Putting Big Data to work now! - From eQuest's Floating Point Blog

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No one could argue that being proactive and smarter about what you do is a bad strategy. Big Data enables proactive, evidence-based decision-making throughout the enterprise—and yet, HR continues to …

No one could argue that being proactive and smarter about what you do is a bad strategy. Big Data enables proactive, evidence-based decision-making throughout the enterprise—and yet, HR continues to struggle with adopting this approach. HR should be lining up to take advantage of the insights Big Data analysis offers, but that hasn’t happened - just yet.

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  • 1. Putting Big Data to Work;Three Ways HR Can UseBig Data – Now!No one could argue that being proactive and smarter about what you do is a badstrategy. Big Data enables proactive, evidence-based decision-making throughoutthe enterprise—and yet,HRcontinues to struggle with adopting this approach. HRshould be lining up to take advantage of the insights Big Data analysis offers, butthat hasn’t happened - just yet.Still, the pressure is on for HR to step up to the plate and not only make decisionsthat align with business goals but to actually become part of the business’s advisoryand planning process. In fact, PwC’s most recent CEO study revealed that 79% ofCEO’s have a CHRO or equivalent as one of their direct reports. The intentionbehind this is to integrate HR with business planning at the highest levels within thecompany.This is what HR has wanted for decades. It is clear that HR has earned aposition in the C-Suite.The skills and successes that enabled HR to achieve thismilestone, though, are quite different from what it will take to maintain this statusand continue the advancement of the profession. Participating in running abusiness will require HR to become proficient and comfortable in taking a “data-centric” approach in making decisions and giving recommendations.While Big Data is an additional layer of complexity, its power to reveal insights thatdrive efficiencies and forecast business outcomes is exactly the type of analytics thatHR must adopt. Big Data gives HR the ability to draw a direct connection betweenits activities and key business outcomes.Innovation and business results are fueled by the talent within a business. Talentconstraints are the leading cause of businesses not meeting their strategicobjectives. In fact, the Boston Consulting Group recently concluded that the TalentAcquisition function has the highest business impact of any of the HR functions onthe success of running a business. A data-driven Talent Acquisition team can drivelasting competitive advantage for their businesses by ensuring that its talent
  • 2. acquisition activities are strategically aligned to support two critical businesssuccess measures – revenue growth and profitability.There are always questions, fears and objections when a new capability arrives. Willit deliver on its promise? What exactly is it promising? Will I be held accountable if itfails? Should I just ignore it and hope it goes away? Now that the technologies existto gather information and glean insights, Big Data isn’t going away. It’s not a fad thatcan be ignored until the hype blows over; it’s a capability that can radically impactyour business’s ability to capitalize on real-time market intelligence and achieve itsgoals. Dr. Jac Fitz-enz, the “father of HR metrics and analysis,” was recently quotedas saying, “Without talent analytics, talent management won’t be part of anysignificant business discussions.”Embracing Big Data does not have to be an “all or nothing proposition, though. Infact, the opposite approach is what I would advise. The best approach is to startworking with Big Data in a low-risk, cost-effective manner that also enables you toquickly realize the value of these efforts.Talent Acquisition is the prime function within HR to begin this Big Data work. Bylearning how to apply these Big Data insights, HR can ensure its role in “businessdiscussions” and fulfill its critical role building competitive advantage throughpeople. Building robust talent pipelinesare essential to the recruiting process andonline recruiting plays a significant role in building those pipelines. Effective onlinerecruiting is much more than just tracking views and clicks. This is why dataanalysis applied to developing online recruitment sourcing strategies andmeasuring their effectiveness is an ideal place to start.With this in mind, here are three practical ways to start puttingBig Data to worknow: 1. Proactively build a sourcing strategy: Big Data analysis can tell you in advance which job boards will provide the best results for your particular recruitment marketing efforts. This same analysis can provide the insight into what kind of volume you can anticipate in your talent pipeline and how long it could take to build that candidate pipeline—all with a high degree of accuracy. The days of posting to every possible job board, waiting and praying for the desired result,and then measuring the results afterward are gone. Big Data derived insight gives Talent Acquisition professionals the ability to be proactive, anticipate the duration of their efforts, and to spend “smarter” based on narrow-casting their marketing efforts. 2. Understand your recruitment marketing effectiveness: As noted above, the forecast provides the baseline for performance expectations. Knowing in advance what to expect from your recruitment marketing efforts provides a benchmark to determine how effective those efforts are. Measuring in real-time how close actual performance either validates everything is on track
  • 3. or enables the team to rectify the issues to keep the recruiting cycle on track. It is critical that Talent Acquisition ensures the investment in marketing open positions is producing the right results. 3. Compare your recruitment marketing effectiveness against your talent competition: Hyperbole aside, it is clear that recruiting is a competitive activity. In the end, candidates are only able to take one job. Employers seeking the same talent are at “war” with each other – both to win at recruiting, but more importantly in the marketplace. Winning requires being in front of the best candidates faster than the competition. If your talent pipeline takes longer to build, and has fewer candidates than the competition, then your selecting for a less desirable pool. Big Data can provide this type of critical insight. Realizing this in real-time is a powerful combination that allows a team to rapidly work mitigating any issues.Talent is the fuel that drives an organization and enables innovation. Talentacquisition, then, is a great place for HR to begin using Big Data insights. Theseinsights enable employers to spend smarter and more quickly find candidates andfill positions. HR is empowered to become proactive and strategic as it supplies theorganization with the workforce needed to achieve business goals. It’s yet anotherstep away from the historically transactional nature of HR and a step into a trulystrategic partnership role. That’s what Big Data can do, and that’s why you should beusing it now.