Talent Analytics - Build an Effective System | dbrownconsulting

Talent Analytics: How to Track, Measure and Make Sense of Your Data 

It’s no secret: analytics are in, and they’re valued. According to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report, 85% of respondents say that talent analytics are one of the most important key components to hiring and retaining talent. Employee recruitment and satisfaction come with monetary benefits, too: companies perform better when their employees are happier. 

But none of this matters to your business if you can’t effectively track and report talent analytics. In this blog, we’ll give you an overview of what these types of systems look like, and a few key hacks to measure and make sense of those mounds of CSV files.

What Is Talent Analytics?

If you haven’t heard of talent analytics, you’ve probably heard of “people analytics,” “human resource analytics,” or maybe even “workforce analytics.” But they can all be boiled down to the same definition: an analytics system by which employers can accurately measure behavior and performance in their workforce. And that’s not just for the people “in the building” – these systems can predict performance indicators of potential hires, too.

As with all analytics systems, companies use talent analytics to make better business decisions by answering the big questions:

– What are the key characteristics of an employee with a low retention score?

– What matters more: education level or intrinsic traits like initiative? 

– How costly is the hiring process under certain managers? 

– How much monetary value can you put behind, say, a 0.1% increase in happiness? (For Best Buy in 2010, that meant as much as $100,000.) 

Your organization’s needs and values will be different from the next, but each talent analytics system should cover a baseline of measuring three things

– Hiring data: That’s, you guessed it, data that will provide insight into potential hires. 

– Ongoing feedback: That’s the measurement of the state of the company on a day-to-day basis: how are your employee retention measures working? Is your company’s wellness plan engaging people? Is the right talent in the right place? How effective are talent development initiatives? What can we glean from the results of multiple employee surveys?

– Optimization: This is a combination of your hiring and ongoing feedback analytics to get a rounder picture of what’s happening during the lifecycle of an employee’s time with you. 

But even though HR departments and companies say they recognize the value of talent analytics, only 7% of companies who ranked analytics as being important to them have strong HR data analytics capabilities. And even more aren’t implementing systems at all, because they don’t have the required skill set or software to create them. 

How to Track and Measure Your Company’s Talent Analytics

The good news is a vast majority of companies actually do have access to software systems that can help HR departments track and report their company’s employee data: something as simple as Microsoft, with its powerful Excel and Power BI platforms, will get the job done. But processes matter just as much as the platform, and understanding your data comes down to how you set your focus and use your time. 

1. Choose your KPIs–and Choose Them Wisely: Your company might have one focused issue they want to solve: let’s say it’s increasing retention. The KPIs your company might choose to track most closely might be:

  1. turnover rate (# of employees who left / avg. # of employees x 100)
  2. employee satisfaction (from surveys and employee Net Promoter Scores)
  3. absenteeism (measured with the Bradford Score)
  4. exit interviews
Tracking these KPIs means honing in on where you can improve as a company–and keep more          employees as a result. 

2. Integrate, integrate, integrate: A strong talent analytics system is one that does most of the grunt work for you. If you or your team members have to manually download CSVs at the beginning of each month and copy/paste for hours, you’re wasting time. We mentioned Microsoft: Power BI, one of Microsoft’s data platforms, can be connected to all of your streams of data to put it in one place. Which brings us 

3. Automate: At the beginning of each data period, the only thing an HR professional should have to do is plug, play, and then show and tell. Automate your systems so that they intuitively input all of the data streams you’ve integrated. Tracking data now becomes a process of storytelling, and automating your data tracking means you get more time to analyze and understand the story of your employees/ 

Bonus tip: Use our ARC methodology to organize your data. ARC stands for: 

– Anchor: That’s the focus metric, the main quantity being measured e.g the Sales or NPS score

– Relationship: That’s categorical subdivisions which give context to the Anchor metric. e.g. NPS Score by Manager or NPS Score by Location

– Comparison: That’s the deviation of the anchor metric and relationship from a benchmark (e.g budget, average etc) or a prior point in time.

How to Make Sense of Your Talent Analytics

Back to that Global Talent Trends survey: Only 39% of respondents said they could draw meaningful insights from the data they collected. Which is to say: if you’re feeling lost in all of your data, you’re not alone. But if you can’t understand the bigger picture, your stakeholders – the C-suite you’re reporting to – can’t either.

There are a few approaches to consider when you’re attempting to build a dashboard to tell a data story that is clear, concise, and decisive. Our favorite is from the International Business Communication Standards or IBCS. That’s the SUCCESS method: 

– Say: Make your message clear. (We’re losing employees because of a low employee satisfaction score paired with limited sick days.) 

– Unify: or IBCS.Make sure everything you’re measuring is unified stylistically, from the use of colors (green=good, red=bad) to charts and more.

– Condense: When you need to look at the data, it’s easier to parse out insights when it’s all visually packed into one small space.

– Check: Make sure the data is being accurately represented. No manipulated bar graphs to show growth or losses where there aren’t really any.

– Express: Similarly, making sure you’re choosing the right visualization to convey the desired message. In an instance where you need your audience to look up data, use a table. For charts, avoid pie and speedometer charts; use bars and columns instead (and always show comparisons).

– Simplify: This one’s easy: take out anything you don’t need.

– Structure: Make sure your report or presentation has a structural logic to it. That helps your viewers understand your first S: Say.

Building an analytics system that can do it all is a big undertaking. At dbrown, we’ve built hundreds of systems and trained thousands of professionals to report their data and take back their time. Have questions about how we can empower your team? Reach out to us any time.


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About the Author

David Brown

David Brown leads a talented team of passionate experts as the managing partner of dbrownconsulting; a firm dedicated to helping organizations and individuals achieve more with their data.

David has spent 20+ years working with individuals and organizations to improve their efficiency and productivity with data. He is an internationally recognized speaker, adviser, consultant, and trainer. He has helped pioneer innovative methodologies and frameworks that simplify the process of automating reports and analytics for everyday users as well as great intuitive training methodologies to pass this knowledge to anyone.

David is a 4-time recipient of the prestigious MVP Award by Microsoft, he is also an ATD Master Trainer and ATD Master Instructional Designer. He is a regular speaker at international conferences and events.

David has worked as an international consultant to the world bank for seven years, worked as a Tax specialist for Andersen, and as a corporate finance specialist for KPMG.

David has curated thousands of hours of content for dbrownconsulting and officetraininghub and has trained and mentored thousands of young professionals over the years.