The Power of Small HR Data

Over ninety percent of U.S. executives agree that using HR data is important but less than ten percent believe they know how to use data in HR. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Gallup recently published an article called “New Demand for HR Execs: Data Analytics”.

Here’s an interesting excerpt:

Gallup research shows that 93% of millennials left their employer the last time they changed job roles. While their motivations for leaving vary, it is a fair assumption that among them was a perception of weak growth and development opportunities.

It reminded us of something we read years ago. Gallup might be referencing their own earlier study from 2015 called “When Making Career Moves, Americans Switch Companies”.

These articles got us thinking about one of the biggest challenges with data in HR. If you’re like most companies, you have lots and lots of data. Data isn’t really the problem. But translating the right data into the right insights is. And getting this right requires an incredible amount of focus and attention. Starting big with data might work for some, but if you’re like most, small might make more sense.

Small data can change the business…

There are literally hundreds (maybe thousands) of negative touch points that people experience at work every year. Imagine all these negative moments as artery plaque building up and creating “friction” in people’s relationship with their place of employment. Like a silent killer, it’s out of sight and might be slowly draining your company.

So what can we do about this? Let’s look as some small data points and see if we can create a solution that might work.

For many reasons, people generally like to complete full 12 month terms of employment. Studies show the best time to convince people to leave their current employer is approximately 1-2 months before the end of their first and second years of employment. These studies also show it’s progressively harder to get people to leave after each subsequent year.

Because of this, many recruiters believe it’s easier to convince people to leave their jobs during months 10 and 22 of employment.

Part of the reason people leave to take their next job is because they feel more fearful, concerned, insecure or uncomfortable going directly to their managers when they are unhappy or unsatisfied. It’s quite possible the emotional strain is too great and it’s simply easier to go outside the firm than engage inside.

But here’s where small data might help. There are piles and piles of data available to us. But let’s see what happens when we focus in and only combine two data insights:

  • 90+% of our people leave the company to change their role
  • our people are most vulnerable at month 10 and month 22

What if mobility conversations resulted in better engagement and retention if held with employees prior to months 10 and 20? What if having a conversation about growth and advancement (at the right time) dramatically improved your ability to keep employees committed over time?

There are direct correlations between engaged and committed employees and retention. Better retention could mean more ROI. Improving engagement and commitment might result in a real competitive advantage. All this just because you focused on one experience and a few pieces of data. Imagine what you could do if you could string together a bunch of small data wins. Small data could completely transform your company. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Need some help?

Consider our Pro Plan if you want us to help you to make sense of HR data.

Need something more involved? See our capabilities page. We’re set up to implement best practices to improve your talent acquisition landscape, take over worksteams on an ongoing basis, or even deploy variable resourcing to augment your core in-house team.

If you have big problems but have absolutely no idea where to start, you might want to consider TALENTSUM 360.



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