The long-standing stereotype of the HR professional has been that he or she is more a ‘people person’ than a ‘numbers person,’ one who shies away from hard data, science and math. While this is somewhat understandable given that ‘human’ is embedded within the very job title itself, it is by long stretches an unfair characterization when looking at the modern HR pro. In particular, today’s talent acquisition space is filled to the gills with some very progressive, very numbers-centric practitioners. And as Josh Bersin wrote about this week, the geeks have arrived to assist these progressive professionals that are shaping the future of HR and recruiting.

A few months ago, Jibe hosted a customer advisory council meeting that focused strictly on the use of data and analytics. The discussion that occurred amongst more than a dozen of most critical thinkers and savvy professionals from across the recruitment landscape was fascinating. What we heard most certainly does not match the stereotype. These professionals all embrace and welcome the dawning age of data-driven recruitment. They are excited about the possibilities the advent of analytics presents. They are not running away from this movement, they are instead leading the charge.

As Josh points out in his article, it is most certainly still early days for analytics in HR and recruiting. But there is a marked difference in the “discussion” around the topic that dominated only a few short years ago, with companies now putting data into action to drive more strategic and efficient talent acquisition practice and people management.

“After years of talking about the opportunity to apply data to people decisions, companies are now stepping up and making the investment. And more exciting than that, the serious math and data people are flocking to HR.

Today, while the topic is hot, HR teams are just starting to get good at analytics. The problem has not been the concept, but rather the focus. We spent far too much time trying to measure HR and L&D spending, and figure out which HR programs were adding value. While that seems interesting to HR managers, typically business people just don’t care. What they want is information that helps them run the company better: “Get me the right people into the job, make them productive and happy, and get them to help us attract more customers and drive more revenue. I don’t care if your L&D program has a 200% ROI or not.”

This is what’s changed. The time has come where the notion that HR as a cost center is being dispelled. Now, thanks to the application of analytics and hard data, the potential of HR and recruitment to contribute to the overall bottom line is being brought to light, as Janine Milne rightly points out in her piece on Diginomica this week.

These are indeed exciting times to be on the front lines of the data revolution sweeping across the global HR landscape. In 2015, the oft-discussed potential benefits of data and analytics in HR will begin to be realized. One of our missions here at Jibe this year is to help push this movement forward by sharing some of the truly ambitious and effective data-centric projects our customers (and others) are putting into practice every day. Because the more knowledge sharing that takes place, the bigger the benefit to the entire community. So stay tuned for much, much more in the weeks and months to come.

We’re at the beginning of an awesome journey, one where our inner-geek will emerge as leaders and trailblazers.

It’s going to be fun.

Views: 216

Comment by Matt Charney on February 4, 2015 at 3:10am

It's almost as good as having a numerical nerdgasm.


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