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Today, we read article after article about “people analytics” teams identifying the best criteria for hiring and the factors that drive retention and high performance.
In 2015, it is becoming imperative for HR teams to invest in talent analytics. This does not mean buying a new software package and building more reports: It means bringing together the reporting and analytics teams in recruiting, compensation, engagement, learning and leadership, and developing a plan to evaluate your workforce from a holistic perspective. Companies spend up to two-thirds of their budgets on people—yet many have not invested the money and time to clean up, rationalize and combine data about those people to help make better decisions.
Bersin by Deloitte research shows that it typically takes one to two years for a company to build a talent analytics team (High-Impact Talent Acquisition: Key Findings and Maturity Model report, September 2014). But if you don’t start, you’ll never get there. This level of investment initially feels like a big expense, but in a very short time the analytics team may pay for itself.
When you put a program together to collect people data all in one place, you can immediately focus on urgent business issues. How do we get a higher quality of hire? How do we improve our batting average for high-performing salespeople? What are the characteristics of our best customer service representatives? What training program is delivering the highest return on investment in leadership? Why are certain groups of employees leaving at an alarming rate? The answers could be worth millions of dollars.
In 2015, there will be a flood of new tools, consultants and case studies on talent and HR analytics. Be careful not to jump at technology just because it seems like the trendy thing to do. Rather, focus on building your team, bringing people together and developing a multiyear plan to invest in this area. The payoff will likely be huge. If your competitors do it first, you may suddenly find yourself losing critical hires or great employees and not even know why
Josh Bersin is the principal and founder of Bersin by Deloitte, a research and advisory consulting firm in enterprise learning and talent management.
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