The One Thing
So I’ve been around this “HR data thing” for a while now (>20 yrs), and if there’s one thing I know, and one thing that continues to ring true in the drive to increase adoption and utilization of HR and talent data, it’s that you must, without a doubt, connect your people data to business outcomes data.
It’s really that simple.
Connect Your People Data to Business Outcomes Data
You must enlighten non-HR folk on the facts around the people-side of their business outcomes.
The reality is, HR is the only group who really cares about pure HR metrics. And that makes sense because HR is your business – not theirs.
Finance is their business. Marketing is also their business. Running the production line and selling that product is, yet again, their business.
But we know that people/talent decisions impact all of these areas. For example, talent decisions that drive line of business productivity. Health and safety initiatives that minimize injuries and absences. Learning programs that deliver strong ROI. Recruitment strategies that minimize revenue-focused vacancies. This are all examples of people data connected to business outcomes data, which is meaningful to your business clients and can prove your worth.
You get the picture and hopefully my point.
Talent Acquisition as an Example
Let’s take recruitment or talent acquisition as one example.
We’ll start with the age-old standard metric of Time-To-Fill – a marginally interesting, single dimension indicator of your recruitment team’s effectiveness.
It helps you understand recruitment speed, but delivers no insight on:
- Quality of hire
- Cultural and organizational fit
- Time to productivity
- First year outcomes
- Revenue loss/opportunity cost/business criticality of that vacancy
- Cost and disruption of turnover of employees in their first year of tenure
- Candidate experience
- Onboarding experience
- And lastly, and of tremendous importance to building a client-focused HR/Talent/Recruitment offering, the hiring manager experience of your service as an internal recruitment provider – because in their business, if service-provider outcomes are substandard, then the service-provider will, eventually, be replaced.
Being business focused is not a new conversation for HR. And while data-driven HR is a topic Dr. Jac pushed almost FORTY years ago, we really haven’t made much progress. This is further proven by the recent study uncovering a disturbing fact: that 76% of talent leaders admit they are under-utilizing data*.
Go on HR, get beyond the marginally interesting, single dimension HR Metrics
My assertion and experience is that relevance, credibility and innovation can be driven through HR – but only if there’s a desire to go beyond marginally interesting, single dimension HR metrics.
Let me know if you’d like some introductions to some of the 24% - those amazing HR and Talent teams who, fueled by outcomes-focused analytics, are making an impact in their businesses.
What’s your perspective?