The term “Big Data” has invaded the world of business in recent years … He first introduced the world of finance and marketing, where it is today massively used.
The phenomenon is recent in human resources, but it naturally follows the deep transformation that this function experienced with the digitalisation of data.
Here are 4 keys to better understand the Big Data for HR:
Why do we hear more and more talk about Big Data for HR?
We face more and more innovations “disruptive”, ie innovations that aim to provide a new service that creates new uses and transforms the in-depth market with radically different business models.
In this context of permanent revolution, HR departments are directly concerned and play a crucial role for the simple reason that every year we observe: - 25% of new jobs, - 20% of brain drain, - 10% of staff turnover.
The “intuitive” function, which up to now characterizes Human Resources function is no longer sufficient … The professionals will have to resort to further analyses to support their decisions.
How “human” and “data” can be complementary?
Above all, it is important not to put in opposition the human aspect of the HR function and figures!
The big data for HR has to put himself at the service of intuition, of the human and thus allow a more informed decision. It aims to expand the field of view of the HR function…
The big data: an additional tool for HR but not an end
Warning! The big data HR is not intended to suggest actions and to carry them out…
The intuition will always be the main argument of any action taken; data cannot replace that. However, the data can suggest and support actions and/or possible alternatives.
The big data for HR intervenes as a supporting tool to help decision-making.
How to organize the collection of data?
For optimal use of big data, it is necessary to collect qualitative incoming data and in sufficient volume.
Here are three key principles:
1- Create, within the company, a single basis (skills, assessments, courses, jobs, evolution wishes…). This often involves the pooling of different HR information systems of the company.
2- Gather enough internal data to obtain a representative panel of the reality of the business and its reality.
3- Qualify and best normalize the data: establish clear criteria to unify and harmonize these data to then be able to compare them… (This sometimes requires the interpretation of the speech of employees regarding their expectations: to be able, for example, to identify positions expressed differently by employees but which turn out to be similar).
The big data for HR is at the service of KPI
How an HR department can go further than the simple interpretation of the results obtained by the analysis of data?
We saw that the big data allows strengthening intuition in the implementation of concrete actions. But it is interesting to measure the effectiveness of this figures-based approach through KPI (Key Performance Indicator).
The issues and objectives of each company are different, it is the role of HR managers to define their own success indicators: some may want to measure improvement in internal mobility, other transversal or want to reduce their staff turnover…
However, some indicators can interest all HR services such as measuring the retention rate or lower recruitment costs.