According to Bersin by Deloitte’s High-Impact People Analytics study, which was published in November 2017, 69 per cent of large organisations, i.e., 10,000+ employees, now have a people analytics team. Are you good with people? Do you have an eye for detail but also possess a keen understanding of the bigger picture? Do you also love working with data and want to eventually develop a career in HR consultancy, leadership and analytics? Then perhaps a stroll down this HR career path is for you!
Check out Deloitte's High-Impact People Analytics study here.
Fundamentally, a Human Resources Manager develops a company's culture, maintains benefits and payroll, and recruit new hires. The HR manager is a pivotal position for any corporation, in every industry. An HR career can offer many exciting choices. One of these is the HR Analyst. With Data Analytics and AI becoming all the rage, careers in HR too are adapting to using and working with big data. So what does all this mean and how does it impact your dreams for a career in HR? That’s what we discuss in this article.
Careers In Human Resources Analytics
If you find the field of human resources to be interesting and want to learn more about its scientific elements, human resources analytics could be the career choice for you. One of the most common careers within the field of human resources analytics is that of a human resource analyst. This position involves the completion of human resources administrative work such as:
- Administers assigned functions, including but not limited, to compensation studies, recruitment, benefits administration, and employment analysis
- Collects and analyzes information
- Tracks developments and trends in specific functional areas
- Performs research, conducts studies, and prepares reports
- Recommends, reviews, and interprets policies
- Participates in working councils, committees, and groups
- Ensures compliance with established regulations and policies
It is a growing field and an HR professional with 5-6 years of experience can command a compensation package in the range 20 to 25 lacs per annum.
What is HR Analytics?
If you do a detailed examination of HR function in any organisation, the requirements from HR by the Line and CEO primarily are: people availability, people development, and people's information (this information will be provided through talent analytics in a structured and analytical form) to help management in decision making. In other words, talent analytics is slowly becoming an important HR sub-function in the times ahead.
HR analytics as a career is an emerging option within the HR domain in large organisations. It broadly tells us how we attract, recruit, engage, train and retain our talent has a major impact on how our businesses perform. But how well do we truly understand the factors that influence HR decisions? Do you know how much statistical analysis is applied to recruitment, staff development and talent retention strategies?
The truth is that HR data is everywhere. The difficulty is collating it, integrating it and analysing it. For years, companies have collected employee demographics, educational history, performance data and training records. And as social media infiltrates through businesses as an effective way to communicate corporate culture and encourage engagement, the amount of potential data collection points is growing.
HR analytics, also called talent analytics, is the application of considerable data mining and business analytics techniques to human resources data. The goal of human resources analytics is to provide an organisation with insights for effectively managing employees so that business goals can be reached quickly and efficiently. The challenge of human resources analytics is to identify what data should be captured and how to use the data to model and predict capabilities so the organization gets maximum return on investment on its human capital.
HR analytics does not only deal with gathering data on employee efficiency. Instead, it aims to provide insight into each process by gathering data and then using it to make relevant decisions about how to improve the processes.
So how can companies use HR data analytics to make strategic personnel decisions? First, they’ll need software, which isn’t hard to find. Huge vendors such as Oracle, IBM and SAP compete with many smaller vendors to deliver the best HR analytics software as a service in the market.
But buying only HR analytics software won’t help at all if nobody in HR knows how to mine and interpret data. This is where an HR Analyst comes in.
Analytics is also used in HR to prepare cost and investment in the talent pool for organisations. Decisions are made about the cost per hire, cost per participation in training, revenue and expense per employee, etc. It provides an opportunity for defining a strategy for retention and a hiring plan. It can also give a complete picture of the organizational headcount based on demographics – age, gender, geographical, departmental, qualifications etc.
You may also be interested in reading - How To Become A Brand Manager
So, what kind of HR Analyst careers can one aspire to?
As mentioned before as well, though there are currently many analytics options in HR, a few are really becoming popular these days. They are:
Talent analytics: This is more qualitative and is basically for processes from talent management like personnel development, recruitment, succession planning, retention etc. It can help organizations to better analyze turnover, identifying top performers, identifying gaps and developing the proper training for them. It can also find out reasons for attrition and provide options to take strategic decisions for retention as well.
Manpower analytics: This is another common domain which is more quantitative; it helps leaders develop recruiting methods and make specific hiring decisions, optimizing organization structure, identifying quantifying factors for job satisfaction; determining the need of new departments and positions. It also helps the organization to identify, motivate and prepare its future leaders, align and motivate the workforce and continuously improve the way of work.
Manpower Analytics and Planning is the most common systematic identification and analysis of what an organization is going to need in terms of size, type, experience, knowledge, skills and quality of workforce for ensuring that the organization has suitable access to talent to ensure future business success.
Predictive Analytics: This is based on statistics and data and becoming a very attractive career option. It helps leaders to make more strategic decisions based on facts. Data are generally presented with graphic, statistical reports and dashboards which are easy for leaders to understand. It offers leaders the ability to provide solutions to some complex decision-making processes and helps them in determining critical situations like tackling pay gaps, set of workers who are always at risk of resigning, understanding the psychographics (personality, interests, work styles etc.) of employees, behavioural qualities of applicants and much more.
What skills do you need for a career in HR Analytics?
Commercially focused HR MI and Data Analysts have been in short supply and high demand recently, as employers recognize the results these staff can bring to the bottom line. Employers looking to hire an MI, Data or HR Analyst will typically value technical expertise more so than generalist experience.
To be successful in the role you will need to be extremely comfortable with HR systems as well as managing and reporting on large volumes of data, particularly in Excel and Access. Additionally, employers look for strong communicators, comfortable with not only analytics but being able to present these to a range of stakeholders to guide business-critical decisions.
Top Three Attributes To Get Into An HR Analytics Role
Analytical mindset - You should be naturally analytical in order to manipulate and translate a large volume of data to meaningful solutions.
Systems analysis - You will need to be able to quickly understand how databases, systems and processes work, always seeking to improve efficiencies as well as making the most of the information available.
Attention to detail - As an Analyst, it’s vital that you’re able to not only assess high-level trends but identify the smaller issues which can potentially make a large commercial impact on the business.
Top Three Technical Skills Needed To Become An HR Analyst
1. MI & Data management - Strong operational capabilities across the Microsoft office suite and machine learning applications are a must. Database experience can include Excel, Access and Visio. SQL experience can also be particularly sought after in roles where a high volume of data manipulation and analysis is involved.
2. Systems Management - Understanding of how to navigate and maximize the use of HR systems is crucial.
3. Qualifications - Employers will want to know that you have strong technical capabilities to match your commercial mindset. For landing a job in HR Analytics, holding a degree associated with HR, Business or Analysis is crucial.
How do you become an HR Analyst?
The easiest way towards an HR analytics career path after an MBA involves working in an HR Generalist role and developing a career strength in talent management, payrolls, or any varied HR functions. After this, you can take a certification or a course on HR Information Systems, machine learning and data management online.
Another option available to you is to study big data analytics and focus on learning R or Python, to develop your coding and machine learning skills.
Whatever path you may employ, it’s important to be savvy with HR functions as well as tech aspects of machine learning. Of course, coding is not a necessary skill if you wish to become an HR Analyst; you can always work in a consultant capacity. But knowing how data systems work is an added benefit.
Wishing you all the best in your HR career!
You may also be interested in reading - All You Need To Know About A Career In Management Consulting