Applying HR Analytics: Taking Small Steps To Reap Big Benefits

The idea of “data,” “analytics,” and “automation” often set off a whirlwind of emotions among HR leaders – from excitement of new possibilities to confusion and angst over how or where to leverage them. However, these trends simply can’t be ignored given that workforce analytics will be more widely adopted to help optimize workforces, develop employee performance metrics, reduce operational costs and stimulate market growth. The key to understanding and leveraging the many benefits of the data evolution is to evaluate potential areas across the employment lifecycle where it makes operational and financial sense to embed meaningful analytics.

Identifying and Assessing Potential Hires.

The recruitment of talent is arguably one of the aspects undergoing tremendous change due to data and analytics technologies. New tools and automation are emerging to help HR leaders and their teams identify and assess the best-fit candidates for their organization. Perhaps the biggest improvement thanks to data and analytics is in taking the guesswork and gut feel out of recruitment and hiring. In fact, 52% of talent acquisition leaders say the most difficult part of recruitment is identifying the right people from a large pool of applicants.


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To start leveraging HR analytics solutions within your recruitment function, consider these initial steps:

  • Enhance your applicant tracking system by using data-based, science-backed assessment tools that help you identify candidates who are likely to perform and fit within your culture and screen out those who pose the most risk for potential turnover or poor performance.
  • Determine which talent assessment platform or solution is best for your specific hiring needs – a scalable tool to quickly screen for performance and fit of high-volume positions and/or a more in-depth, customized assessment to deliver a smaller, stronger candidate pool to consider for higher level positions.
  • Use assessment tools that take into account the profiles and success indicators for specific positions based on top performers from a large number of organizations and industries.
  • Leverage the assessment data to deliver hiring managers more valuable insight into candidates’ fit and likelihood to perform that goes beyond the resume or interview and provides greater confidence in hiring decisions.

Employee Performance Assessments.

With large skill gaps continuing to plague HR leaders, qualified candidates are becoming more difficult to find and recruit. In fact, nearly 40% of U.S. employers say they cannot find people with the necessary skills for entry-level jobs and almost 60% say entry-level candidates are not prepared professionally. For this reason, the ongoing evaluation and improvement in employee performance can be highly valuable to HR teams. HR analytics can leverage your employee data to identify your best and worst performers while also uncovering the specific areas where workers may be falling short.

In addition, tracking and measuring employee performance continuously can help you monitor the career progression or stalls among workers – often allowing you to subvert potential turnover of employees who are not satisfied with their career progression or to identify workers with high potential and best suited for development opportunities.


HR leaders should consider:

  • Capturing and analyzing data associated with promotion rates, promotion wait times and qualitative data from employees in order to meet worker expectations and motivation.
  • Utilizing similar talent assessment solutions that were applied in the screening and hiring phase to continue tracking performance and skills development of individuals.
  • Applying the assessment metrics to create a data-based overview of specific areas each employee requires for future development.
  • Establishing an enhanced performance management process that allows you to track these key metrics over time.

Delivering Talent Development Strategies with High ROI.

Now that you’ve applied science-backed data and analysis to uncovering the competency and behavioral gaps among your workforce, it’s now time to close them with powerful development solutions. The best employee development and talent management programs align specifically to requirements of the specific job and the overall business goals.



In order to help managers within your organization identify and address specific areas for optimal growth of an individual or a team, consider:

  • Linking the data garnered during the performance assessment process to develop customized suggestions for development, communication improvements and motivation.
  • Providing detailed, easy-to-understand action plans to guide and support each individual along their development journey.
  • Leveraging scalable, cost-effective development assessment tools that can be deployed at all levels of the organization using interactive technological platforms.


Begin Taking Small Steps to Reap Big Benefits.

Despite its complex nature, HR analytics can enable HR leaders to make data-driven decisions when attracting, hiring, managing and retaining employees. Data is an effective tool in helping HR teams make decisions that deliver true ROI and maximize employee productivity.

Learn more about XBInsight’s suite of talent assessment, performance and development solutions that have helped hundreds of HR leaders maximize data and HR analytics to improve their bottom line.