quantified HR part 2 John Sumser HR Examiner March 13 2014

We’re just beginning to understand how to ask the questions that get HR’s customers the decision support that they need.

Everything I’ve seen and heard about recruiting analytics fails to give the end customer, the hiring manager, useful data. Most recruiting analytics (generalized performance of the entire function) are only interesting to people within HR.

This is generally true of HR’s reporting and analytics. The focus always seems to be on internal efficiencies. These are costs and, while interesting and important to manage, do not help the organization understand the value, timing and importance of the output of HR’s work.

HR is a staff/support function. The whole goal is to improve the effectiveness of the rest of the team. It’s HR’s responsibility to understand and to articulate how it improves the performance of the organization as a whole and the work of each individual customer.

The hiring manager is the decision maker in the recruiting process. She needs analytics that deliver better decision support. That means that analytics that work are part historical performance and part contextual info. The combination of the two makes it possible to realistically estimate the consequence of this req at this time. While that isn’t predictive in the theoretical sense, it does make predicting performance more possible.

(Later on in this series, we’ll take a look at the much ballyhooed distinction between analytics and predictive analytics. The entire point of analytics is to make working predictions possible. If they devolve to become gotcha evaluations of past performance, they’re less than useless.)

It is not useful to have the average time to do anything reported on a regular basis. The larger the sample size, the less meaningful the data (more or less). Hiring patterns vary by season, industry, level of competition, economic conditions  and so on. The labor markets are not static.

Hiring managers need analytics that help them manage the expectations of their management and their team.

  • A current demand/supply ratio which tells them how hard this particular req in this particular geography will be. It would be useful to understand how this ratio is changing and how fast it is changing.
  • Feedback on the market realities of the job requirements (ie, other people who do this job in other companies have the following profiles). Hiring managers need quantified feedback about how realistic their requirements are.
  • A way to get a sense of how long this particular req is going to take. That most likely looks like an estimate rooted in current market conditions
  • Long term feedback on the relationship between hiring decisions and performance

Really, we’re just beginning to understand how to ask the questions that get HR’s customers the decision support that they need.

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