Organizations face a multitude of challenges every day. Many organizations are currently faced with the challenge of finding and keeping top talent. One company might be experiencing a slump in sales. New technology may be disrupting their market, according to some organizations. Regardless of the challenge, HR and other senior managers are asked to assist in developing and implementing solutions.
It is not the same thing to say “come up with a solution”, but doing it is. It isn’t easy to come up with solutions. Good data is the best way to solve problems and find the best route forward. I have to admit; that I am a numbers guy. Math is my favorite subject. I have always worked in companies that valued numbers. This is why I chose to pursue the Society for Human Resource Management’s People Analytics Specialty Credential (the PASC).
The program to earn the PASC consists of three parts. Complete SHRM’s People Analytics Seminar. This seminar is offered in person and virtually. 2) Participate in three eLearning modules about metrics, foundational data and data analysis. A 50-question multiple-choice exam is also required. Learn more about specialty credentialing on the SHRM website.
Back to my original point about using data for solving problems. The biggest learning from my PASC experience and work was the distinction between metrics and talent analytics. Although we may be prone to using these terms interchangeably at work (and I have), understanding the differences can help us to bring the right ideas to the table.
Metrics can be used to measure and track the progress of a process. Common metrics in HR include the cost per hire and time to fill.
Talent analytics includes not only metrics but also data that relates to human resource activities. An example of talent analysis might be Analyzing stay and exit interviews to determine which sales employees are at risk.
People analytics takes talent analytics to the next level. This makes it possible to connect talent analytics with the business. A people analytics project might include studying the hiring process and trends in attrition for sales employees to determine a retention plan.
People analytics is the use of data and reasoning to make business decisions. It is about asking lots of questions. What are the current activities of the organization? What is the organization trying to achieve? Finally, what is the best way to get from the current to the desired state?
As I completed my People Analytics Specialty Credential, it became clear that people analytics is more than just numbers. Analytics is about curiosity. Analytics is about looking for answers. Human resources professionals are involved in many activities related to people analytics every day. We all know problem-solving, research, and finding solutions are key to success. This is what the PASC program does. It provides us with a people analytics platform we can immediately apply for the job. The good news for businesses is that we can solve problems using data, metrics and analytics. Much of the information that we require can be obtained using existing technology. The best human resources professionals must be able to guide their organizations using sound reasoning and a consistent framework.