Digital HRPeople AnalyticsShaping the future of work with people analytics

Shaping the future of work with people analytics

A growing number of organisations are beginning to understand the value of tools that allow them to predict upcoming changes and fluctuations in hiring processes, employee expectations, and worker demographics.

People are at the heart of every organisation, so building a strong business requires bringing in top talent and cultivating an exceptional workforce. Cathy Temple,  Senior HR Director at Oracle explores how businesses can use people analytics and other HR technologies to expedite laborious processes and improve the employee experience.


Today, creating technology that supports this goal is a huge industry and 84 percent of business leaders see the value in the use of data to analyse, predict, and enhance performance. This value in analytics technology coincides with the high value seen in a skilled workforce and the competitive nature of recruiting and keeping talent, so anything that can enable better interact with and support for employees is vital.

Just as successful companies have become highly customer-focused—analysing every aspect of the customer journey, from their daily behaviour patterns to their purchasing decisions—organisations have the opportunity to become more employee-focused. The employee journey begins before a worker is even aware of a particular organisation. It continues as that person discovers the brand, applies, gets hired, and then develops professionally while working there. With the right HR tools companies can implement solutions to optimise and ensure a long and, hopefully, fulfilling employee experience.

Recruiting tomorrow’s workforce

 Finding the right talent and onboarding that talent with optimum efficiency can be a challenge in today’s competitive recruiting environment. It is estimated that recruiters spend over a third of their day sourcing and processing candidates. With the introduction of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) organisations can vastly improve the efficiency of the entire recruiting process and eliminate costly manual processes.

One example of technology automation is the use of AI-powered chatbots. Many companies already use chatbots to interact with visitors to their website, but companies can also use chatbots to reduce talent acquisition activities, including the time needed to screen and hire candidates. Powered by machine learning and natural language processing, chatbots can facilitate the application process, provide candidates with timely updates, help recruiters handle scheduling, and compile applicant information into a central database. The addition of natural language processes is key when it comes to the application of AI to HR processes. The natural language interface facilitates a more human experience for potential employees allowing them to engage with technology in a conversational way.

Optimising the employee journey

 Today, data can be collected at every point along the employee journey, providing an opportunity to use that information to make better-informed talent decisions. For HR teams, managing the employee turnover rate is relentless. Through the use of people analytics, employers can discover patterns and detect warning signs indicating that a worker may be considering leaving. For instance, an employee could be compelled to leave if they have multiple managers over a short period, fails to meet with a supervisor for several months, or passes up a promotion. With tools to monitor employees’ mood and attitude, performance, and development, employers can pick up these patterns and highlight cases of potential turnover. Having this knowledge enables HR to intervene and develop more opportunities for worker advancement, ensure frequent meetings with managers, and other measures that can prevent unnecessary employee losses and ultimately lower attrition risks.

Recognising the future’s mobile worker

By 2050, it’s estimated that the majority of countries will have more people living in urban areas than in rural regions. In addition to this shift toward city living, workers are increasingly moving to different regions and countries around the world. However, the mobility trend runs even deeper than location: workers are increasingly searching for an opportunity to explore, whether it be the chance to experience a new environment or adapt to a different culture. This thirst for the unknown and quest for unique experiences means employees may not stay with organisations for decades, let alone years. To address these upcoming trends, companies can apply people analytics to understand the cost and benefit of hiring workers who will stay for only a short period of time, as well as how best to use resources to manage and train them.

Embracing shifting demographics

In 2016 there were 1.6 million people aged 85 and over; by 2041 this is projected to double to 3.2 million. When the Centre for Ageing Better surveyed 500 UK employers, only 20% were currently discussing an ageing workforce strategically in the workplace. This aging population is driving a skills shortage, and businesses need to develop strategies to adapt.

In December 2018 the female employment rate was 71.4%, which is the highest it has been since comparable records began in 1971. Today, forward-thinking companies have the opportunity to create more flexible environments that align with the caregiving responsibilities that female workers often take on, both for young children and aging relatives. People analytics can guide organisations as they consider how part-time or contingent workers, freelancer communities, digital labour, and artificial intelligence fit into their overall workforce needs.

 Preparing for the years ahead

Today’s talent economy is rapidly changing, and HR professionals have to re-evaluate established practices in order to take a holistic approach to supporting their people’s skills, experience, and career aspirations. Taking the time to consider how the future will be different for workers is an important step in preparing your organisation for the future. People analytics can provide the insight needed for this preparation, as well as execution of an ongoing relationship with tomorrow’s talent.

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