FAQ: What is People Analytics?

FAQ: What is People Analytics?

In the age of Big Data the term people analytics is the leading buzzword and those often puzzled by the terminology ask, “What is people analytics?”

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Part of the the power of people analytics is enabling employers to attract, retain and develop better internal talent. The days of only scanning job boards, using LinkedIn Recruiter and head hunt hiring are long redundant; they no longer represent anything new but simply common tools. If you can successfully unfurl the methods of people analytics, it is more than likely you will be able to stay ahead of the competitive curve in talent attraction and engagement.

So what is People Analytics?

People analytics is a method of analytics that enables better decision making about the employees within an organisation and it’s strategy. When used properly, people analytics can be an extremely powerful tool in exposing the engagement levels of employees and answering fundamental questions surrounding training, development, wellness, compliance and much more.

But how do we gather people analytics?

In the early days of people analytics, HR analytics were at the forefront of talent management. HR systems gather basic data such as headcount, time to hire and retention levels but people analytics takes this one step further by putting the ‘why’ to the ‘what’; helping us understand why the average time to hire is 28 days, or why retention levels are 10% lower year-on-year? These are all key questions that, once answered, will give us essential information to empower employees and employers.

Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends of 2015 cited that ‘softer’ areas such as culture and engagement, leadership and development have become urgent priorities.

People analytics can be approached as a key tool in defining engagement levels within an organisation, but what businesses must first understand is that tracking engagement through surveys is not as straight forward as a Q&A review of the business and it’s employment opportunities.

Engagement is defined, by Forbes, as the emotional commitment the employee has to its organisation and goals. Forbes states that millennials work for purpose and not a pay check; they seek an emotional attachment to their work where they can have a true vested interest in the core values, mission statement, vision and, ultimately, culture.

Ok, so how do engagement surveys gather people analytics data?

The best engagement surveys will tap into the emotional devices of an employee, identifying their ‘happiness levels’ not just within the workplace but outside. This kind of information is essential when understanding the work-life balance of your staff: Are they engaged in their local community? Do they take part in recreational activities outside of work?

Furthermore, engagement surveys cannot be bulky, annually conducted events. The average attention span of a human has dropped to eight seconds according to a survey conducted by Microsoft in 2015. This means that a longer survey will act as a probe to lessen engagement; short, pulse-like surveys allow for an agile approach to people management.

How do you use people analytics in your recruitment strategy?

People analytics is becoming a steadfast tool for hiring methods and talent attraction, but how can you use the data accumulated from people analytics for the next stage of key hires?

The potential is that we collect enough simple ‘snapshot’ data that instead of being quick and reactive to a problem, we actually start to notice key trends and can be predictive to what might happen in the future.

Much like data is used by retailers to predict the next top trend in their industry, we can use people analytics data to predict the next blind spot within a business.

If the methods of harnessing predictive analytics are put into practice against people analytics then it is possible that we can identify the desirables of future hires against the existing employees. As the millennial merges into Generation Z, we need to be future-proofing our employment opportunities to accommodate a generation with even more demands; a generation with bigger ambitions, greater desires – an age which has grown up in a world of technological innovation and globalisation at their fingertips.

In summary, what is people analytics?

People analytics is an opportunity. It is a window into the future of hiring and the next generation of recruits. It gives employers greater scope and a more transparency into the desires of their existing staff and potential applicants.

“War is 90 per cent information.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

The war for talent is on! By utilising people analytics we will be able to attract, not only, the most talented hires but the most suitable. Resulting in increased retention rates and higher profitability.

People Analytics - Agile Appraisals Recruitment KPI Performance Analytics Overview Screenshot
People Analytics – Agile Appraisals recruitment KPI performance overview

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