Tips for Answering HR Questions with Analytics- When You’re Not a Ph.D. or Data Scientist!

People analytics has far reaching implications from uncovering trends and solving current organiza­tional problems to providing support for HR functions. We of course geek out over analytics and want to help you leverage the power so that you have data to justify your decisions, not just gut-feel (because your C-suite is probably asking you for proof, right?!). But, you may be one of the many who gets hives thinking about analytics. Don’t fear: we’ve broken analytics down for you with our “HR Analytics 101” primer, which you may view here. If you’re already up-to-speed on the what but need to understand the how, we have a few tips for you to consider below.

  1. Choose Wisely: When thinking about where to start in your organization, choose to solve a problem that aligns with your organizational strategy. For example, most healthcare organizations are focused on driving HCAHPS or patient satisfaction. So, an important question to answer would be, “How do employee attitudes or nurse competencies impact/drive HCAHPS scores?” The point is to determine the impact of people data/assessments on business outcomes.
  2. Start Small: If HR analytics is new to your organization, start small and choose something manageable but applicable. For instance, if one organizational goal is to reduce turnover, instead of choosing to intervene at the organizational level, choose a smaller department or team that is critical to the core business of the company, but also one that has a high attri­tion rate.
  3. Integrate & Share: When conducting HR analytics projects, work to integrate findings together as well as share resources throughout (e.g., the development of a compe­tency model in which the discovered competencies are used in selection and development).A perfect example of #3 in action is a recent project we completed, outlined below, where we linked performance data to dollars. The company has been able to leverage the solution in training and selection.

Question: Understand what high performing sales executives are doing differently than low perform­ers for the Executive Sales Professional role at a large, global professional services firm.

Solution: Data was needed from two sources – People Performance Data (360 Feedback scores for the professional sales team) and Business Performance Data (sales outcomes – sales goal attainment, average win size, and average win rate for each executive sales employ­ee). SMD then linked the 360 performance data for each sales executive to their sales outcome data. This was a smaller data set that contained no duplicates in employee full name, so SMD could use the last name and first name as the link variable.

Through this analysis, SMD was able to determine the specific behavioral competencies assessed in the 360 that have the greatest impact on sales. In this case, eight of the 12 behavioral compe­tencies from the 360 were identified as key drivers of sales outcomes.

To calculate the projected ROI of investing in these eight behavioral competencies, SMD looked at high performing sales executives (in terms of scores on these eight critical competencies) and compared them to their peers looking at differences in sales outcomes. SMD found that sales executives who evidenced high levels of all eight of the critical behavioral competencies had an average sales goal attainment of +78% higher than their peers, an average win rate of +10% more often than their peers, and an average win size of $10,000 more than their peers.

Results: Through this analysis, SMD was able to set target goals and proficiency levels for the current workforce on the behavioral competencies. Additionally, using the proficiency cuts, it was able to map current workforce proficiency levels across the critical eight behavioral competencies to identify areas where the workforce as a whole could benefit from training. These eight behavioral compe­tencies have the strongest impact on sales, and the current workforce can be trained on these competencies, so SMD advised the company to also select new employees based on their proficiency level with these same competencies. As a result, a reengineering of the selection process is underway where candidates will be selected based on hiring assessments designed to measure a candi­date’s ability on each critical competency.

There are plenty more white papers with tips and suggestions under the Resources tab. Or, let us know how we can help.