You’ve heard that business leaders and HR professionals are using human resources (HR) metrics and reporting to make informed business decisions and drive organisational growth, but are you struggling to apply this in your company? It may be because there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to HR analytics and reporting. Collecting HR data is only useful if you know what the metrics mean for your business. Understanding more about how to use your HR data sources can help you glean valuable insights and achieve your business objectives.
HR analytics (also known as workforce analytics, people analytics, or talent analytics) is the process of gathering, analysing, and reporting on HR data. As one of several key HR functions, it allows your HR team or managers to compare HR metrics to other data (such as industry-wide trends), analyse them against key performance indicators (KPIs), and uncover actionable insights. Armed with the right information, you and your HR professionals can make data driven decisions rather than relying on hunches.
To better understand how HR analytics can work in your business, it can be helpful to know more about its components.
HR metrics – sets of data collected by your HR team or analytics tool
HR KPIs – key performance indicators associated with all your HR functions, including indicators for recruitment, workplace culture, employee performance, time tracking, and employee engagement and retention
HR reports – reports available in written form or visualised on HR dashboards that present HR metrics in a way that's easy to understand, such as charts, graphs or summaries
HR analysis – the process of examining data supplied in reports to derive actionable insights and inform strategic decision making.
HR data, analytics and reporting are used in numerous ways which fall under three main categories:
This field of HR analytics explores staff performance and how it can be optimised to benefit your business. For example, you might use data to build HR reports about variations in employee performance or customer satisfaction across different days or shifts.
This area involves identifying how many staff your business needs and what skills you want them to bring with them, both now and in the future. Examples of employee data you might collect and use include turnover rates and historical data about seasonal workforce requirements.
This area uses HR data to help you hire and develop the right people across your entire business. For example, you might look at HR KPIs around employee satisfaction to discover ways to retain quality talent, or examine data about time to hire and the effectiveness of job postings across different platforms to enhance your hiring process.
Every business is only as good as its people, so understanding what your employee data means can bolster your chances of success. HR analytics have traditionally been used to examine business data around current HR issues. While they are still used for HR monitoring and for testing the effectiveness of HR processes, predictive HR analytics are helping business leaders plan for future workforce needs.
This enables management and HR teams to make strategic workforce decisions to improve HR KPIs such as productivity, wellbeing and employee engagement.
Contemporary businesses typically have access to unprecedented amounts of HR data. Quality workforce management software often has built-in HR analytics capabilities. Not only can these HR solutions analyse vast amounts of information using artificial intelligence, but they can also create HR reports with actionable insights that assist you to make informed business decisions.
HR analytics could benefit your business by using HR reporting to:
Improve your recruitment and onboarding processes by reviewing data from exit interviews or time to hire statistics
Boost employee satisfaction and morale by examining metrics from employee surveys
Improve your profitability by analysing employee productivity data
Optimise your staffing by looking at workforce analytics across various departments or times of year
Track progress of worker retention strategies by reviewing changes in your turnover rate
Create a business case for HR interventions and then test their effectiveness
Plan for staffing to meet the needs associated with anticipated business growth.
Designing and developing HR reports can be incredibly challenging without the right tools. Contemporary workforce management software like Humanforce is designed to make this process fast, simple and streamlined by providing both pre-built ‘out of the box’ reports to cover the most popular metrics, and also the ability to create custom-made reports tied directly to your organisation’s needs.
Importantly, HR analytics and reporting are rarely a ‘set and forget’ activities. As your organisation evolves and responds to changes in industry, government and workforce conditions, you need to update how you utilise workforce analytics and reporting.
For example, many people shifted to working from home arrangements during COVID-19. As a result, new methods were needed to perform HR monitoring activities like employee time tracking. Data about staff wellbeing took on fresh and vital relevance, especially for frontline deskless workers facing additional workplace stress.
There are steps you can take to help ensure your HR analytics and reporting delivers optimal benefits to your business.
While COVID-19 has dramatically changed the HR picture for many organisations, other forces are at play. For example, the workforce is constantly changing due to issues like an ageing population and anticipated growth in service industries and jobs requiring higher qualifications.
Staying on top of trends ensures the predictive capabilities of your analytics tool are aligned with industry and government expectations.
The other side of the picture is your own organisational aspirations. For example, are you pushing for growth or moving into new markets? Are you keen to build employees’ skills to deliver stronger customer satisfaction? Your HR data can help you achieve goals such as these.
Use the findings from your HR reports to devise ways of reaching your targets. For example, if a report identifies a skills gap in a specific area, implement a training program to address it. Or if you discover an issue such as absenteeism or high turnover in your sales department (or other departments), take the opportunity to explore these further by looking at details from exit interviews or engaging in discussions with your HR professionals and managers.
Allocating staff to areas where they can use their skills will not only positively impact employee satisfaction, it will also lead to greater productivity – both of which can enhance the sustainability and profitability of your business.
Data supports fair, unbiased decision making around promotions and pay rises. Workforce management solutions like Humanforce analyse employee performance so you can recognise and reward great work. Humanforce also assists with pay compliance by automatically applying award rates for every shift.
Use your HR reports to design ways to recruit and retain talent that work for your business. For example, do you enjoy better hiring success by placing ads on social media versus online job sites? Do your staff respond better to training programs delivered in person or online? Information like this can save you money and help you achieve your objectives.
HR analytics go a long way to helping you attract, recruit, develop and manage your staff. But it’s important to keep your people in focus. Leading HR professionals are shifting to a more human-centred model in light of the pandemic and long-brewing process fatigue.
Humanforce has been custom-built to be user-friendly and people centred. Our analytics are designed to provide an exceptional employee experience while providing key insights that assist you to build a sustainable and successful business.