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How CHROs are harnessing data to get ahead

Karine Picard
VP EMEA Business Development - Country Manager Oracle France

Only 20 per cent of HR professionals believe they can adequately plan for their company’s future talent needs. And yet, an HR survey found that forecasting for headcount is the most important use of data analytics. Why is there such a disconnect?  As our research shows, data analytics can help CHROs to anticipate talent needs in a candidate driven market, better track employee fulfilment, and ultimately combine HR insights with business objectives. In other words, HR can study the past, see ‘now’, and get ahead.

According to investment bank UBS, global unemployment reached the lowest level for almost 40 years in December 2018. But while record-low unemployment is fantastic news, it means high demand for job candidates. Your best employees are at greater risk than usual of being poached – whether by recruiters, former colleagues, even a well-timed LinkedIn ad.

Improving employee satisfaction is the seemingly simple answer to this familiar problem. But it’s far easier said than done. Satisfaction surveys and performance reviews can gather information, but they’re time-consuming and expensive – not to mention the facts that it’s impossible to tell how reliable respondents are being, or that by the time results come in, the issue is often already outdated.

But what if CHROs could use insights from existing and real time data to create an environment where employees want to spend their working weeks – a place where they feel fulfilled and motivated?

We have the data

Every new hire, promotion, raise, review, or departure brings data points, and this information is probably waiting for you in core HR systems. Tools like Oracle Analytics Cloud can use this data – and many other types besides – to reveal trends, help you forecast, and make informed decisions.

This could include staff turnover data from your sales team, compared with location, earnings, or promotion information. Mapping this against current execs, you could spot those most likely to leave – and intervene before it’s too late. Over time, you’d be able to understand turnover rates throughout the company, and use insights from predictive analytics to develop plans to improve satisfaction, curb turnover and plug talent leaks.

One global logistics company uses analytics to improve the job satisfaction of its delivery drivers. The handheld devices drivers use to accept delivery signatures carry plenty of useful information, and help them find the fastest, most efficient delivery routes. Greater delivery efficiency means the company can increase the number of packages delivered per driver, and this productivity boost leads to some of the highest driver compensation rates in the industry. Happier drivers, less driver turnover.

Strategic insights

What if we were to take this one step further? You could take your HR analytics and combine with other business areas to reveal new insights. Data from on-boarding, incentive programmes and goal management could inform your company’s strategic decisions.

One of the USA’s biggest mobile providers found that SAT scores and college grades are poor predictors of employee success. Instead, experience in sports leadership is a much better forecast. But it only discovered this by analyzing job applications against those employees’ performance data over time.

Combining datasets in new ways can be the fastest route to new insights, and forecasted plans that help you to keep the talent you value and spot the talent you need. HR can cement its position as a strategic linchpin of business continuity. And, of course, there’s simply no overstating the potential of motivated, engaged, productive employees.

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