Big data has evolved as a mainstream approach to better understand customer behaviours or preferences.
Data is used everywhere - from fraud detection; to online shopping patterns; to making predictions about future events, like propensity to buy, churn or engage.
People Analytics encompasses the use of both data and analysis in recruiting, retention, succession, and other people-oriented processes by predicting the probability of an outcome for a specific individual.
If people-decisions have a significant impact on an organization’s bottom line, a compelling business case exists to invest in people analytic driven tools just as companies would do in marketing research or product development.
People analytics research-based approach can provide a leader with critical information to help guide decisions. It might feel out of reach for many organizations, but it doesn't have to be.
First, identify the top talent challenges your business faces today that matters the most to the business and focus on the desired outcome.
For example, the ability to acquire and retain sales talent in many industries is a current challenge across North America and people analytics can be applied to improve both hiring and retention while making HR and hiring manager’s work smarter.
We consulted with a respected high growth sales organization to create a recruitment model reflective of their top sales people and identified five critical character traits that consistently predicted sustained performance and we deployed the model into their screening and selection process.
Our data analysis also revealed seven demographic and experience-related qualities captured in the original job application that further predicted effective retention.
In our analysis, we found that top sales people that were retained the longest had these common attributes:
- Introduced as a warm referral source;
- Previous and relevant sales experience;
- Employed full time;
- Length of service >6 years with one organization;
- Worked greater than 50 hours a week;
- Earning within the average range for the position; and
- Familiar with variable compensation.
Leveraging people analytics dramatically transformed the way this organization approach its hiring. The sales organization now spends less money recruiting, training and coaching sales reps. Top line revenue improved, and attrition decreased. Everybody wins.
The more data points your business can collect and the better you become at analyzing that data, confidence improves your people strategy leading to a competitive advantage.
Remember, people analytics is not a tool to replace the human decision, but is used to complement your process leveraging the power of predictive data that can drive meaningful change and help you plan for the future.
This article was recently published in the Electro Federation of Canada Magazine