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I was thinking about how much information each of us produces every day, just by using the internet, after running my name through Google and Bing, as I do every morning. As someone who is involved in optimizing brand’s hiring funnels, and creating tools that help each and every company hire that perfect employee faster, having that information about incoming candidates has proven invaluable. Every organization could benefit from understanding their own staff, as well as their candidates, better.

It seems like at least once a week, however, I speak to an executive that assume that HCM analytics are out of reach or not worth the investment. It bothers me on a deep level that these companies are missing out on the benefits of this technology, and it inspired me to help make it more accessible.

Over the weekend, I decided to write out a sort of introductory guide for HCM software that utilizes big data and analytics – here’s the fruit of my labors:

Start With Specific Goals

HCM software can make your HR department and managers exponentially more effective at what they do, but only if used as intended. As with any big data tool, it’s important to recognize that just because a data point can be collected, doesn’t mean it should be. Hoarding every piece of information that each person generates will create a chaotic and meaningless array of numbers, with action items being excessively difficult to create.

 

The way to avoid this “data hoarding” is to make sure to decide upon a set of specific company goals related to your HCM software, before you invest in the actual tool. Some common goals to consider:

    • Increase productivity. By creating a data-driven workplace, your employees will be able to easily track their progress, understand their weak points and celebrate their strengths.
    • Reduce employee turnover. As your teams learn more about their skills and the support that’s available to them improves, lateral moves, promotions and trainings can be administered as earned and as needed – from interns who should be hired to engineers who need retraining on hardware.

 

  • Understand market forces as they happen. Keeping up to date on the market forces affecting your hiring pools is critical, especially if your company plays in a highly competitive industry.

 

 

As with any SaaS purchase, it’s critical that your company knows what it’s trying to accomplish before implementing the solution.

Look For The Right User Experience

Tools are only useful if they’re actually used – this is a principle that’s so simple it’s often forgotten. However, when you’re looking at investing in a new piece of software, it’s one of the most important factors.

The HR department has never been thought of as data driven and tech savvy – but they’ll soon need to be. When you pick out the tools for them to make the change, however, make sure to pick a user experience that will help them learn how to be more effective, instead of intimidate or frustrate them into mutiny. Think back to how your company introduced data tools to other departments for the first time – especially marketing, which made a huge shift in the past decade from being all about emotions to being all about metrics.

SuccessFactors was built with the goal of not only creating a robust, highly effective product, but also an experience that will welcome users of all abilities and preferences.

You know that the best software is the one that your employees will use to its full potential – that’s why SAP paired the easiest user interface with the largest assortment of tools.

I hope this guide has helped demystify HCM software, and the overall experience of adding a layer of data analytics to an experience that has, until recently, been driven by instinct. The goal with adding data analytics is always to improve the human experience and human channels by reducing errors. If you have the power to make your employees happier and more successful, why would you shy away from the opportunity?

 

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