Analyzing HR Data

Document created by 1050210 on Nov 13, 2014
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Published Date: 07/14/2014


Reneé Watkins

By Reneé Watkins


With so many automated and integrated systems designed to collect, organize and store hard data associated with candidates and current employees, companies have more information at their fingertips than ever before to assist with hiring decisions and predicting employment outcomes.


Still, the data available is only useful if it can be extracted, analyzed and reported on in a meaningful format. A recent survey by SilkRoad, a leading HR software solutions provider, shows 65 percent of HR professionals feel one of their biggest problems is a lack of meaningful analysis of critical data.


Employers who suffer from this problem need to consider either hiring a “big data” analyst for their HR department, or outsourcing the analysis and reporting on this data to a firm that specializes in “big data” mining and analysis. “Big data” is any collection of large and complex data that is difficult to process using traditional data management tools or standard processing applications. A 2014 Towers Watson survey found HR data analysis is currently one of the top three HR technology expenditures.


Analysts can often be found as IT professionals with a background in statistics and mathematics. Their education and experience enables them to understand the integration of data, the interpretation of findings and the comparison of results to develop trending models. Here are some tips for getting the right person on board:


Involve Corporate Leadership  – explain how HR will use a big data scientist to develop better ways to identify top candidates, measure engagement and predict employment outcomes. Share the impact on the bottom line of improving the success of the hiring process. Twenty-seven percent of employers responding to a 2013 CareerBuilder survey indicated a bad hire cost them more than $50,000.


Seek Technical Talent  – look for professionals with a combined background in computer science, mathematics and statistics. Big data professionals are naturally curious to learn something new and gain a clearer understanding about how to predict human behavior with data. Make sure the soft skills are present as well, so your analyst can articulate their findings to upper management.


Does your company already have a collection of “big data” needing analysis? If not, is there a “big data” initiative underway to gather this information? If so, does the initiative already include hiring an analyst within the HR organization?