When Kyle Roberts, chief people officer at Even Financial, and her colleagues embarked on a search for a customizable workforce management system to improve talent and organizational decisions, it was the company's most important HR data management initiative to date.
Founded in 2014, Even Financial is a New York City-based financial technology company that provides application programming interfaces for financial services firms. The company's customers include American Express, Goldman Sachs and SoFi.
Roberts said the company has strong talent but needed better internal tools to drive performance, identify and address competency gaps, and ensure competitive compensation practices.
"Even's collective leadership team did not have rich, comprehensive and real-time visibility into the organization or their departments," Roberts said. The organization's management metrics were maintained on Google slides and Excel spreadsheets, which resulted in unnecessary manual work, limited visibility and siloed resource planning efforts that didn't tie to a budget.
HR executives had trouble visualizing on the slide decks how workforce changes and incremental resources, over the course of time, would impact workflows, payroll costs and operating expenses.
"We could not easily see how, in real time, moving employees from one department to another would impact workflows and work spend and how that would impact our need for training and communication. We also didn't know where that would leave us in terms of skills gaps," she said.
They needed to be able to visualize the company's workforce and project over six months to a year what the workforce should look like, based on where company executives knew the business was going and what skills they needed to support the business.
Roberts began looking at HR analytics tools that could provide insights to help the company make better business decisions. She wanted user-friendly features and software that could be customized to the company's business needs.
After reviewing tools from Pingboard and Airtable, Roberts settled on ChartHop's organizational management platform. Since implementing the system a year ago, Roberts has centralized data by integrating ChartHop with the company's HRIS, performance management system, equity management system and applicant tracking system.
"We now have a system in place that enables Even's leadership and hiring managers to propose workforce scenarios based on the goals they are specifically looking to achieve quarter over quarter and year over year, and in turn enabling me and the finance team the ability to review the impact of those scenarios, approve them and incorporate them into the operating model," Roberts said.
HR Analytics in Use
Robert Stokes, faculty member and founding program director of the master's program in human resources analytics and management at American University in Washington, D.C., said workforce planning technology has advanced to the point where HR managers are in a better position to make more strategic, data-based decisions.
"We can better predict which employees are at risk of leaving, which employees do we need to develop further, and which workers we may be losing because of pay inequities based on gender or race. Analytics allows you to recognize these critical indicators on which you as an employer need to take action," Stokes said.
HR also can use data analytics to improve engagement with employees.
"HR managers can ask themselves: 'Are we making an effort to see that employees are satisfied with their work? Do workers feel that they are getting feedback on their performance? And, do we have them on a career path leading them to their career goals and the organization's success?' " Stokes said.
By giving employees visibility into their job performance and clear ownership of their responsibilities, Roberts said accountability has increased and so has trust.
"[The technology] has helped my team create a self-service model with an increase in transparency at all levels of the organization, which is one of our core values," she said. "This transparency has improved workflows and performance, has empowered an ownership mentality and has increased trust across the organization."
Nicole Lewis is a freelance journalist based in Miami.