More effective hiring : Talent analytics enables HR to facilitate data driven recruitment rather than hiring on a whim. Who are your high achievers? Without the ability to identify the traits of your best performers and the source of those hires, HR will find it more difficult to deal with the more complex workplace challenges, including low productivity levels and increased automation. Investing in HR technology removes reliance from paper based systems to speed up the hiring process.
Simplified analysis : Big data uses technology to enhance talent acquisition strategies and offer predictions that focus on the skills your business needs. HR can begin by gathering basic information in areas such as your social hiring success from sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. The vital point to note is that your process cannot be improved if your data is not accurate. HR technology offers that accuracy.
Minimises the risk of a bad hire : Research carried out by Sandler Training suggests that small business owners believe each bad hire costs £13,799 (£17,900 in London), a conservative figure which rises when the impact on staff morale and productivity is factored in. ‘Poor judgement’ was a reason given by over a quarter (27%) of respondents for a bad hire. Unconscious bias in the hiring process is easier to overcome when HR relies on accurate, historical data rather than personal responses to a candidate. Recruitment software that automates repetitive elements of the recruiting process enables hiring managers to focus on what’s important.
Retaining the human element : Big data provides insights into the effectiveness of talent acquisition strategies to give HR a competitive advantage. As automation increases in the workplace, the role of HR will become more crucial but it must leave the mundane, monotonous tasks to technology, in order to become more creative and retain the human element in the hiring process. Big data enables HR to make predictions that will ultimately facilitate better hiring decisions. Employers with data driven recruitment strategies are also ranked higher in their employer brand than those without.
Without big data, HR risks being reduced to an administrative compliance function, discarded as irrelevant by innovative, forward thinking businesses.
Which side of the big data divide are you on?
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