HR analytics is essential for the new world of work

14 July 2020 4 min. read

With global economies facing challenges for the remainder of 2020, some businesses will look at creating new revenue streams, some will try to reinvent themselves introducing new product lines or different ways to attract and retain their customers. Meanwhile, other businesses will look at ways to really understand what their operational state is and how they can work differently, in order to ensure the biggest return on their investments are achieved.

“The challenges in the business world are unprecedented, they are different, they are new,” says Sherif Amer, co-founder of RightFoot, a management consulting firm based in Egypt. “The rules of what is in demand and what is to be supplied are different.” 

Accordingly, “companies that are able to find what is in demand and what and how to supply it will do well,” says Amer. “Navigating through these challenges while keeping employees and customers will be a bigger challenge.”

As an example, the savvy marketeers who look at data to understand the performance of each product, the underlying themes influencing growth and market share rely on analytics to be able to make more informed decisions. “Decision makers are integrating data into their everyday decisions,” says Somaya El Sherbini, co-founder of RightFoot. “They are realising more and more that 'people' data is key in making business decisions.”

Sherif Amer and Somaya El Sherbini - RightFoot

Brave new world

In the new world of work, what if these business objectives were not only clearly tied to the teams and individuals working in the organisation but would shift as and when the data insights support this? What if businesses were able to identify their inability to drive market share growth because their teams needed to build new types of skills? What if they understood that these skills are so scarce in the market and invested sooner, rather than later in re-skilling and up-skilling their people? 

The digitisation of HR processes and creating the connections between the main business functions is how the world will need to transform. The business of HR has always been about people with relatively high subjectivity driving decision making. In the new world of work, businesses will need to weave into their business strategies data insights and predictive analytics.

HR analytics is a mixture of methodology and software that leverages statistical models to deliver work-related data, which enables the company's decision-makers to optimise and enhance human resource management. This will result in the biggest disruption, and will set companies up for fast paced success, or will keep them locked in the old ways of execution. 

HR & technology

Global technology companies and some of the top e-commerce players and retailers of the world have started to look at data insights to help them make better hiring and retention decisions. On the global level, the adoption has been slow, however leading the world is Asia Pacific where the use of some type of HR analytics has reached 70 percent. 

 “Using HR analytics, companies can optimise and enhance their workforce and HR function.” 

It is no surprise that research found that only 2% of HR organisations have a mature people analytics capability, say Amer and Somaya. Despite the fact that businesses globally have adopted HR solutions and the size of this technology market has grown by 29% from 2018-2019. The adoption of technology solutions continues to grow, however the abilities of using such solutions for data insights is still lagging. 

New solutions

New emerging HR solution providers are tackling every point in the employee journey to be able to connect and monitor their impact on business performance. Talent acquisition has had the lion's share of focus over the years. Amer and Somaya believe this trend will continue to grow and dominate the focus areas, however, there are a lot of close runners up the note. 

To this end, the two co-founders strongly believe that by 2025, companies who have not considered and challenged the value of investments in the HR analytics space will be confronted with their inability to keep up with their financial targets.