In the two previous articles, we looked at the benefits of using business intelligence (BI) in sales and marketing. We will continue to examine how BI can help different functional departments of companies and in this article will focus on human resources (HR).
Although HR is often thought as based on social aspects, psychology and other qualitative factors rather than being the game of pure digits, in reality HR departments have massive amounts of data – think about all the employee data, profiles, compensation and benefits information. To turn this data into valuable information and extract key insights to improve productivity, a BI software can be used.
HR is responsible for a number of important functions, including recruitment, workplace management, training-related events, employee retention and yes, firing. With HR departments facing these unique challenges, BI can provide solutions in a variety of ways and help HR managers keep the pulse on their workforce.
During a hiring process, HR managers go through a lot of information to find the right candidate to fill a position. With a cost per one hire being anywhere between $3,000 and $5,000, depending on the size of a company and industry, recruitment becomes an important and costly business.
What a BI tool can do is to quickly look at similar positions and identify most fitting skills and characteristics for a role. Once this is done, the next step is to go through applications with these pre-defined characteristics and pick top candidates. With a BI-centric approach, HR managers can get their hands free and spend more time preparing for interviews and other human-related aspects of the hiring process.
Another recruitment-related issue is finding out existing and potential staffing needs across company and fill them. BI tools can help uncover low productivity rates in different departments and teams, which then can be further analyzed. As a result of the analysis, either a new hiring may be needed or more staff training conducted to upgrade the skills of existing team members.
Finally, a BI tool can help to better identify potential risks by looking into trends, like an increasing staff turnover in certain teams or departments. Uncovering these kinds of information can help HR managers to conduct a further analysis and come up with solutions before potential issues may arise.
After hiring is done and training is completed, employee performance becomes a central question for HR managers. BI can help to better analyze a new hire’s performance by providing details on tasks given, how well they were completed and tracking their progress over time. For example, employee’s daily reports and information from CRM and project management systems can be taken and looked how he or she did on the first day, one month after that and so on.
When it comes to assessing long-term employees, BI can focus on other performance indicators, such as a detailed comparison of last year and this year KPIs and evaluations of metrics from similar positions at different companies across the industry. Overall, by aggregating all the available and related data, a BI software can paint a better overall picture of employees’ success. It can also help HR managers to identify areas where to focus and provide support, including more training, team-building activities and extra motivation.
With work conditions shifting from the traditional 9-to-5 model to more diverse settings with a combination of remote staff, part-time employees and contractors all working together, a potential use of BI increases further. HR managers can improve employee engagement with insights provided by BI and see how they could increase productivity while keeping costs down. For example, by measuring the actual outputs of different employees versus a project’s needs, BI software can reveal a team’s ideal size for different projects. As a result, companies would avoid situations when too many managers are put to one project and stay idle half the time, as well as understaffed projects when two or three people must work 14-hour shifts to meet a deadline.
Being able to drill down into the details of employee information and demographics, BI can help HR managers to spot trends like employee ageing and sick leaves. Knowing these trends is vital, especially in developed countries where populations are ageing and a number of young people entering workforce is declining. When a department director knows that several of her employees will be retiring in a few years, she can start attracting fresh talents now, training them and keeping the best people for the job.
Overall, BI tools are a crucial addition to HR departments. With a BI software onboard, HR managers can not only use its data analytical capabilities to enhance recruitment and assess employee performance, but also encourage better communication and collaboration within a company.