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4 Reasons You Need Data-Driven Recruiting

Do you remember Blockbuster, Kodak, or even Nokia?

Let me guess. You haven’t heard these companies in quite some time.

These companies each lacked innovative and creative ideas because they were comfortable with their current status in the market.

We all know where these companies are today.

For Blockbuster, Kodak, and Nokia, this lack of urgency to innovate and update their systems ultimately led to their downfall.

This same concept goes for employer branding. If you are using old-fashioned recruitment processes, there is a high chance you will end up wasting your time and resources, interviewing unqualified candidates. This not only will negatively affect your brand sentiment and employee morale, but it will cost your company time, money, and resources.

HOWEVER!

It is not too late to make a change. Yes, 2019 is coming to an end, but the shift to implementing data-driven recruiting is still reasonably fresh in the market. Using data on candidates to create recruitment strategies has proven to make the entire hiring process from start to finish remarkably smoother, cost-efficient, and more accurate than the traditional methods.

So let’s get into the juicy details.

What is Data-Driven Recruiting?

Data-driven recruitment is the process of optimizing the candidate’s journey from awareness to consideration by leveraging data on the candidates you want to recruit.

This data-driven recruitment process could take the form of external or internal data collected on candidates. While many Fortune 500 Companies have an abundance of internal data available on their candidate process, that doesn’t necessarily mean they know how to make strategic decisions that will yield better results. When we apply a data-driven mindset to recruiting, identifying which campaigns and channels are producing the best hires becomes much more manageable.

But even if you could understand which channels or campaigns the good hires came from, how would you optimize them? How would you know what content to continue producing on that channel year after year?

As candidates are changing, so is the data! By analyzing that data, you get to know more about your candidates and which ones, in the end, become your employees. Having that data is an essential strategic asset in your recruitment process.

To help you fully understand the benefits of using a data-driven recruiting, we’ve compiled a list of 4 benefits of implementing a data-driven recruitment strategy.

1. Improve Quality of Candidates Applying

The hiring process can become very tedious and overwhelming when you have to handle 100 ́s of job applicants for one position. But what if you could remove the unqualified candidates from the list?

By tailoring your talent communication strategies on all your career channels with data collected on candidates, you can improve your chances of attracting the right candidate the first time around by targeting their needs and preferences.

There is no need for an outside staffing and recruiting agency when you have all the information on what the candidates want. Curating your talent communication strategies on your career channels to appeal to your desired candidates will drastically improve your chances of hiring the right candidate over and over again.

Hiring the very best employees time and time again will significantly improve your company’s performance, both short-term and long-term.

As an employer, if you can understand which channels your desired candidates look for career-related information, then you can create a strategy that guides the very best candidates down your funnel. Data-driven recruiting can make that happen.

Within the HR sector, we also see the rise of ambassador marketing programs. Using your network to find new employees has many benefits. People find job postings from their network more trustworthy, which, in turn, has a positive impact on the number of applications a company receives from their job posting.

2. Reduce New Hire Cost

With the right set of data, you will be able to optimize your best hires by channel. A study by LinkedIn has shown that companies with a stronger brand see a 43% decrease in hiring cost.

To start to reduce new hire costs, focus only on the variables and channels that lead to the best hires. On the flip side, you also need to eliminate as much waste or churn as possible throughout the process.

Once you have collected data on candidates and your hiring process, the next step is to identify which channels are producing the best hires — focusing your recruiting efforts on these channels. By trimming the fat in your traditional hiring process, you will be able to save money on the channels that are not producing quality hires.

After you determine which channels your ideal candidates are on, it is crucial to create customized content that is attractive to them. By providing content that candidates value the most, you will be able to guide and prioritize what changes you need to make on your channels. And, more importantly, how you can position yourself as an employer in the marketplace. If you prioritize and tailor your content to your ideal candidate, you will increase your chances of hiring the right candidate the first time around and ultimately decrease long term costs associated with bad hires.

3. Decrease Hiring Time

From the moment a candidate recognizes your company as a potential employer to the point when they finally click the apply button, is called the candidate’s journey. To optimize your candidate journey, maintain a smooth and time-efficient hiring process.

Candidate Funnel
Awareness – Social Media Channels/Review Platforms
Interest – Career Opportunities/Work Culture
Consideration – Career Website/Offer to Candidate
Application – Mobile/ATS/Applying Online

Once you have defined your funnel, it’s vital to have the right measuring systems in place. Using a data-driven approach in your hiring process will allow your team to create a candidate funnel that optimizes the needs and preferences of your desired candidate during each stage.

Communicating clearly with your ideal candidate allows them to work their way through the funnel more quickly.

Your content from throughout the candidate journey should tell a story that resonates with qualified candidates and leads them further down the funnel. In doing so, hiring the right candidate will occur much quicker.

4. Improved Candidate Experience

Attracting and converting your desired candidate requires a flawless candidate’s experience.

It’s not only important for a company to create the ultimate employee experience, but also a fantastic experience for your recruits. Even those who don’t make the cut should still be treated as if they were one of your employees from the start.

Going back to the candidate funnel of awareness, interest, consideration, and application, there are many steps you can take in each part of the funnel to ensure that candidates have a positive experience.

Awareness:

Social media has become one of the most important ways to attract and nurture candidates. It has changed recruitment for good. To provide guidance in the jungle of channels and where you should focus your efforts, utilizing data and external surveys will assist in making these strategic decisions. By delivering content that showcases your workplace and what being an employee at your company is like, you will give candidates a definite feeling of acceptance and desire to be there.

Interest:

To properly get a candidate interested, they have to see something they like about the company. By tailoring your strategies to the candidates’ needs/preferences, you are thereby providing appealing content that would spark further curiosity in applying to your company.

Consideration:

The Career Website is the heart of the candidate experience, where you can showcase your organization and really stand out. It’s often the place where decisions for or against an application are taken, and where making an impeccable offer should occur. In this stage, you should hold nothing back about your company and play all your cards.

Application:

The application process is crucial, from a job ad to application submission. What causes dropouts and is your ATS provider keeping up with the latest developments are the questions to be asking. Staying updated and current is vital to finalizing the application process. No one wants to apply to a company that looks outdated, boring, and slow.

Still not convinced?

Whatever your company recruiting methods are, the age of data-driven recruiting is already here, and it’s not going anywhere.

Remember, when I mentioned Blockbuster, Kodak, and Nokia? Don’t be them. Be better, and stay on the offense!

Companies will only continue to evolve the hiring process by finding new and innovative ways to hire qualified candidates more efficiently, thus making it harder for companies who lack this to survive. There are plenty of different strategies you could derive from using data on candidates. Remember, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

HR Software: 10 Must-Have Modules and Features You Need

The HR software an organization uses should not just be beneficial for the employer but should have added features so that employees can also benefit from it. It must be chosen with such intent that the company grows as its employees grow with it. Many organizations find themselves stuck in a limited functionality software which consumes valuable time because they do not know which modules and features the software they use should include. Here are some of the most essential and must-have modules you should be certain your HR Software includes.

  1. Recruitment Module: – Statistics say about 22 percent of employees hired leave their jobs in the first 45 days. The statistics say it all, the hiring process tops the list in the field of human resources. Include a strong Recruitment Module in your HR Software, which provides support for creating a database of the talent who will add to the company’s progress. The recruitment Module helps in creating advertisements, manages applications, administers documents, etc. The module saves time, ensures that there is no repetition of the same process and also provides following features:
  • Application Sorting System
  • Easy entry of the details with different kinds of forms
  • Configurable user access to various areas of the Application Tracking System
  • Integrated workflow management system
  1. Onboarding: Most new hires find it intimidating to interact with the management, which can leave a new employee in confusion about the new organization. This module helps familiarize staff and new hires with all onboarding requirements and allows new employees to find all the relevant employer and organization information on one platform. Here are some of the features that Onboarding module provides:
  • Automated delivery of Important details to new hires
  • Immediately sends Team-Based Tasks regarding new employees
  • Real-time paperwork tracker
  1. Performance Management: Monitoring the performance of each worker when it comes to overall efficiency is vital. Organizations should have a system that carries the detailed performance data of every employee. The Performance Management Module provides monitoring functionality and also contains the following features:
  • Manages all the reviews and feedback to the system
  • Guides for creating and filling forms
  • Provides necessary notifications to employees
  • Delivers a selective review system for individual
  1. Administration: The Administration Module manages all the details of a company’s employee benefits including healthcare, welfare, tax benefits, and other finance related options.
  2. Workforce Management: This pretty much affects the schedules within the organization. This module cannot operate alone and should be linked to another system. It makes more sense when the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and ERP(Enterprise Resource Planning) are linked to the module. The employee’s attendance records and leave schedules also make an important aspect here as they should be lined too so that the workforce management can be run efficiently with this human resource software.

HR Module

6.  Absence and Leave: This module works in alignment with the company policy. The leave schedules can be automated using the module. Booking, tracking and approving any form of time off work becomes easy. Some other features this module provides are listed below:

  • Information on leave balance for any kind of time off
  • Online application with easy access
  • Granting rights to HoD and HR department.
  • Allowing all employees to view their leave history
  1. Time and Attendance: The timings regularities, biometric information, and attendance, etc., are the parts of this module. It keeps track of the employee attendance and keeps the data secured for the future reference. Some of the most important features this module provides are mentioned below.
  • Integration with various kinds of attendance readers like biometric readers etc.
  • Calendar appearance for better visualization of employee attendance
  • Shift management platform for flexible scheduling
  • Application facilities for holidays and Short leaves
  • Management for overtime
  1. Learning and Development: Working closely with the performance management module, this module works as a base where individual training, bookings, requirement, and feedback are operated. The module also automates the process of allocated budget and the actual training expenditures. Here are some of the important features this module provides.
  • Centralization of all learning data
  • Easy to set up training sessions, schedule exams and assignments
  • Lowers the training cost
  • full visibility into the training process
  1. Talent Management: With an eye on attracting and retaining fresh talent and skilled employees, this module provides support to the HR during recruitment and succession planning. This module helps streamline the learning and development and performance management as well. This module contains details of fresh talent and their details like types of training taken, work experience, and institution from which they graduated.
  2. HR Analytics: – HR Analytics integrates with other modules of the HR Software and Other Systems to generate reports. These reports give a larger view on the overall performance so that relevant strategies can be designed to improvise the performance. This module also provides the most suitable steps to be taken and favorable predictions so that the organization can take the most suitable decision.

In addition to these important modules in the HRMS  described above, there are some crucial features you must ensure are included in your HR Software. Here are the top ten features you must have in your HR Software.

Top Ten Must-have Features in HR Software:

  1. Data Management: The Data Management feature includes employee’s complete data like medical history, leave management, PPF and EPF forms, Grievance history, and other payroll related information. The Data Management feature ensures that the HR has full employee record of anything that is relevant to the organization or the employee.
  2. Job Opening Management: This feature includes all the information for current vacancies. This feature includes Job descriptions, skills requirements for the job, and the status and number of vacancies. The Jobs are linked to various departments and followed by print media which displays the information regarding the opening.
  3. Application Management: This feature includes records and contact information of applicants related to a job opening, progress in the interview process, the line up of the interview process, Audit records and finally, employment form which may include acceptance letter and details required before joining.
  4. Company Documents Management: The human resource software also ensures that all relevant company’s information is well managed. The legal documents, Holiday lists, business documents, policies, benefits and insurance related information are the features covered under the software.
  5. HR Related Documents: The main feature of any HR software is to ensure consistency and compatibility. This feature manages employees and applicant information in PDF format under the employee’s name and number, and ensures data transfer in secure and easily convertible format.
  6. Project Management: Every project requires attention and separate tracking for Project sheets, Task management, Team management, progress analysis, etc. The Project Tracking feature allows a business to analyze a project’s effectiveness at a later stage—allowing a company to make relevant decisions about the project with access to the data.
  7. Employee Termination Process: Employees that leave the organization should be send-off with a process to ensure that no problem is faced at a later stage. All companies follow a code of conduct and a distinct process as far as employee termination is concerned. The management of employee process checklist, generation of the start of the process, tracking the whole process, status change, etc., are undertaken by the HR software and executed properly.
  8. HR Checklist: The HR software helps the HR managers to execute their daily activities efficiently. The daily tasks may include certain reminders, updates on events, training scheduling, and integration amongst department, resource sharing and many more. The software allows a checklist with some inbuilt activities along with an option to add to this list so that the daily activities and emails or reminders send out in time. Amidst the bigger activities, the small and medium sized business sometimes overlooks the importance of these daily tasks which is ensured using a great software.
  9. Shared Database: HR Software features of integration makes the database complete. The employees can fill their own information related to the leaves taken, working schedules and any other using a login designed especially for them. This allows the accuracy of data, and also cut down on dependency, adding to the HR checklist a daily reminder for such activity can be made so that the efficiency and effectiveness can be maintained.
  10. Safety Management: Cloud-based services undertake safety as a profoundly serious activity. The management of these databases on a virtual and shared platform raises doubts in the minds of the users. The software works under high protection, there is a security process that is followed, and the codes and passwords are created with great precision. The data that is transmitted or received is done in encrypted form, and there is a continuous update that ensures that there is no threat to the system.

Photo Credit: alpconsult Flickr via Compfight cc

People Quality Makes For Picture Perfect Business

“All I know is that sometimes the truth is contrary — everything in life you thought you knew.” —Neil Peart (Musician and Writer)

Without doing the math and coloring them in, you can still tell what most of them are. But that’s no fun when you’re six, just learning addition and loving to color pictures like my oldest daughter does. Adding the numbers together in each piece of the picture “puzzle” and then following the corresponding picture color code to color each piece in is the thrill of discovering its full context.

If the data is right (the math is correct) and the color code followed accordingly (regardless if colored a bit outside the lines), then these two things coming together tell a vibrant story in and of itself. And no matter how many times you complete the color by number pictures, the vibrant stories remain valid and reliable.

Quality may always vary somewhat with all of the above, but it’ll definitely go beyond the artistic going with one’s gut.

Like in recruiting. In a global talent acquisition market where most recruiters and even hiring managers spend only seconds reviewing each resume (we’ve all done it), no matter how good we think we are, it’s no wonder the “gut feel in hiring” is usually less accurate than a coin flip.

In fact, an article in the Harvard Business Review last year highlighted that, “humans are very good at specifying what’s needed for a position and eliciting information from candidates—but they’re very bad at weighing the results.” The authors found that simple computer algorithms outperform human decisions by at least 25 percent, “regardless of whether the job is on the front line, in middle management, or in the C-suite.”

While there is obviously still value in having recruiters and hiring managers who possess good people instincts, it has become even more essential that they have reliable data on which to base their sourcing, screening and hiring decisions.

We’re just not as good as we think we are when it comes to computing quality.

Reliable data and that single source of data truth – that’s where we need to get to first in order to address the quality conundrum. That’s not easy when today’s human resource and talent acquisition professionals rely on a variety of systems, such as HRIS, ATS, ERP, CRM and more, to manage their most important asset – their people.

These systems supply companies with data on everything employee-related, from general demographic information like date of birth to candidate sourcing channels and from compensation and benefits history to employee performance ratings. And, the volume of HR data generated by companies is increasing daily – in large organizations, there can be upwards of 10 different HR applications generating data.  In multinational corporations, there are dozens of different disparate HR systems, covering various geographies and functions, yet disconnected from the “mothership” core.

Obviously the solution is to integrate and analyze the data that is held within a company’s talent acquisition system into the company’s human resource information system (HRIS) and vice versa. This could be done in a integrated core HR and talent management suite solution, or it could be done with a sound data integration and management solution that nicely unifies the pipelines of any and all HR and recruiting point solutions and/or suite combos.

As the workforce continues to become more global, mobile and diverse, ensuring that all these systems enable collaboration and cooperation becomes even more critical. Again, we need that one single source of data truth that will support our HR reporting and talent analytics initiatives, something we talked about at length on the TalentCulture #TChat Show with and Jen Phillips Kirkwood, ADP Analytics and Innovation Ambassador.

By allowing for applicant data to flow unobstructed between all these critical business systems can enhance our ability to:

  • Build deep talent pipelines
  • Obtain a long-term view of our workforce
  • Gather real-time, actionable data
  • Save recruiters and hiring managers time and resources
  • Standardize and synchronize data across all HR systems

No longer are talent acquisition professionals focused primarily on time-to-fill as a competitive advantage – now, it is also about finding ways to increase quality of hire. The unification of all this data enables improvements in recruiting effectiveness throughout the organization, impacting the overall quality of hire and ultimately the performance of the business.

When I got certified as a Talent Acquisition Strategist from HCI last fall, we went over a progressive case study on quality of hire measurement from Avanade, a technology company that helps clients and their customers realize results with Microsoft technologies.

Avanade has created a worldwide interview assessment methodology that measures competencies, behaviors, technology capability and cultural fit, against their current workforce populations. This results in improved new hire performance and helps reduce attrition for the first 12 months of employment.

Their quality of hire analytics require multiple data points that help calculate and inform continuous adjustments to new employee quality. This includes:

  • Average performance rating for new employees in the first 12 months.
  • Employee performance as a percentage of “achieves expectations” of performance in the first year.
  • Annual hiring manager survey focused on overall quality of new employees.
  • Percentage of employee retention during the first 12 months of employment.

Quality of hire is often referred to as “the holy grail” of recruiting and hiring. It’s what all the winners of the Candidate Experience Awards aspire to. In fact, Amelia Merrill, Head of People Strategy (HR) at RMS and four-time CandE winner, recently presented at the first-ever CandE 101 Workshop and shared that “either you’re all in on the candidate experience, or your not. Nobody gets half pregnant.”

Indeed. There’s no better way to be “with quality-of-new-hire child” than by going all in with unified HR systems, key recruiting and hiring data and talent analytics. An excellent way to start determining your quality-of-hire is by tracking the turnover of your new hires during their first year with you. Higher-than-desired levels of turnover within this period often signify poor sourcing, selection or onboarding – or some combination of these activities. It all comes down to how carefully you measure and track new hire sourcing, performance, competencies, turnover/retention, diversity and inclusion, and developmental/leadership potential.

Just do the math: people quality is what makes for picture perfect business.

About the Author: Kevin W. Grossman co-founded and co-hosts the highly popular weekly TalentCulture #TChat Show with Meghan M. Biro. He’s also currently the Product Marketing Director for Total Talent Acquisition products at PeopleFluent.

photo credit: Crayons, Coloring via photopin (license)

But First, A Single Source Of Business Truth

“He picks up scraps of information
He’s adept at adaptation
Because for strangers and arrangers
Constant change is here to stay…”

—Neil Peart (musician and writer), “Digital Man”

So I’m standing there and this HR VP walks up and asks:

“What does the ‘predict’ mean?”

At first I don’t get it and am not sure what to say; repetitive tech talking with waves of people stretched over time can dull one’s focal strength, like trying to blow bubbles with stiff old gum that lost its flavor hours earlier.Predict

Then he points to the one of the panels in our PeopleFluent booth with the word “predict” on it.

“Ah, good question,” I say, perking up. “That’s probably something you’re hearing a lot more from your management team. How do we predict? Am I right?”

He nods and adds, “Analytics, analytics, analytics! Seriously. We need predictive analytics that can help us understand who is engaged, who is performing, and why, but we’re not sure exactly how to get there.”

Certainly one of the major themes at this year’s 2014 HR Technology Conference & Exposition, thousands of HR technology buyers and influencers hiked for miles and miles through a $15 billion landscape according to Bersin by Deloitte’s HR Technology for 2015: Ten Big Disruptions Ahead.

Bersin’s latest report states that finance, marketing, and supply-chain organizations have implemented analytics solutions for decades, but only now is HR starting to see the benefits with only 4% of large organizations able to “predict” or “model” their workforce. However, more than 90% can model and predict budgets, financial results, and expenses.

Talent analytics, analytics, analytics!

That’s why business leaders continue to shout more frequently from their rooftops about getting the right talent analytics from HR today that inform their near- and long-term recruiting, performance, compensation, succession and learning strategies — all to support their corporate financial goals and ultimate results.

And as I’ve written about before, to get there, we need a single source of business truth!

Wait, what’s that you ask? It makes common business sense, but just isn’t the reality HR executives are living in today. The majority of business leaders agree that the most vital investments for long-term growth are the people they attract, hire and employ, but too many are still focused primarily on basic (reactive) reporting.

This week in fabulous Las Vegas, we echoed TalentCulture #TChat Show guest Jessica Miller-Merrell that we just can’t get to the truth from reactive reporting and gut checks, so where do we start?

TChat Trending

Data management is where it all starts, although aggregating and maintaining the sheer volume of talent data available today can be daunting to even the most progressive CHROs. Large organizations have multiple systems managing HR and financial data, and to get to a single source of business truth, you must maintain and leverage both micro (such as individual performance data) and macro (such as organizational trends) data together, unifying it from any and all systems so that it is transformed, standardized and reportable.

Only then you’ll be able to plot past trajectories, analyze the present, and predict the future needs of your talent supply chain management, which can in turn lead to measurable improvement in your financial performance.

Mature talent analytics and positive business outcomes come to those who master their data, and, again according to Bersin, the 14% of companies that have invested in data-focused HR far outperform those that haven’t. Recruitment efforts are two times more effective and stock returns outperformed their peers by 30% over the last three years. But of course, these results don’t come without a serious investment of energy, resources and time.

The benefits of creating a single source of business truth are huge. Companies outperforming all others today focus on delivering:

  1. Recruiting Analytics – Help you understand your current talent supply, both internally and externally, and the skills needed today versus those that will be needed tomorrow. Plus, leveraging the diversity strengths of organizations beyond gender, race and geography to include the skills and expertise that lead to business growth are important predictive elements in planning for the right skills and productivity tomorrow. For example, Center for Talent Innovation research showed that diversity “unlocks innovation and drives market growth” and companies that embrace diversity “are 45% likelier to report that their firm’s market share grew over the previous year and 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market.”
  2. Compensation and Performance Analytics – Give you the ability to define your investment strategy in people because it’s less about budget management and mediocre (or worse) pay practices, and more about driving business growth relative to individual and organizational performance. This is critical to preventing future compensation increases for poor performers by using predictive analytics to highlight where these have happened historically and why. For example, according to a 2014 compensation and benefits survey by Human Capital Media Advisory Group, the research arm of Talent Management magazine, only 40% of companies say their organization’s compensation program is fully aligned with the business strategy.
  3. Learning & Development Analytics – Provide you a clearer view into strategizing continuous development and improving retention. Predictive analytics allow you to look at current sales relative to high-performer output and retention, and see how they impact long-term sales and development. Firms require an engaged and developed workforce so they can promote from within, saving on external recruiting costs that don’t ensure even short-term retention in today’s competitive talent market. In fact, according to Wharton management professor Matthew Bidwell, “external hires” get significantly lower performance evaluations for their first two years on the job than do internal workers who are promoted into similar jobs.

It’s time to answer the talent analytics call!

HR can and should drive their organization’s workforce strategy from a unified platform of meaningful data and analytics. But first, a single source of business truth is critical to providing guidance for all your talent management decisions, reinforcing the relationships among finance, operations and all business units in your organization, and delivers the ultimately desired business performance and results.

Constant change is here to stay, so you may as well get comfortable with picking up the scraps of perpetual information that ultimately create the right talent analytics collective.

Anybody got any gum?

 

photo credit: ♔ Georgie R via photopin cc

#TChat Preview: The HR Technology Mic Drop

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, October 8th, 2014, from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT). The #TChat radio portion runs the first 30 minutes from 7-7:30 pm ET, followed by the #TChat Twitter chat from 7:30-8 pm ET.

Last week we talked about how to successfully work from anywhere, and this week we’re going to talk about the HR Technology mic drop.

Specifically this is our very special 2014 HR Technology Conference & Exposition show, live from fabulous Las Vegas and complete with one of the most influential influencers in the HR Technology space, Jessica Miller-Merrell. Follow the hashtag #HRTechConf to get all the daily updates on activities!

Fact is, the HR technology industry will most likely be worth nearly $10 billion (or more) in 2015. That’s the mic drop. Boom.

A lot of opportunity for HR vendors, and great news for buyers because integrated “talent engagement” software is here to stay, including recruiting, performance, compensation, succession, learning and so much more, all of which are helping improve employee engagement, productivity and driving business outcomes.

Plus, data management, social collaboration and video technologies are all still very hot. Oh, and talent analytics across the board, that’s really the big, big mic drop. Double boom.

Join TalentCulture #TChat Show co-creators and co-hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as we learn more about the HR Technology mic drop with this week’s guest: Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, President/CEO of Xceptional HR, author, speaker, HR professional, and workplace social media expert who has a passion for recruiting, training, and all things social media.

Related Reading:

Meghan M. Biro: Sink Or Swim: A Tidal Wave Of Tech Is Shaping HR

Didier Bonnet: Convincing Employees to Use New Technology

Trish McFarlane: Big Trends in HR Technology and Beyond

Elaine Orler:  Top Trends in Talent Acquisition Technology

Ben Nelson: Wanted: Long-Term Thinking about Technology and Education

We hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation this week and share your questions, opinions and ideas with our guest and the TalentCulture Community.

#TChat Events: The HR Technology Mic Drop

TChatRadio_logo_020813#TChat Radio — Wed, October 8th — 7 pm ET / 4 pm PT Tune in to the #TChat Radio show with our host, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman, as they talk with our guest: Jessica Miller-Merrell.

Tune in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, October 8th — 7:30 pm ET / 4:30 pm PT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and Jessica will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: What’s innovative and exciting in HR technology today? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q2: How are companies using talent analytics to drive business outcomes? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: What are your recommendations for HR buyers attending this year’s HR Technology conference? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and in our new TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!

photo credit: saaste via photopin cc

That Single Source of HR Data Truth

“Memory banks unloading
Bytes break into bits
Unit One’s in trouble and it’s scared out of its wits…”

—Neil Peart, “The Body Electric”

She looked at me as if I’d pushed her. Her cheeks flushed and her eyes blackened like collapsed stars where no light escapes.

“But according to this Bloomberg Businessweek article, ‘the National Academy of Sciences, the American Medical Association, the World Health Organization, Britain’s Royal Society, the European Commission, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, among others, have all surveyed the substantial research literature and found no evidence that the GM [genetically modified] foods on the market today are unsafe to eat.’”

I shrugged and added, “Period. End of story.”

Probably not the way I should’ve handled the discussion, but I’m not always the brightest light in the night sky when it comes to debating my lovely wife (even though we “dance” very well with one another).

She threw up her hands and waved me away, “I don’t care. I’ve read plenty of reports that counter that and show how detrimental genetically modified foods are.”

Now I shrugged. “Because everything we read on the Worldwide Interwebs is true, right?”

That’s when the light was sucked right out of me.

“Sorry,” said Unit One, scared out of it’s wits (me, of course). Isn’t Businessweek a single source of journalistic truth? I thought but thankfully didn’t say.

Ah, but it’s all in how you collect the data and serve it up, right? A single source of sometimes misinformed truths depending on where you sit or stand?

That’s a cynical viewpoint, but unfortunately data is both a staunch ally and an even fiercer enemy depending on it’s current subjective state, where it’s from and why. The sheer volume of data is staggering. According to IBM Research, 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone (and that was from two years ago!). Seems like research surveys alone pummel the social media atmosphere like meteor showers, most of which disintegrate on impact.

And a big ol’ Milky Way of that data there is, created by us and distributed by us – some clean, vetted and valid, and much of it not so much. Organizations have a unique challenge today when it comes to managing this expanding-universe people data, as well as galaxies of other business-related data.

John Sumser, the founder, principal author and editor-in-chief of the HRExaminer Online Magazine, asked this question in his recent (highly recommended) HR Technology series:

Is there an opportunity for HR to harness people data across the entire spectrum of data sources to find the best utilization of people?

Indeed there is. There are finally HR technology solutions and systems on the market today, and some still being developed (always being developed), that combine with the computing and storage power of a thousands suns (maybe not that much, but still), and that allow for large volumes of data to be managed and integrated and reported on, extracted from so much light and dark online matter.

But according to Josh Bersin, founder of leading HR research and advisory firm Bersin by Deloitte, “Large organizations have seven or more different systems managing HR data. Bringing this data together for meaningful analysis has become mission-critical, driving tremendous demand for integration tools to help rationalize, integrate and analyze people-related data.”

Seven or more systems. Mercy me.

My friend and colleague, Jim Bowley, a long-time HR technology executive and mentor of mine, again reminded me that data collection is a very expensive process in which multiple participants need to synchronize their activities to pull together, transform, and build integrations that in turn will lead to the kind of workforce discoveries that are the very essence and continuous origin, the “Big Bangs” of talent and the true integrated experience. These are what business leaders are demanding today, hence the conundrum for HR.

But before we can solve for and get to the true integrated and insightful experience, we’ve got to understand the data basics and two other related terms:

  1. Data, Metrics and Analytics. Data are specific points of information an organization collects and maintains – like applicant source and key skills. Metrics are measurements with a goal in mind – like what constitutes quality of hire. And analytics are the identification of meaningful patterns within the data and metrics – like what key skills from what populations and locations drive quality of hire within the organization, predicting what and who to look for next.
  2. Data Harmonization and Transformation. Harmonization is about creating the possibility to combine data from varied sources into integrated, consistent and unambiguous information sets, in a way that is seamless to the end-user. Transformation is about converting a set of data values from another source data system into the data format of a new destination data system.

Harmonization, transformation and integration of data from multiple sources in a single solution that can make sense of all the interstellar mess, putting the data to work in far more strategic ways than it ever before – creating that single source of HR data truth. Only then can we get to the telling analytics and insight organizations have longed for (and are finally getting).

That’s where we’re going in HR technology today and tomorrow. Steve Boese, a co-chair of Human Resource Executive’s HR Technology® Conference and a technology editor for LRP Publications, and a recent guest on the TalentCulture #TChat Show, told me that one of the major themes for this year’s HR Tech show is the proliferation of HR data and better ways to measure talent initiatives with metrics and analytics, and there will be some exciting case studies shared to underscore this progress.

Yes, welcome to the Big Bangs of talent, breaking bytes into future-telling bits.

photo credit: c@rljones via photopin cc

HR Data: What Really Counts? #TChat Recap

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” -William Cameron

A Big Year For Big Data

No sooner did the ball drop in Times Square on New Year’s Day, than corporate talent management analyst Josh Bersin declared 2013 “The Year of BigData in HR.” Soon after, he offered more expansive predictions, including the assurance that we would see “many HR analytics, BigData and workforce planning tools” emerge this year.

Why now? As Bersin explains in “Data, Big Data and You,” multiple factors are at work — creating abundant opportunity that hasn’t yet been deeply tapped by HR organizations. To put the situation into perspective, consider this:

A 2011 Economist study indicates that companies boost productivity by 5-6% when they rely on data to guide business decisions. And yet, recent Bersin research reveals that only 6% of HR leaders say their organizations are “excellent” at leveraging employee data to drive business performance.

Case In Point: Hire-By-Numbers

In March at a #TChat Radio interview, Josh illustrated what’s at stake by telling a staffing story from a financial services company. The organization had been hiring sales representatives based on intuitive assumptions about what it takes to achieve in sales. Why was that a problem? Analysis revealed that those assumptions were wrong. By using data to redefine screening and recruitment criteria, the company saw sales surge by $4 million within only one year.

If Data Talks, Who Will Listen?

So, we know business is producing oodles of data at an exponential rate. And tools are arriving to help HR organizations crunch the numbers in beneficial ways. But something is still missing from this equation. It’s the vital link that connects the dots between quantitative possibilities and business realities. It’s the mission-critical role of the Data Analyst. Or, as USA Today recently suggested, “The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century.”

Even though data analysts are in short supply, the TalentCulture Community was lucky enough to glean insight and advice from two smart, articulate analytical professionals this week. Helping us explore key issues surrounding HR metrics, insights and business performance were:

Below, we’ve captured event highlights (including a tweet-by-tweet Storify slideshow from Twitter) and other resource links. We hope this is helpful for anyone is interested in understanding analytics as a core aspect of “human” side of business. Enjoy!

#TChat Week in Review: The Big Deal with HR Data

SAT 6/22

Christene

Watch the G+ Hangout with Christene now

#TChat Preview: Our Community Manager, Tim McDonald, introduced the week’s topic and talked with Christene about the definition of “BigData” and its relationship to HR management. Read “HR Data: What’s The Big Deal?”

SUN 6/23

Forbes.com Post: In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, offered advice about how data can help HR professionals see the workforce “in 3D.” Read “Big Data Is A Big Deal.”

WED 6/26

TChatRadio_logo_020813

Listen to the #TChat Radio show

#TChat Radio: In its new time slot, just prior to #TChat Twitter, radio hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman drilled down on data-related HR issues, in a fascinating 30-minute interview with Christene and Andrew. If you missed the session, listen now to the recording.

#TChat Twitter: Fueled by the radio warm-up, our community came together on the Twitter stream for our dynamic weekly idea exchange. Great perspectives from people from all corners of the professional realm! Thanks to everyone who contributed to this crowd-sourced idea stream! If you missed the real-time Twitter action, or want to review highlights, watch the slideshow below:

#TChat Twitter Highlights: “HR Data: What’s The Big Deal?”

[javascript src=”//storify.com/TalentCulture/tchat-insights-hr-data-what-s-the-big-deal.js?template=slideshow”]

Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Christene and Andrew for helping our community gain deeper understanding of how HR data naturally plays an integral role in the world of work. Your passion and real-world perspectives help us appreciate the importance and value of HR analytics.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about HR data issues or opportunities? We’d love to share your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week #TChat events are on pause to celebrate July 4th. Happy U.S. Independence Day! But we’ll be back the following week, with a sizzling summer topic — so keep an eye on TalentCulture social channels for details.

In the meantime, even through our haitus, the World of Work conversation continues each day. So join us on the #TChat Twitter stream, or on our new LinkedIn discussion group. And feel free to explore other areas of our redesigned website. The gears are always turning at TalentCulture, and your ideas and opinions are always welcome.

See you on the stream!

Image Credit: Pixabay