How Big Data Makes HR Better

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Earlier this year, NewVantage Partners released their annual survey of big data statistics and they discovered that the percentage of Fortune 1000 companies that have started employing big data in some way has doubled since 2013. Moreover, they said that more than 26 percent of them will have invested more than $50 million in big data by the year 2017. In 2014, the percentage of companies that spent that much on big data was just over 5%.

This is just one of the surveys showing that big data is truly becoming mainstream in the world of business, especially when we are talking large companies. Today, however, we wish to look at a specific part of company operation and how it can be improved by big data. We are talking about human resources, a discipline concerned with employment and employee management.



Why It Is Important
When the Harvard Business Review did their report on the impact of employee engagement (a huge part of HR) on company performance, they talked to more than 550 executives and they found that 71% of them thought employee management was very important to achieving organizational success.

Anyone who has ever tried to run or manage a business of any type or size will tell you the same thing – it all comes down to the people who work for you. They are the ones who will make or break your company. This is especially true today when technology has made the playing field much more level.

HR as a discipline has traditionally depended on data in order to identify practices which make employees better, more satisfied and more efficient. It may have included more of a "human touch" than some other parts of corporate ecosystem, but it has also involved a great deal of data.

With big data, this data becomes much more comprehensive.



Areas Where Big Data Can Help
Now that we have established why HR departments need to start using big data, it is time to identify areas where big data can be utilized to the greatest effect.

Finding the Best
For one, big data can be of huge help in finding and acquiring the best talent in the field. One of the ways in which HR departments go about finding the best talent for the position is through building a hypothetical perfect hire, someone who will work best in a certain position. Thanks to big data on the performance of past employees (both in an outside the company) filling that position, a company will have a much clearer picture of the person they want.

Big data can also help companies be more successful in their search for the right candidates. Big data can reveal insights that would otherwise be hidden. For example, it might unearth the fact that chief information officer candidates usually check job ads in the afternoons. This is just a random example, mind you.

Tracking their Performance
Hiring a talented candidate is not enough. You also need to make sure they are doing their work and benefiting the company as much as you believed they would. With big data, tracking someone's performance becomes more than just finding out when they checked in and whether they did their daily tasks. It enables the HR departments to get more accurate and actionable insights into the job the employees have been doing.

This can, for example, help companies start training programs that will boost the performance of the poorest performing employees. It can also ensure that the best employees are recognized and that their hard work is rewarded.



Keeping Everyone Happy
No one leaves a company when they are happy, especially a good employee. And yet, one of the biggest HR challenges has always been employee retention, i.e. keeping the good employee from leaving. Even companies that use top-notch employee management software sometimes have to deal with people who wish to try their luck in another company or run their own business.

With big data, HR departments can identify patterns that lead to quitting. And there are always patterns, mind you. People do not just decide to give in their resignation just because they feel like it. Perhaps they filed complaints about their coworkers? Perhaps they felt their evaluations were not correct? Perhaps their part of the office was not getting enough sunlight?

Without big data and data analysis, putting all of this together is an impossible task.

Closing Word
HR and big data are undoubtedly a great combination. At the moment, most companies that enhance their HR departments with big data tools are large corporations. However, we are also seeing a proliferation of big data SaaS solutions that are aimed at introducing data analysis to small-to-medium companies.
The future is definitely a bright one.


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Aashish Sharma is an Internet Research Analyst and an aspiring social media marketer. He possesses hands-on experience in optimizing and promoting websites on leading search engines and web media. His passion is to keep updated with what masters of the internet such as  Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook etc. are up to innovate & deliver. At Tjabh Blog, he aims to be a part of most active online community and most widely-read blogs on the web, covering the insights of Tjabh Blog that will help in preparing the leaders of tomorrow.