Chances are, you’ve already heard the term “people analytics” somewhere before. Whether it was at a conference, reading an HR blog, or having a conversation with peers, people analytics has become the latest buzzword in the business world. But people analytics is only one aspect of the many different ways analytics are being used today. At FurstPerson, we not only account for people analytics, but also a concept called “workforce analytics” that, when used with people analytics, can help drive recruiting and improve the hiring process.
What is “people analytics”?
Part of the frustration with understanding people analytics is that the terminology can change quite a bit. You may hear “people analytics”, “talent analytics”, “HR analytics”, or something else being used while referring to the same concept. At FurstPerson, we consider people analytics to be similar to, if not the same as, something called “employee lifecycle analytics.” Both these terms are defined as the data collected from an individual from the beginning of their hiring process until their last day of employment, reapplied to the company’s personnel and hiring process to find better applicants, make smarter hiring decisions, and increase employee performance and retention.
What is “workforce analytics”?
While people analytics focuses on the personnel aspect, workforce analytics focuses on the workforce on a slightly larger scale. FurstPerson defines workforce analytics as a technology driven approach to evaluating talent assessments. In workforce analytics, data is collected in large and moderate sized databases and can be used to help refine and improve assessments that potential candidates for employment and current employees have to take. Workforce analytics can be measured in a number of ways – whether it be company specific measurements, measurements across an entire industry, an examination of a group of jobs, or something else, the data applied to analytics is dynamic.
What’s the difference between workforce and people analytics?
People and workforce analytics may seem similar, but are actually two different concepts working in conjunction with each other. People analytics focuses on analytics applied to personnel and hires, whereas workforce analytics focuses more on the assessments and tools used to drive those decisions.
So, say you have a candidate come in for a job interview. If you’re using a set of questions that are decided by data studied from your employees and other candidates, that’s workforce analytics. When you use the answers given by the candidate and compare them to other answers from successful candidates turned employees, that’s people analytics. One drives the tools for candidates and employees, the other is driven by employees and candidates. Using the two concepts in harmony with each other is a recipe for success.
What are some of the challenges of these analytics?
According to a report from Bersin by Deloitte, the biggest obstacles with analytics comes from understanding and implementing strategies to leverage this data. Companies recognize the importance of using people analytics, but 94% of respondents to Bersin’s surveys say that they’re only weak to adequate when it comes to using HR data to drive business performance.
Additionally, Bersin noted that the process is long. Buying software to help drive data collection is merely the first step in a long process. According to Bersin, “companies with leading capabilities in HR and analytics have been building these capabilities for three years or more,” which is daunting in the short term. Knowing where to start collecting data, how to collect it, and how to measure it are all other issues that companies will face as they begin implementing analytics into their business strategies.
Where can I learn more?
Click hear to read FurstPerson's overview of predictive analytics, and continue to check the FurstPerson blog for more articles in the future about the power and importance of people and workforce analytics. You can also download FurstPerson's e-book about implimenting a pre-hire assessment process below.