July 14 2014

Big Data and Predictive HR Decision Making Part 3

Written by Lambda Solutions

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iStock_000010458050MediumIn part one of our Big Data and HR series we explained what Big Data is and how it can be an extremely powerful tool to develop insight into the future and ultimately, improve HR decision making. In part two we broke things down a little further and explained six general insights that can be gathered by HR in any industry. We of course saved the best for last, so for Big Data and Predictive HR Decision Making Part 3 we’re excited to share the ways to use Big Data for profiling talent in your organization.

Profiling for Predictive Analysis in Talent Management

Once the purview of forensic scientists, profiling can be a tremendously useful way to identify individuals in your organization who are likely to succeed in leadership roles, leave, or cause harm through poor performance. There are so many potentially interesting relationships that you can explore using Big Data. Here are the top 3 that advanced HR professionals use:

Risk Management

With Big Data you can develop an aggregate of employees with a higher risk of performing below standards. You might find, for example, people who have not attended a course in the last year make more mistakes when processing paperwork specific to your industry. Or, you may find that a certain group of people require more training or coaching from line managers to reduce poor performance. Maybe you find that people who never take sick days present a performance risk. With the ability to isolate the employees who are not performing well, it is easier to locate the root of the problem in order to take corrective measures to improve poor performance.

Talent Forecasting

Wouldn’t it be great to know which individual characteristics are predictors of performance for specific roles? Instead of relying on assumptions, the combination of Big Data and analytics is a recruiter’s favorite tool. A study from Harvard Business Review showed that what we commonly assume may be predictors of success – factors like what school a candidate attended and what their GPA was – are entirely unrelated to future accomplishment. Rather, a demonstrated ability to take initiative and ensure correct spelling on a resume was related to positive employee performance. Humans are heavily biased no matter how hard we try. It is often much more reliable to use Big Data as a tool for unbiased decision making.

Understanding Employee Mobility

HR Managers often wonder after the fact why successful employees leave? Perhaps you may have been able to intervene prior to their announcing they were leaving but in the likely chance that you were not successful, profiling may prove to behelpful. Profiling successful people who leave your company may reveal a pattern that proves your assumptions wrong.

Other Business-Relevant Analytics

  • What is the relationship between individual engagement, reward, tenure and skills with revenue?
  • What personal characteristics might lead to fraud?
  • Is the number of courses an employee takes related to performance?
  • How do performance reviews impact revenue?

What are your next steps?

The HR consulting firm, Bersin found in a study of more than 700 organizations that 75% of HR managers said that HR analytics are important to their organization. However, 49% said they had no plan in place to ensure they could accumulate and interpret the right data.

What follows are some of the questions you should be able to answer in order to take advantage of the big data revolution as it applies to human capital management:

  • Do you have C-level support for developing HR talent analytics capacity?
  • What are some of the strategic HR analyses that would contribute to your bottom line?
  • Where would you source the data required to perform the analyses?
  • Do you have the analytical skills required to produce statistically relevant results or a team on hand to do so?
  • Which technology platform will enable you to perform analyses?
  • How will you turn analyses into actionable information?

As experts in professionally managed, integrated, e-learning and talent management solutions, we’d be happy to help you determine how to proceed to ensure you discover a technology solution that will provide you with competitive advantage. Give us a call today or fill out a contact request form.


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