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Are We Really Using Our HR Data Properly?

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Those who work in the Human Resources (HR) department are often the ‘unsung heroes’ of an organisation, functioning as both the ‘heart’ that drives culture and care; and the ‘engine room’ that drives systems, processes and procedures. Navigating an intricate balance between employee well-being and organisational success, they are also the custodians of organisational data; a lot of it, in fact. While there’s no doubt that this data has transformative potential, balancing quantum leaps forward in tech with shrinking teams and tightening budgets is a tall order.

In today's era of big data, modern HR teams have ‘data lakes’ at their disposal; but let’s get real - unless they’re being transformed into up-to-the-minute insights, these are at risk of becoming ‘data swamps’.

Kathleen Webber, Co-Founder and CEO of LiveRem, delves into the very real challenges inherent in HR data, what's at stake in terms of not innovating forward, and how smart teams are tackling the role of data innovation in driving efficiency and effectiveness.

HR is data rich but analysis poor

One of the primary challenges facing today’s HR is an abundance of data paired with a lack of effective analysis. There are always 100 other very urgent issues to deal with and leveraging data often lands at the bottom of the pile. Coupled with smaller teams struggling with manual processes or larger teams grappling with the sheer cost of outsourcing analysis, many HR departments find themselves mired in overwhelming complexity, clunky spreadsheets and outdated methodologies. As a result, valuable insights remain buried beneath mountains of data, hindering an ability to make data-driven decisions.

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What's actually at risk?

In today's business landscape, effectively optimising data is the key to unlocking better understanding and driving smarter decisions across all areas of operations. From ensuring a company’s remuneration strategy is on par with industry to accurate pay gap analysis and beyond, HR teams have the opportunity to leverage data to optimise their processes and enhance outcomes.

Data is key to an ability to answer questions including ‘How much is this role really worth in the market?’ and ‘Do we have a pay gap problem amongst our Exec?’, yet, far too many organisations continue to rely on ‘gut instinct’ or outdated, manual practices when analysing data for making critical decisions. Even if companies are attempting to gain insights from their data, the level of interrogation involved to extract real value can be challenging to achieve.

As a result, they lose out on real-time efficiencies and accuracy.

The theory in action

A great example of this is when hiring teams make assumptions or generalisations when it comes to not wanting to hire a woman into a role because “...they might leave and have kids”. A proprietary dataset held by LiveRem on a myriad of roles shows that over the past four years, the turnover of women has been 20% lower than men. Understanding this data matters because from a company perspective, turnover affects your bottom-line, with the average cost to replace an employee equivalent to 9 months of salary for that role.

Moving HR into a more modern era

To address these challenges, future-focused HR teams are embracing data innovation by partnering with a new breed of HR data innovators to drive efficiencies and unlock new insights. With the rise of enhanced, niche tools disrupting traditional, expensive and cumbersome HR software, organisations now have access to solutions that offer easy integration and competitive pricing. By leveraging these tools, HR teams can streamline processes, improve decision-making, and drive greater value for the organisation in targeted areas of their operations.

As HR continues to evolve as the strategic backbone of organisations, data innovation is set to play a central role in shaping the future of HR and driving sustainable organisational growth and success. HR teams who can unlock the full potential of their data, drive efficiencies and deliver greater value to the organisation in the digital age will be those who help their company get and stay ahead.

© Scoop Media

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