Data: big new trend in human resources 2


An increased number of people working in human resources management are using the treasure troves of employee data available to them to make decisions regarding staff members.

Decisions are being made about salaries, promotions and benefit programmes.

Human resources manager Andrew Martin, who works for the Joey chain of restaurants, which operates 30 locations in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Washington State, believes using “people analytics” is beneficial for companies and for employees, reports CBCNews.

He is inspired by the movie Moneyball, starring Brad Pitt, which tells the story of a baseball manager who picks players based on statistics.

Says Martin: “It’s brilliant. And you know, people say it’s complicated, you can’t reduce people decisions to black and white. It’s not really true. Performance is performance.”

HR departments like Martin’s track data like absenteeism, salaries, sales figures, and are looking at ways to quantify performance reviews and assessments from colleagues.

Analyst Josh Bersin says HR managers are becoming serious about data.

“I was in a meeting several weeks ago in San Francisco and we had eight PhD statisticians, engineers, and computer scientists together, all working on people analytics for their companies. These are serious mathematicians and data scientists trying to apply data science to the people side of their businesses,” he wrote for Forbes recently.

“This last week I had another similar meeting and we had three of the world’s leading insurance companies, two large retailers, three health care companies, and two manufacturing companies with serious mathematicians and scientists assigned to HR.”

Technicians have discovered, he says, that the world of people is becoming the most interesting space to work in.

“We’ll be doing a lot more research on this topic over the coming years, but let me simply state clearly, ‘The Geeks have Arrived: People Analytics is Here’,” Bersin concludes.

A recent analysis of HR statistics has information about how long employees stay at new jobs, the reasons for the job not working out, employee increase stats and the number of CV inaccuracies.

Those studying human resource management courses are learning these new skills with classes being targeted specifically toward “practitioners in our new era”.

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2 thoughts on “Data: big new trend in human resources

  • Gweje Methula

    People’s analytics, a new term in the changing world of human capital management. Aren’t we running the risk of “returning to the old and bedrock of “Taylorism” reducing human capital into numeric data to be analysed and de-alienated from its social being? I maybe too paranoid. Maybe, its the good thing in the post-modenism of human relations at the workplace. What perfomance metrics are we or we will be looking at to reward good performance?

  • Kevin Marlow

    There is a saying that you can only manage that which you can measure. However as with psychological assessments the emphasis should be placed on how one manages and utilises the HR Data – be careful not to place engaged employees in boxes and suffocate their intuition and creativity!! I wonder how the Geeks would take to be analysed in a similar fashion?