Jessica Holt, Director of Consulting & Professional Services at Capita Resourcing discusses how we can expect to see the way we track, measure and analyse our workforce to transform in the future.
Whilst perhaps not as quickly as many HR and business leaders would like, the use of data and insight within workforce strategy and management is improving. Within talent acquisition, we’re seeing big advances in the way that data is applied to initiatives to build talent pools and, in particular, in building engagement with passive candidates over a number of years.
By establishing and maintaining a clear picture of individual workers over a period of time, their skills, interests and working behaviours, and developing relationships through tailored digital communications, businesses can start to create a more engaged and receptive pool of high-quality talent from which to draw the skills they need. This will become critical as working patterns become ever more fluid in the transition towards a hybrid resourcing model.
Data and insight has a huge role to play in improving the ability to track, measure and evaluate the performance and success of workforce initiatives across the entire employee lifecycle. Measurement remains a huge challenge for most HR leaders but, again, the data is very often there, it just isn’t being accessed.
And the new world of work will require completely new types of metrics from those currently being tracked. For instance, within talent acquisition, we may measure the strengths of candidates for permanent roles on their long-term track record, cultural fit and their skill sets, but evaluate contingent workers on a wholly different set of criteria, such as speed of response, level of compliance and daily rates.
This is a massive opportunity for organisations and no doubt a significant reason why business leaders in our recent research, 'The insight edge to talent acquisition', predict that half of their current skills gaps could be addressed by improved use of data. Moving talent and skills around the business can meet skills needs in a fast and cost-effective way, avoiding the costs of recruitment and additional headcount. Essentially, data and insight gives control back to the HR or hiring manager, allowing them to make an informed decision on how best to meet a skills need, whether that’s re-deploying existing resource or bringing in new talent.
We’ll also increasingly starting to see data and insight being applied within shortlist selections and hiring decisions. When paired with AI and automation, data will be key to speeding up the candidate identification process, enabling organisations to sift through high volumes of candidate applications (and passive candidates) to develop a shortlist of 5-10 candidates for a face-to-face interview. This is a good example of the hybrid workforce in action, with data-driven AI doing the grunt work to accelerate long-winded and mundane processes, and enabling human workers to focus their time on the more strategic, intuitive task of actually selecting the right candidate based not just on skills and experience, but also on cultural fit, potential and learnability.
However, our research found that employees were concerned around the ethics and compliance of allowing their employer to capture and hold their personal data – especially when it came to location, behavioural and social data. As a result, this is a major consideration for employers and something that can’t be approached lightly. The guiding principle here is that employers should only ever consider holding data that is useful or meaningful and that can be used to deliver a more personalised experience for the candidate or employee.
The focus should always be on quality of data rather than volume; it’s about having the specific insights you need to drive experience and then communicating this to individuals. Employers must improve in how they communicate around data - why they collect it, how they use it, how they manage and store it, and how they deal with it when employees leave the organisation. Once individuals are comfortable and confident in the ability of an organisation to handle data appropriately and can enjoy the benefits it brings to them in terms of enhanced, personalised experiences, then concerns around personal data will start to dissipate.
HR and recruitment leaders need to be targeted in their approach to data, cutting out all of the noise to focus exclusively on the specific data and insights which will support and inform their wider workforce strategy and objectives. Organisations have to ensure they have the very best skills, knowledge and tools to consolidate disparate data systems and provide the holistic view of the workforce which can empower them to make smarter, faster decisions.
To read the full findings from our research, The insight edge to talent acquisition, download your digital copy here.
If you would like to discuss how we can help you with the challenges you’re facing in utilising your workforce data to make better informed recruitment decisions, get in touch with one of our experts today.