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How Big Data Can Transform Talent Management

  • Aileen Scott 

The world is facing a reskilling emergency. World Economic Forum highlights that over 54% of people will need to reskill and upskill themselves in the next 3 years.

Technological advances are upending how work is done.

As the world of work changes, the role of the human resource department will no longer be limited to hiring and firing. HRs will need to be better at planning training, acquisition, and retention strategies for their organizations. And this is where Big Data steps in.

Big Data in HR

Big Data is about the 4V’s – Volume, Velocity, Verity, and Versatility. The newly added fifth V being Value.

Average talent management and human resource department produce a huge chunk of data on everyday basis.

  • Data from recruitment,
  • Career progression data,
  • Training data,
  • Data from employee absenteeism,
  • Performance of individuals,
  • Competency of profiles in the org. and more.

For organizations, HRs are nothing short of a goldmine of ‘people data’. In 2018, the Economic Intelligence Unit found that,

More than 82% of organizations plan to begin or increase the use of Big Data in HR. (And the numbers have gone up drastically after 2020).  

Going forward, intelligent organizations and talent management professionals will drive their operations and inform their decisions through data.

How Big Data Can Transform Talent Management

Four Applications of Big Data in HR

Value 1: Minimize the costs associated with a bad hire.

A bad hire is a costly mistake for HR professionals and the organization.

It nullifies HRs effort of recruiting and onboarding a new staff member; training or handholding time spent by the team they join, and not to mention the costs of finding their replacement and impact on operations.

Big Data can help HRs in minimizing the bad hires they make, and the costs that come with a bad hire.

HR managers are taking to big data analytics to choose the right candidate. Data is being used to match the company’s and teams’ requirements with that of the candidates.

As the war for talent becomes stiffer, it’s imperative for talent managers to make the right decisions during recruitment and optimize their efforts.

Value 2: Up your organization’s rate of employee retention.

Retaining old staff is always preferred over hiring new ones on a regular basis. This, however, necessitates for the HR managers to put in place the right training modules, and skills assessment checks from time to time.

Big data analytics can help HRs make the best use of their hires by retaining them for long and helping organization reinvent their staff as per the needs of the time.

This will also enable HRs to leverage the benefits of internal mobility.

Big Data can help HRs to spot the employees:

  • Who is likely to walk out;
  • Who may need more training; and
  • Who can be transferred to other departments based on other skills; among other things?

And make it easy for talent managers to take appropriate action. They can choose to find and retain high-value employees by offering them challenging roles or offering other incentives.

Value 3: Predict employees’ performance even before you hire them.

This wasn’t possible before. Big Data makes it possible for HR professionals to forecast how an employee will perform even before they hire her.

They can do that by determining if a prospective hire would fit into the company culture and give satisfactory output. 

It’s not always easy to manually compare a person’s attributes and work performance with your top performers. Gut mostly informs these decisions. Analytics removes the ambiguity from the equation and uses the profile of your high performers to scan the right target profiles for your company.

Many platforms already use this model to offer freelancing help to companies in their assignments. Big data can make strong and nearly accurate predictions for you. HRs may use this data for a variety of purposes – evaluating layoffs, promotions, and optimizing recruitment across the profiles in a company.

Value 4: Provide better targeted-benefit packages.

Many human resource departments don’t realize the importance of extra benefits for people. Surveys, time and again, have revealed their role in incentivizing people to stay on.

Big Data can help them gather information about their staff and prospective candidates and plan better targeted extra benefits for them. This can offer a great way to attract and retain your people. 

Value 5: Combat legal and ethical risks associated with data.

Data privacy is a huge issue for large organizations and institutions – from both a legal and ethical standpoint. This is one area where the value of Big Data is improved and legalized. HR managers must step up their efforts in ensuring the privacy of data early on. The fears around misuse of information provided in the public, and even by the employers are rising. HR departments can assuage these by putting in place the checks and the right IT infrastructure. 

It is worth exploring the advantages of Big Data for your organization. According to a survey by Gartner, about 23% of the companies are already piloting the use case of Big Data and AI in HR. Are you one of them?