Big Data is all the rage these days - HR is no exception

Big Data is all the rage these days – HR is no exception

I am sure you will agree with me on this – every business requires a special department to keep the environment disciplined. Human Resource Management are the ones who take care of anything unexpected and ensures that an employee works in a safe environment.

Unfortunately, the particular sector that has encountering quite a bit of bad press and misperception is the group of HR professionals. In order to outrun this negative perception, they have started incorporating big data to gain effective insights.

Change is inevitable and unlikely to stop anytime soon – no matter what business you are in. Brutal recession, technological advances, recruits with an idea of what employment should look like are some of the most crucial factors responsible for the change in the HR industry in particular. Let us try and understand what has changed over the past decade, and how will those trends evolve in the years to come?

Getting social- A few years back, social media had just entered into business needs and HR. Facebook, Twitter were just toddlers considered as a significant distraction that threatened to decrease productivity. Two-thirds of employers used technology to block connections to banned websites in 2006, while others monitored websites. As of now, one can find a more relaxed attitude. Business leaders themselves use these social media networks. However, certain sites and even fewer kept an eye on what workers were viewing and e-mailing. And five years down the line, possibilities are that companies will use social media or other instant messaging tools as their primary internal communication vehicle.

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Feedback Becomes Fluid– There was a time when companies used to rely heavily on annual reviews to assess the performance of employees and provide relevant feedback. In fact, several companies used draconian strategies that pitted workers against one another. The tech giant Microsoft used to rely on stacked ranking, or the “rank and yank” style of employee assessment. Here employees with the lowest ratings tended to end up looking for other opportunities in the company—or elsewhere.

In the current scenario, companies are gearing up to adopt a more flexible approach. In Microsoft, now senior managers began using a process called Connects. In this workers can give real-time feedback without structured reviews. Instead of numbers, what they learned from various experiences and how they grew professionally is something they emphasize more on. Also, instead of encouraging competition among colleagues, the system fosters collaboration. It’s a welcoming approach.

Impact of Technology- Technology has always been evolving at its pace. Employees then considered to take advantage of the digital revolution to work remotely and outside traditional business hours, but employers didn’t agree. Today flexible work arrangements and schedules are created to evaluate work.

To be precise, big data turns out to be incredibly valuable– probably the greatest asset for the HR teams these days. Earlier, professionals used to gather tons of data manually that remained unused or put into charts, tables for further use. Now businesses have started gearing data into insights, which has led to endless opportunities such as:

  • Predicting when employees will leave
  • Knowing where to recruit the most suitable candidates from
  • Identifying different ways to identify and attract those suitable candidates
  • And certainly, the most important of all understanding what keeps them happy once they become employees.

As a result, data analytics has become HR’s most important asset.

#1 Data-driven procedures– I think an HR professional has too many things to do- accomplish admin tasks or legal issues, complete day-to-day minutia of recruitment and people management, manage clunky staff appraisals and conduct wasteful yet expensive activities like annual staff satisfaction surveys and the list goes on. And having tons and tons of data isn’t enough. It must be stored well and used smartly. Fortunately, you will find more unique and valuable HR metrics that can be measured on an instant basis. These metrics can deliver business-critical insights and have a significant impact on the organization’s performance.

#2 Adding value- Focusing on intelligent or data-driven results definitely adds value and drives performance across the organization. Starting from data, sensors, analytics, machine learning, artificial intelligence, try making use of the best possible tools for the job. Have you heard about Google’s approach? The company provides staff with free meals, generously paid holiday allowances, access to ‘nap pods’ for snoozing during the day, and space to grow their own fruit and vegetables at work. All these activities resulted in increasing employee satisfaction. And we all know the fact that Google has been nominated as the top company to work for in eight out of the last 11 years.

Final Verdict

In regards to the HR industry, big data is bliss with when it comes to conducting real-time prediction of hiring needs or improving the quality and new employee retention rates or enhancing recruiting performance that leads to improvement of business performances.  However, the decision to change doesn’t come lightly. It will take flexibility, time, and dedication change. It’s the future, and it’s coming sooner than you think. So do you think you are all set to embrace the future of HR? Either way, the arrival is imminent. Be prepared.

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