Can big data assist with HR? Hell yes.

Being able to analyse and interpret employee data is becoming more recognised as a way to improve the HR process. We explore the apps doing just that ...

If we stop and think about the sheer volume of data that is created on a daily basis around the world, it makes sense that being able to process these datasets is crucial to gaining an understanding of how people think and behave, businesses selling products and services have been doing this for years.

This is especially significant considering the fact that the amount of data is increasing exponentially everyday, as technology evolves and more people interact online and use digital applications. In particular, being able to analyse and interpret employee data is becoming more recognised as a way to improve the human resource (HR) process, especially in large businesses where thousands of employees need to be taken into consideration. By analysing various aspects of employee behaviour, it’s possible to isolate areas for improvement, and understand what skills are needed when it comes to hiring new staff. This can include everything from assessing and finding patterns in the responses to qualitative questionnaires, or even going so far as to monitor the physical behaviour and movement of employees with the use of wearable technology.

While being able to analyse big data mined from various applications is incredibly exciting from a theoretical perspective, how does one put these ideas and analytical aims into practice? While there is much discussion online about hiring skilled data scientists to get the most out of a company’s raw employee data, there are also a number of developments within the software and applications sphere that are being used to create platforms for people to be monitored and for their skills tested and ranked, with their eligibility for various roles considered.

One of these applications is the mobile gaming software called Knack, which is being used to give people the opportunity to assess their own strengths and skills through playing a variety of games. Using this gameplay data, businesses have access to a variety of different skill sets, and can use the mobile platform to target and attract a certain kind of employee, with a specific set of skills. With the backing of behavioural neuroscience, Knack not only provides a platform for attracting employees, but is also geared towards honing in on potential leaders and innovators within a team, which also contributes to ongoing organisational cultural development.

Other similar applications include Cangrade, a personality-test based application that uses a Candidate Assessment Platform (CAP) to profile potential employees based on personality, skills and motivation. ClearFit, another “people audit” application that provide the tools for big data analysis, for example being able to set up custom employee profiles that allow you to match up job seekers with your most valued employee. The benefits of using these kinds of platforms include less time spent on interviewing candidates that don’t meet the necessary requirements, as well as the cost savings that come from having more successful hires and less staff turnover.

With the above examples just a few of the many applications available to help make sense of big data for hiring purposes, development in this field is ongoing as data becomes more complex. For those looking for more information on all of the latest developments in this field, the People Analytics and The Future of Work Conference taking place on the 28th of January in San Francisco will be discussing all of the above considerations of big data and how it applies to our evolving workplaces. Featuring presentations and panel discussions , insight will be given into current leading practices, innovative approaches and the technologies being used in the workforce planning and analytics space.

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