Disruptive Trends in HR Technology and People Analytics: 5 Things We’ve Learned

young multi ethnic business people group walking standing and toResearch has shown that 87% of business leaders are highly concerned about customer retention and engagement. Companies desperately need to figure out what makes people join, what makes people stay, and what will lead their business to success. These are all questions that can be answered by using People Analytics.

1. People Analytics are about to take off

Applying People Analytics to HR has had a lot of attention in recent years. However, as with most business trends, People Analytics will grow exponentially. This means that although now – in the early days – it may seem like development is happening very slowly (since companies are in the experimental stage of using analytic technology), soon the industry will take off. Leading companies are already starting to apply it in practice with very positive results. Experts are also now predicting that the market is ready to soar and should begin doubling at a bigger and bigger increment each year. We expect that People Analytics will soon be a standard part of HR.

 2. Most companies still don’t know what People Analytics really are

Many seem to think that People Analytics are about computing things like retention rates or identifying how many employees a company has. People Analytics is much, much more than this. It uses hard data about people to solve business problems, such as sales productivity, customer satisfaction, fraud, as well as retention.

Research has shown that almost half (48.5%) of organisations do not use HR technology which is suited to their business, significantly reducing the effectiveness of such technology. Using the right technology is the first step in forging an effective HR People Analytics system.

However, it can be difficult to know what kinds of HR technology is suited to your company’s needs. Many HR professionals are unsure whether they should be using standardised or context-specific measures for their organisation. This is why it is important to firstly consider the business outcomes you want, before leaping into analytics.

3. Data management and the implementation of models are key

Firstly, managing data can be a huge challenge. Many companies agree that HR data is inconsistent, difficult to read, and difficult to find. It is common for businesses to be unaware of how many salaried or contracted employees they have at any given time, as they are dealing with a huge data-integration problem. Studies have shown that over 80% of companies are getting stuck dealing with reporting issues, agreeing that there is a lot of “technical debt” to sort through so that they can scale their operations properly.

Secondly, you need a model to make it work. A model expresses how data are connected to each other and how they are processed and stored inside the system. Properly implementing the right model can help you predict retention, predict the most efficient path to success, tell you how much to pay your high performers, and so on. But implementation is easier said than done as it requires a degree of transformation of existing business processes. You may need to bring in change-management consultants to make it happen and make it work.

 4. New types of data require new analysis methods

Gone are the days of analysing payroll, Human Resource Management System, attendance data, etc. Today, all sorts of data need to be analysed, such as employee engagement survey data, email history data, employee badge and sociometric data, as well as all the data which comes from wearable devices.

These new types of data need to be analysed in specific ways which may be different from traditional methods. With more than 1.2 billion smartphone users on the planet, the presence of video cameras and GPS on devices means that a lot of the data getting looked at will be based on time, location and visual identity. These kinds of data require new, innovative measuring systems.

5. Security and anonymity will become your middle name.

As a result of numerous credit card and security breaches which have happened recently, employees and legal departments are often nervous about the analysis the HR sector does. It is important that HR and People Analytics teams are informed about data security, privacy and identity protection. Data needs to be properly stored and handled so that no personal information can get leaked to the public.

 

People Analytics can provide helpful information about your company and how to improve it. Being able to properly integrate HR technologies is key to successfully using People Analytics and making your business the best it can be.

Positive Leadership Traits: They are not what they may seem

young multi ethnic business people group walking standing and toFinding a suitable person to lead your team may not be as simple as it sounds…

Imagine Frank, a top manager at a big-time company. Frank is confident in his abilities, his charismatic air encouraging his colleagues to believe in him. He is very determined and goal-orientated, always striving for improvement. Frank is also a risk-taker who enjoys seizing every opportunity which comes his way. Frank sounds like a great leader…right?

Now consider James, a leader in a similar position to Frank. James comes across as humble and perhaps a little reserved. He values harmony among his team and takes care to remain group-orientated. He does not like taking risks and prefers to carefully calculate his decisions, even if this means he may sometimes miss an opportunity. James sounds more like a follower, not a leader…right?

Wrong.

Is confidence really key?

Frank is a narcissist. Narcissists tend to over exaggerate their abilities, whether or not they have the goods to back up their claims. By hiding his insecurities, Frank comes across as being more capable than he actually may be, which is why people like him are frequently found in positions of power. It is easy to mistake narcissism for optimism, confidence or actual ability, but this mistake can have disastrous effects on your company. Wouldn’t you rather hire someone who is modest and can actually deliver great material, rather than someone who sings their own praises but can’t perform when the time comes?

James, on the other hand, is altruistic. James may not seem as self-confident as Frank, but only because leaders like him tend to be more self-aware than leaders like Frank are and will evaluate their work more honestly. This does not mean James is less capable of performing, in fact it means the opposite. Someone like James who can critique their own work will improve faster than someone like Frank, whose confidence may cloud their judgement.

The importance of relationships in the workplace

Frank comes across as being very determined…but determined for what? Group improvement or self-gain? Frank’s typically narcissistic quality of being self-centred means that he may not always have the best interests of the company and his team members in mind. This could easily result in his colleagues not liking, trusting or respecting him, rendering Frank powerless.  On top of this, narcissism and corporate crimes have been correlated, again due to the self-absorbed nature of narcissists and their tendency to feel entitled.

As an altruist, James will put the well-being of his team members before his own. This can sometimes come across as being less goal-directed and more friendship-orientated, which is not the case. By caring for his team in this way, James creates a positive environment in which his colleagues will feel comfortable sharing their needs and desires as they trust him to acknowledge these, leading to the fulfilment of group and individual goals. The relationships between employees can hugely affect work output, therefore great communication and a positive environment is an essential to a successful business.

Risk-taking Vs. Careful consideration

Frank often displays risk-taking behaviours. It is a popular belief that leaders must be like Frank in order to seize opportunities and make difficult decisions. Not so! It is actually more beneficial to have an altruistic leader like James who is prudent and calculated. This is because someone like James will consider all possible outcomes and make a decision which is most likely to be advantageous to the group in the long term, rather than focusing on their own individual short-term goals.

A leader must of course be ambitious, but not so much that they ignore consequences on the off chance that they may succeed. James may not seize every single opportunity like Frank does, but is every opportunity really worth seizing if it hasn’t been thought through properly? What if snatching up an opportunity without proper consideration turns out to be detrimental to your company? James calculates every choice he makes for the business, reducing the risk factor substantially. He is motivated and determined to improve circumstances for everyone and he will go the extra mile to ensure this happens – without stepping on anyone to get there.

People like Frank tend to be placed in leadership positions because of their initial bubbly charm and confidence. It is easy to overlook wallflowers like James, who may not seem to be the leader type at first, but will prove to be exactly what your company needs in the long run. In short, hire a James, not a Frank!

How to avoid your next hiring mistake

Hiring the wrong candidate can be costly. John Austin explains how to distinguish between candidates who perform well on the job versus those who just look good on paper.

Companies commonly neglect considering a key element during the hiring process – the human element. How can you know what kind of person someone is if you only have a résumé and a feigned interview for reference? How will you know how they interact with others in the workplace, or what implications their personality will have on their productivity? At Talegent, we have devised a scientifically based and empirically proven personality assessment to accurately answer these important questions.

Résumés provide limited information about a candidates’ ability, while the artificiality of interviews often lead to biased judgements and incorrect assumptions about a potential employee’s personality. Even cognitive ability tests may not be an accurate representation of a person’s on-the-job performance. These limitations can result in hiring someone who is completely wrong for the job, even if their résumé seemed perfect and their charming nature during their interview had you fooled. A mistake like this can hugely affect the functionality of the workplace environment – or worse, the productivity and output for everyone in the office.

Our personality assessment helps prevent these potentially disastrous mistakes by identifying and measuring the core traits that research has proven can determine job performance. These personality tests are designed with sufficient subtlety and sophistication that they are near impossible to cheat, with measures put in place to identify candidates who provide deceptive answers to manipulate their test outcome.

 

Below are a few classic examples of negative worker types, along with the measurable personality trait that could have unmasked them before you offered them the job:

 

THE DISORGANISER

The disorganiser is unreliable. They don’t finish their work on time, they don’t fulfil their promises and they are just generally scatter-brained. This person would score badly in the conscientiousness trait. Basically, conscientiousness predicts the tendency to plan and have self-discipline. Clearly these are important factors in the workplace as you would not want an unorganised, unmotivated and unprepared team member in charge of anything even slightly important. In fact, research shows that conscientiousness is the number one predictor of job performance.

 

THE ARROGANT SOB

This kind of worker is more than unpleasant to be around, their pride and contempt barely concealed under a layer of sarcasm and frustrated sighs. This person’s attitude and behaviour can suck the motivation right out of a team and cause tension in the workplace. A key personality trait which predicts arrogance is narcissism. A high score in this trait indicates a person who elevates themselves at others’ expense, someone who is out for personal glory regardless of whom they step on to get it.

 

THE LONER

A worker who is a loner displays antisocial behaviour and is often uncomfortable being around other people. They may be quiet, shy and generally reluctant to contribute. Although these traits may be fine in certain workplaces where little human interaction is required, it can be hugely detrimental in roles that require much team work. The loner would have a low score on the collaborative trait. This trait specifically indicates a candidate’s ability and willingness to work with others.

 

THE XENOPHOBE

The xenophobe is hostile, prejudiced and unaccepting of anyone different from themselves, whether it be gender, ethnicity, age, and so on. Having a xenophobe represent your company on the front lines of customer service can have a disastrous effect, resulting in dissatisfied or even insulted customers who surely will not return to your company. This person scores badly in the accepting trait. People who score low on this trait greatly prefer to deal with people just like themselves and are rejecting of people who do not fit this mould.

 

The list of nightmare employees could go on…

 

Unfortunately, these bad employees do not reveal their true colours until it is too late. By measuring personality through our assessments, you can get a fuller and more accurate indication of how candidates will perform on the job before you make the mistake of hiring them.