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Data’s Power to Inform Decisions in Business and Work

When faced with decisions to make — no matter the topic or implication — it’s human nature to seek data. We all want information to help us make the right choice, to prove our assumptions, to validate the courses of action we’re about to take. In business, data is driving important decisions in marketing, operations, logistics and other essential business functions. We’ve seen that the insights drawn from data can provide a reliable path to better outcomes.

But data about people has perhaps never been valued like it is today. People data is propelling better assessments about the workforce and the global economy. From hiring to compensation to promotion and everything in between, each data point reveals a truth that can help business leaders and human capital management (HCM) professionals make better choices when it comes to their workforce. Collectively, such data-driven decisioning can unlock the doors to a more diverse, equitable and inclusive world of work.

How Data Can Inform People Decisions

With the technological tools we have today, we can mine and use real-time data to track important HR metrics, but more importantly, we can proactively help solve HR issues like turnover and retention. Through aggregated and anonymized real-time data, we can start to see trends emerge and even predict the likelihood. Data detailing how long people stay at a job, how much they earn and how often they get promoted can help businesses get a clearer picture of where they stand against the backdrop of the global economy. For example, analyzing their people data enabled one company to discover the reasons for involuntary turnover in their organization. Using these insights, they changed processes, procedures, and policies, which resulted in a 20% reduction in turnover.

Benchmarking data – knowing what other businesses in your industry or geography are paying – can also mean the difference between attracting talent to your organization or losing them to a competitor. Today’s labor marketplace has more jobs than candidates and is in constant flux. Companies need to know how they compare to others on compensation, benefits, and other key employment factors. In this environment, having up-to-date HR intelligence is crucial.

Data as a Flashlight

There’s no question that having access to this level of detail in your people data can help make your organization more competitive in the talent marketplace. But perhaps more importantly, this transparency into your people analytics can help you identify gaps in representation and equity and take meaningful steps to close them. There’s a need in society to continue to push forward with creating an inclusive environment for everybody, and the first way to advance that goal is by measuring progress. If you can’t measure progress, then you can’t adequately assess whether you’re making improvements to people’s situations.

Examining a critical DEI challenge, let’s consider pay equity. At the end of the day, there’s nothing more important than making sure that people are paid correctly and fairly for their contributions. In the past, it’s been difficult to accurately assess differences in compensation. We’ve known for some time about gender pay inequities but they’re often too high-level for companies to tangibly action against. The resulting discussions around the root of the issue and how to fix it also become too high-level in response. This doesn’t help leaders and HR professionals who want to reduce pay inequity in their organizations. By analyzing internal HR data and then comparing it to benchmarks across industry, demographic, geography, function and job titles, companies can now pinpoint where their organization is missing the mark.

One misconception is that hiring people at a better rate of pay will help close the gap. If you bring people in, you’re not actually creating upward mobility inside of the organization. By examining compensation across a wide range of job titles and companies and evaluating what it really means for somebody to move up, organizations can better understand where they might need to adjust course.

Pay transparency is another important and often forgotten element to closing pay gaps. Data can empower and giving employees more information about the pay of their colleagues and for similar roles in their industries can help workers across underrepresented groups gain negotiating leverage.

Data can help organizations resolve these inequities proactively, resulting in higher employee retention and better talent acquisition. Data helps you see around corners and acts as a flashlight into dark places on your path forward. We can use data to identify when people aren’t paid to the level that they should be paid. We can create tools to plan and budget to adjust for those pay gaps. Ultimately, the goal is to turn real-time data into actionable insights and workplace solutions that help businesses and people thrive. By February 2022, 75% of clients using the solution have shown improvement in pay equity, making a $1.1B impact on communities in the US.

Driving Change through Data

It’s important for organizations to reflect on what’s visible within their people analytics, looking for the context and connections that create uneven effects. When patterns emerge, examine what happened earlier to understand potential causes and tailor proposed solutions. When it comes to creating a better, more equitable world of work, focus on removing barriers to progress and building programs and policies into your workplace culture that allow your employees to show up as their best selves. By using data to channel your efforts, you can effect meaningful change and become part of the benchmark that challenges others to follow suit.

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How Technology Is Evolving to Bridge the Gaps of the Dynamic Shifts in the Talent Landscape

Bridging the Talent Gap With Data-Driven Technology
OCT 20, 2022 1:53PM EDT

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By Don Weinstein, Corporate Vice President of Global Product and Technology at ADP

With their priorities shifted by the pandemic, today’s workforce wants more from their employers, including greater flexibility, better work-life integration and a heightened focus on diversity, equity and inclusion – and they are willing to make a change to get what they want. We’ve seen more workers re-evaluating their place of employment, with seven in 10 workers saying they’ve considered a career move in the past year. Despite anecdotes to the contrary, we remain in a tight labor market, and the best way to get in front of the ongoing hiring challenge is to start by holding onto your experienced workers. By leveraging new data-driven technologies to create engaging work environments, today’s business leaders can confidently bridge the talent gap and create a more engaged workforce.

In this age of the employee, it is critical HR leaders continually assess their employment brand to find ways to improve the worker experience. Is your workplace environment truly inclusive? Are you giving employees challenging work that leverages their strengths? Are you taking care of their health and welfare needs? Leaders need to ask themselves these questions, while deploying data-driven HR technologies that can help identify the right solutions. For example, personalized worker surveys can help employers better understand their workplace culture and predict potential retention challenges. Another important tool is skills mapping, which breaks down jobs into a set of inter-related skills, enabling employers to mine internal applicants for potential fits as well as career development opportunities. The same technology can also assist your external recruiting function, by broadening potential talent pools to look at all relevant candidates, including those from non-traditional backgrounds.

The evolution of HR tech accelerated when our ways of working were upended a couple years ago. But these changes have kept the industry dynamic and ignited new innovations. As we look to the future, we see a lot of promise in these areas of HR tech:

AI and machine learning for sourcing talent in hard-to-fill jobs: Algorithms are being deployed to find novel talent pools to source candidates through skills matching and retargeting. These algorithms also play a bigger role in upskilling tomorrow’s workforce, providing insights on skills-based learning and career pathing that can help guide and advance employees’ careers.
Technology-driven advancements for building more diverse and inclusive workforces: Skills matching can help uncover capable candidates from non-traditional backgrounds. Sentiment analysis can be used to assess employee perceptions on the overall level of inclusiveness in the workplace. And machine learning can help identify and correct workplace equity gaps.
Of course, these approaches will be effective only if companies remain agile during times of change. Leaders need to ensure that the right systems are in place to optimize their teams’ ability to deliver good work and to adapt as the environment shifts. Essentially, businesses need technology designed for how work gets done, so they can more easily adjust at the pace of change.

You can hear more about these emerging HR technology trends, what’s to come and how to stay agile in my Nasdaq TradeTalks interview below: