Well yeah, it’s hard to grow up and coming of age is always a confusing phase in life. Come to think of it, HR is just now coming of age and so is Business Analytics, and thus quite often when I listen to people talk about HR Analytics, it is more like getting into a relationship not knowing what you want out of it.
In the first decade of the millennium, it was very common to hear leaders say that HR has to show its relevance to the business. “Move ahead from just being a cost center to becoming a profit center” was a common line because that is what HR leaders thought differentiated them from the more dominant functions in the organization. But what could HR leaders do? Their teams were busy managing all the paperwork and processes that come along with managing a workforce in an environment constantly scrutinized by labor departments. Thankfully, HR Technology came to their rescue and helped them free up their mind from a lot of day-to-day operational hassles. It also helped them show monetary benefits at times, but the question still remained as to what was the value they brought. As HR looked at itself through the Johari Window, it realized that the systems it bought were capturing a lot of data and it also saw that many functions had made great use of the data to change the way they worked.
As other functions started using numbers to project their accomplishments, HR too felt the need to be able to show numbers. It looked into the data repository of the systems it implemented, created data warehouses and implemented tools to pull out the numbers that showcased the efforts that they had put in. Other functions have now started driving their operations on the basis of the numbers they project. With the evolving role of HR as a custodian of employee interests and an adviser to business on how they can best leverage their talent pool to achieve their goals, HR needs to stop looking at analytics only as a tool for showcasing the value that HR brings to the business; rather it should focus on using analytics as a tool to evaluate and increase the value that HR brings to the business. What's more, there are more than a handful of organizations that are doing this!
The complete blog post by Tanuj Poddar is published here.