Lucky #13: Luk Smeyers’ HR analytics articles on the HRN blog
It’s been almost a year since Luk Smeyers became a regular contributor to the HRN blog – one of the leading sources of news and opinions in the world of HR, recruitment and HR Tech. Luk’s goal is to wake up HR practitioners and recruitment professionals to the world of possibilities presented by HR analytics.
Luckily, iNostix’s client work and Luk’s regular attendance of leading industry events offer an endless pool of inspiration. Unfortunately, time restrictions allow us to share only so much with the readers. So, in the interest of time efficiency, we prepared a quick guide to Luk’s articles on the HRN blog. Whether you are reading this on your commute to work or while taking a coffee break in the office, take a few minutes to scroll through and catch up on what you may have missed.
HR considers the appraisal process successful when it yields a 90% trophy rate (read: neatly completed forms), yet everyone knows it adds no value at all. The alternative? Focusing on maximum 10% pivotal (read: critical) roles that make a difference in the organisation, analysing those for their real levers for success (including scientific research on this) and correlating this with results.
In 2015, Professor Bart Baesens from the renowned University of Leuven joined iNostix as our company’s academic adviser. After a few weeks of intensive reconnaissance, the verdict was in: as an industry, HR is “Analytically speaking… about ten years behind.” How did we let the situation come this far in HR?
Marketers, much like HR practitioners, study human behaviour. Marketing departments use advanced analytics to predict consumer behaviour as best they can, and the methodologies they use to do this can be readily adopted by HR. Plus, marketing often has to work with a much less reliable information about consumers than HR has about its employees, giving HR an enormous advantage over marketing.
There is a gigantic chasm between the possibilities technology gives us in HR and what we tend to come across in practice. So what’s the problem? A rather large number of HR leaders tends to be afraid of highly advanced and ground-breaking new technologies on the market. They often don’t have the skills to implement these systems fast enough. Enter digital natives!
HR itself has no big data, but we can learn a lot from the phenomenon: evolving from reporting to predicting, focusing on disciplined data gathering, adding analytical experts to the team, thinking about data governance, enriching decision-making with long data, etc. We should start focusing on ‘long data’ – data sets covering a long history, painting a changing and moving picture, mapping out processes and interactions that change through time.
There is an astounding lack of result metrics in recruiting and selection departments. While with a bit of good will and some study, it’s possible these days to use predictive algorithms and advanced analysis to predict the career chances of applicants with reasonable success, 99% of recruiters keep putting their time into meaningless metrics from the 1980s.
The role of coordinating between business partners and organisations in HR analytics projects often times is filled by HR. However, such coordination is not easy, as the ‘translator’ has to be able to bridge the gap between data, analysis and decision-making.
Many believe that HR should start collaborating with Finance more closely to get better analyses. It is hard to argue that Finance definitely out-analyses HR and a good collaboration with them is certainly desirable at the reporting level. However, Finance guys work along the ‘mental model’ of accounting: their decisions are plated with the ‘people as a cost’ aspect – that’s not a good fit for HR.
When it comes to predictive HR analytics, unfortunately, HR focuses mainly on the costs and not so much on the investment aspect. This often has to do with an unfortunate lack of awareness as to the opportunities HR analytics can offer. The article presents a quick guide to make a business case for predictive HR analytics as an investment in organizational competitiveness.
Video: Luk Smeyers interview Josh Bersin in Paris at the HR Tech World Congress 2015. How do we optimise who we hire? What is the role of Technology in People Analytics? You will find plenty of insights in this interview.
Everyone’s talking about ‘HR data’. However, this exaggerated focus is hiding data’s higher aim: business improvement. HR data should not be the goal, but the means of achieving various business goals.
One of the hottest issues in the HR analytical space at the moment is how HR business partners can be trained to become more analytical, because they are the crucial ‘translators’ between the business and its analysts. There are four competencies they absolutely must have to succeed in this job.
The success of new-school companies like Google stems from their extremely data-driven CHRO, who has a top analyst report directly to him. Unfortunately, you don’t see that happening enough in Europe. “Hiding” an HR analytics person behind layers of chains of command will always prevent CHROs from driving data-backed business change. Check out our recommendations for CHROs in this article.
Interested in getting started with HR Analytics?
Interested in using predictive HR analytics as a key component in your HR strategy? Get in touch with CEO and co-founder Luk Smeyers for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org or via Google+. Or follow iNostix on Twitter and/or Facebook for exciting international articles on HR analytics. And don’t forget to register for this blog!