How Data Analytics Improve the HR Function

HCLI Research
Published 27 November 2017

How will technology impact and improve HR? An artificial intelligence (AI) and big data company’s co-founder shares how data improves decision-making: for employers who are hiring, and for professionals to know what skills are in-demand.

Foreseeing the future of work

We are living in an era of rapid change brought upon by advancements made to technology. Jobs are being displaced due to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics (automation) and according to a recent study by McKinsey, 30% of tasks across 60% of occupations could be computerised.

However, many more jobs will also be created or redefined owing to the digital revolution. At JobTech, we think it is more important to focus on helping organisations ensure that their employees have the right skillsets to take on these jobs.

To succeed in the future workforce, we think it is important that employees possess a combination of technical and soft or “human” skills.

Within the HR profession for example, we expect managers to play a more strategic role in business, and to be able to engage more effectively with their stakeholders by leveraging digital and data-related capabilities.

This is already happening based on JobTech’s 3Q 2017 Online Jobs Census which shows a growing demand for digital and data-related skills among HR jobs in Singapore. Among digital and data-related skills, the fastest growing skills in 3Q were Tableau (for data visualisation) and R (a statistical programming language that supports data mining and analysis).

HR’s seat at the table

We think it will be even more relevant and important to help employees embrace change and for businesses to stay competitive. At JobTech, we desire to put the Talent back in Talent Acquisition. This means helping recruitment specialists be more productive and successful at their work by empowering them with more time and data-backed insights to drive quality and differentiated interactions.

The future of HR analytics

HR analytics provides an opportunity for HR to position themselves as fact-based strategic drivers of business objectives, no different from their colleagues in other functions such as finance or marketing. For HR professionals to engage at a level that is more strategic and influential, we think it is important for them to have relevant and intimate knowledge about the talent market.

For example, our Online Jobs Census provides HR professionals with a data-driven approach to keeping a pulse on the talent market by curating what each industry and company is hiring for, skillsets that are sought-after today, and those that will continue to be in-demand. Therefore, HR analytics can help HR professionals be more productive and successful at forming deeper relationships, whether it is with the best and brightest of candidates they are trying to attract, or being able to play a more strategic role at the boardroom.

Automatable HR Processes

Automating repetitive and administrative tasks within the HR process helps to free up time for HR professionals to focus on the human touch. For example, JobTech’s “JobBox Employer” uses semantic and natural language processing technology to automatically screen, match, and rank resumes.

A summary of the areas of skill-match and gap is provided so HR professionals can easily track and manage their organisations’ skills inventory. By screening resumes based on objective information such as the presence of requisite skills in our case, we can also help to eliminate unconscious bias and discrimination in the screening process.

JobBox Employer has helped to reduce the time needed for the initial screening of resumes by more than 90%. One of our customers, a local bank, receives an average of 500-800 resumes per job posting. Now they take only a few minutes instead of a few days to screen every resume.

Carving out a competitive advantage

HR can help to drive a company’s competitive advantage by developing, engaging, and planning for a workforce that will help businesses adapt and capitalise on new opportunities arising from the digital revolution. This will involve the entire HR value-chain, starting with more efficient talent attraction to workforce planning and skills development in a way that is better informed and responsive to the changing needs of the industry.

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