From HR to marketing to customer retention, big data gives organizations valuable insights into everyday factors that drive business decisions.
That’s one reason, according to IDG’s 2015 Big Data and Analytics Survey, the number of organizations that implemented data-driven projects increased by 125 percent in 2015.
Where is big data the most effective? It all depends on how an organization employs it. Specifically, when organizations use big data to assess talent both at the candidate and current employee levels—called talent analytics—it helps shape a more productive and efficient workforce.
Here are three ways to take advantage of the benefits talent analytics:
Related Article: Go Big or Go Home: How to Utilize Big Data for Human Resources
1. Creating the “Perfect” Employee Model
Talent analytics tools provide a way to assess what makes an employee successful in a role and build a model or qualifications template for hiring. These models can then be used to evaluate candidates for new positions, so you’re making hiring decisions based on data, not just intuition.
For example, one telecommunications organization used talent analytics to differentiate between candidates that passed its pre-hire selection process. Candidates are measured on work skills, workability and work motivation.
Data from the assessment process was used to power information on each candidate. Recruiters were able to access this information to make more informed hiring decisions. Candidates were grouped into one of four areas. Candidates that passed at the highest level tended to be more:
- Logical and capable of solving a variety of problems
- Competitive and motivated to achieve a high level of personal success
- Calm, even-tempered, and poised
- Detail-oriented, organized, and conforming
- Outgoing and talkative with others
- Modest, sensitive, and tactful
Candidates in the highest level had a 51 percent probability of being a top performer while candidates in the lowest group that passed the pre-hire process had a 35 percent probability of being a top performer.
You can use talent analytics to establish reliable models of the skills and characteristics of the “perfect” candidate. The key with modeling is to realize that just because one or two traits correlate with success, does not mean they are the only things you should be looking for.
Taking the gut feeling out of the process and focusing on the data makes you more likely to build effective, reliable models for your organization.
2. Developing Promotion Strategies
You’ve found the right people. Now what?
Talent analytics can help you follow your employees’ careers and determine who is best suited to move through the ranks and who should stay right where they are. If you take advantage of talent analytics tools, you can make better decisions about managing your workforce and preparing for changes.
Many talent analytics tools today can determine which factors correlate with attrition and whether these factors actually have an impact on different organizational career paths. These tools look at employee data for the cause behind turnover and help determine what’s happening.
This can be very valuable data for managers tasked with re-assigning and advancing employees.
For instance, an HR manager can look at the data provided by the talent analytics platform and see that, in their organization, a manager who starts in customer support and moves to community management is twice as likely to stay long term compared to a manager who starts in customer support and moves to sales. Then, they make an educated decision about which manager to promote.
Insights like this also help managers discuss career paths with employees and build better, more productive teams.
Related Article: How Onboarding Can Make Or Break Your New Hire's Success
3. Learning How to Retain Top Talent
Using talent analytics shouldn’t end once you’ve put the right people in the right places. In fact, it’s a great way to keep your top talent engaged once they’re in the right roles, too.
One great example comes from using talent analytics to understand voluntary turnover. Most organizations assume that candidates that do not show for work are a “no call, no show.” In many cases, this is correct. Hiring managers are right to focus on motivational fit for the job to help reduce voluntary turnover.
However, talent analytics can help you discover that some voluntary turnover is actually related to a new hire’s inability to perform.
For example, in one company, they found that new hires that had lower productivity performance were two to three times more likely to leave the organization in the first 90 days. By using talent analytics, the hiring team learned that it could reduce its voluntary turnover by improving how the company selected new hires for performance and job fit.
The recruiting team was able to redesign the pre-hire selection process to focus on measuring the candidate’s ability to perform the job as well as work skills.
Talent analytics offer a variety of ways to help optimize your workforce, streamline hiring processes, and develop more effective engagement and retention strategies. Think about the weak links in your organization’s talent chain and consider how you may be able to strengthen them using data you probably already have.
How does your organization use talent analytics to drive business decisions?