Spencer Stuart asked top talent leaders from three renowned companies about the growing importance of data in human resources. Their responses provide a road map to the function’s future. Let’s take a closer look.
January 16, 2018 – Big data is rewriting the script for how companies around the world do business. The market for big data and business analytics is expected to grow to $203 billion in the next three years. For human resources, the implications include better and more efficient talent management processes, greater insight into whether a candidate will be successful in a new role and a host of other benefits.
Spencer Stuart recently discussed the promise – and potential pitfalls – of the growing role of data in the human resources function with Ross Pollack, executive vice president and chief human resources officer (CHRO) of Lionsgate, Jim O’Gorman, senior vice president of talent and organization at Hulu, and Rick Merritt, senior vice president and CHRO of OSI Systems.
Here are Spencer Stuart’s top five takeaways from those conversations:
1. Success requires a data-ready culture.
Many organizations, even those that are further along in their digital journeys, still have a way to go to fully integrate more sophisticated data analysis into decision-making and also implement the “holy grail” of predictive analytics, said the firm. The good news is that a number of tools are available to help organizations get there. Making the significant leap from relying on built-in practices and assumptions to deploying more data-driven analysis, however, will require that organizational cultures support such a transition.
If new data, for example, shows that long-held perceptions are false, is the organization open and flexible enough to change? Fortunately, Hulu was: “Our biggest win with data has been in talent acquisition,” Mr. O’Gorman told Spencer Stuart. “Through data we were able to challenge long-held recruitment paradigms for sources of high-performing tech talent. We used data to illustrate that certain pedigreed universities we had historically been hiring from were not consistently delivering the right type of employee for us. The data helped us determine the right universities to partner with.”
2. To adopt data-driven decision-making, effective HR teams need to change how they think about recruiting inside the function.
Embracing the full power of data and analytics often requires organizations to shift their perceptions of what the ideal HR professional looks like, said the search firm. The function, for instance, will benefit from hiring leaders who bring a breadth of experience beyond HR, and can borrow from training found in other functions. Applying this theory as part of its own transformation mission, Hulu brought on analysts with backgrounds in finance, technology and data into its HR organization. Their mission, Hulu told Spencer Stuart, is to help institute data-driven decision-making and created a curriculum enabling the team to approach key decisions in new ways.
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