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People analytics is an exciting concept in the human resources field that has been around for a few years now. It is a form of artificial business intelligence combined with the technology of big data. It takes small pieces of data related to people and uses them to solve business problems and improve business outcomes. People analytics has been especially useful to organizations as they use it to overcome bias in hiring, particularly as it relates to eliminating the gender gap.

Merging Data and Human Resources

Human resources has traditionally been a part of business focused on people and not on data or analytics. This has changed with the introduction and widespread acceptance of people analytics. By combining data with human perception, companies have been able to make better decisions about who to hire and promote. This has been especially important to organization interested in diversifying their workforce to include a wider range of talent.

Suspecting that women are underrepresented in leadership, for example, is only the beginning. Looking at the data and proving the bias is the first step companies must take to overcome it. The real benefit of people analytics programs is that they help to show the consequences of a skewed gender balance in leadership. Research has repeatedly shown that having a roughly equal number of men and women in leadership roles leads to better performance from the leaders themselves as well as the people who report to them.

With the data right in front of them, it’s up to business leaders to make the necessary changes to encourage greater diversity across the board. However, it’s unlikely they would see the connection themselves without input from a people analytics program.

Switching the Focus from Silos to the End-to-End Journey

Traditionally, human resources has operated as a siloed subset of a business. That means that it put each task into neat compartments, including recruiting candidates, making job offers, completing the onboarding process, and ensuring that each new employee has the training that he or she requires for success. People analytics has challenged this long-held tradition by breaking up the silos and forcing human resource specialists to switch their focus to the complete experience of the new hire from recruitment to onboarding and training.

One way to accomplish this goal is for leaders from several areas of the organization, such as human resources, finance, and even the company’s chief executive officer, to come together to consider how to implement the changes to make this happen. With three or more people studying the data, it greatly improves the likelihood of avoiding an unconscious bias that any one of them brings to the table. It helps to turn the business into a people-first organization rather than one that is strictly about the bottom line.

Whether you have never heard of people analytics or you’re at the point of considering it for your company, we can help.  At Palmetto Payroll, we want your business to be successful!  Contact us for guidance or to learn more about the services we offer that can make running a business a whole lot easier.