People analytics, or HR data analytics, refers to collecting data about the people in a workforce.
Most companies now regularly collect departmental data against their organisational metrics, to ensure adaptability, growth and improved performance. HR departments should not be left out of the benefits that targeted data insights can bring.
Unlocking data to efficiently drive HR decisions is becoming of increasing importance to companies, as leveraging employee data enables the development of more effective talent strategies. It also allows HR to become competitive, streamlining costs and increasing its value.
People analytics can be used, to great effect, across both your recruitment and talent management strategies. Many companies still, however, use basic data analysis tools (spreadsheets, for example) to track their HR metrics. This is where people analytics tools come in.
What Are People Analytics Tools?
People analytics tools help to gather and analyse HR data in a more effective and streamlined way. There are a wide range of people analytics tools available – some operating as separate tools, and others integrated into wider HR management systems.
There are tools suitable for organisations of all different sizes, from small start-ups to larger corporations with vast numbers of employees.
People analytics tools enable HR departments to efficiently track recruitment and employee metrics such as workforce composition, cost per hire, employee engagement, staff turnover rate, gender pay equity and diversity. They provide the ability to explore correlation, causation and make data-driven decisions about how to adjust or progress.
Quality insights gathered and visualised by people analytics platforms can be used to transform HR best practices, business interactions and the HR-employee relationship.
Key benefits of people analytics tools include:
- The potential to increase the effectiveness of your recruitment and talent acquisition process – reducing time to hire, cost and ensuring suitability for role, increasing quality of hire.
- Better performance management across your business, due to the insight from tracked performance metrics (such as measuring productivity through performance goals).
- Monitoring hiring diversity – and alerting you to the necessity of action - to ensure a more inclusive, diverse and innovative workplace.
- Productivity benefits, as employees feel that the business is actively investing in its people and taking action to create a better work environment through flexible and adaptive approaches and policies.
- Improved workforce planning, lowering attrition and ensuring you are proactively recruiting to support company growth.
- Increased revenue through more streamlined, informed and targeted HR processes.
How Do People Analytics Tools Work?
People analytics tools or platforms track, analyse and visualise employee data through a user-friendly interface.
The best tools should provide you with an HR dashboard that is both insightful and predictive. Whilst the insights provided by descriptive analytics unlock the current business landscape, predictive platforms help you to predict future trends.
Tools with prescriptive analytics capabilities go a step further, using the insights of both descriptive and predictive analytics to recommend options or courses of action.
There are a wide range of tools on offer, so research is recommended to find the tool that best suits your needs. They vary in terms of service offering, interface, data visualisation and pricing.
When selecting a platform (or indeed packages or plans within a platform), consider its data capabilities, visualisation style and reporting, its modelling abilities, tracking capabilities and methods, and the data security provided.
What Are Some of the Platforms Available?
Some examples of popular people analytics platforms include:
OrgVue. OrgVue builds organisational design into its people analytics software. There are three packages available: 'Spectrum', which allows you to view your organisation in its entirety; 'Position & Roles', which enables greater understanding of demand and supply for roles, along with current and future business costs; and the 'People' plan, which - amongst other features - allows you to visualise and analyse your organisational structure (reporting packs can also be created to share with stakeholders). Pricing information is available once a demo has been booked.
Visier People. This platform has a broad service offering and is aimed at mid-market and enterprise clients. It is a comprehensive tool that aims to power data-driven decision-making by providing insight across a vast range of organisational metrics.
It allows you to staff HR to meet your business needs, plan your future workforce across departments, manage your recruitment pipeline, reduce high performer exit rates, measure the impact training has on productivity, manage and reduce overtime and achieve your diversity goals. Again, pricing is available once a demo has been booked.
Lattice. As well as tracking your people analytics, allowing for better performance management and planning for growth & development, Lattice also enables individual employees to view their own profiles and see how they are contributing to the organisation as a whole.
The platform, which is best suited to medium to large enterprises, has three analytics plans: ‘Performance’, ‘Performance & Engagement’ and ‘Enterprise’. Price is calculated based on the size and requirements of the company.
Sisense. Sisense builds custom analytic experiences suitable for assisting a wide range of organisations leverage their competitive advantage. It has two platforms. The first, Sisense Fusion Analytics, merges business data and strategy. It also allows you to augment your insights using predictive analytics, AI and machine learning.
The second option is Sisense Fusion Embed which, as suggested by its name, is an embedded analytics platform. It enables you to fuse analytics with any ecosystem and to scale securely.
What Analytics Should You Measure Via a People Analytics Platform?
Analytics that may be useful to track, measure and analyse using people analytics tools include:
Cost per hire – The overall cost of hiring new talent into a vacant or new position within your organisation.
Time to hire – The time taken to hire an individual suitable for a role, from job posting to candidate acceptance of a job offer.
Employee engagement/job satisfaction – It is important to monitor employee satisfaction and levels of engagement to ensure your company processes and culture are creating a productive and positive working environment. Data on satisfaction can help you to ensure employees are being given the right responsibilities, are supported correctly and are receiving adequate opportunities to develop.
Employee turnover – Your rate of staff turnover. A high turnover, particularly within employees who have been in position under a year, can indicate problems within your hiring process, work environment or company culture.
Employee tenure – The length of time employees are remaining at the company. A low average employee tenure can indicate employee dissatisfaction or lack of progression and/or learning and development opportunities.
Absence rate – Tracking your absence rate allows you to keep tabs on the cost of sick days to your business. Trends can also indicate employee dissatisfaction.
Annual leave – Gathering data on annual leave allows you to see which employees are taking their holiday and who may need encouragement to take a well-earned break. It also allows you to see how leave impacts productivity.
Pay – Tracking pay packages allows you to see how pay is structured across your organisation and ensure it aligns according to experience and responsibility. It also enables you to monitor your gender pay gap, so you can actively seek to reduce it. To retain talent, pay across all organisational levels should be benchmarked against other businesses of a similar size and function within your sector.
Diversity – A diverse workplace leads to greater creativity and innovation. Tracking your diversity metrics is key to ensuring your business is improving its diversity in terms of gender, ethnicity, social background, educational background and skills sets.
Performance goals – It is beneficial to track the performance goals met by employees, as this gives insight into whether the goals being set are realistic and/or whether further employee support or targeted training and development is needed.
How to Implement People Analytics
To successfully implement people analytics within your HR department, consider the following steps:
Identify the data that matters to you. Set KPIs that match your business goals. Consider your workplace and the HR metrics that are of the highest priority to your success – whether tracking employee turnover or ensuring an increase in hiring diversity.
Explore the analytics platforms available. Research people analytics tools and platforms, trialling and experimenting with different products. The tools allow you to book demos, so you can test out the software and get a sense of how well it would serve your business needs.
Create an action plan. Form a plan outlining the data you will collect, your business goals and how you will use the data to inform operations in order to reach them. Having an outline of direction and action options helps keep focus within your HR department, and allows stakeholders to have foresight of, and time to understand, any future changes to working practice.
Ensure legal compliance. When gathering and storing data, it is crucial to maintain compliance and have confidence in your data security – so the risk of data exposure is reduced.
Review the data. Analytics platforms need to be actively and regularly engaged with in order to be beneficial. View, analyse and consider the implications of the data you have collected.
Sense check the information. While collected and aggregated automatically via your chosen digital platform, people analytics data still needs minds to turn the data into productive action. You will need to assess the data quality, approach it within context and critically decide how it should inform action.
Take informed, data-driven action. Once you have gained the insights from your data, initiate the relevant action to improve your talent acquisition process, performance management, employee turnover, workforce planning and/or learning and development provisions. Your people analytics should not be viewed in isolation but be used to inform wider strategy.