Talent & Tech Asia Summit 2024
4 key HR tech & people analytics learnings from Accelerate HR 2023

4 key HR tech & people analytics learnings from Accelerate HR 2023

What does a hybrid world imply for skills management? What competencies & skills are needed to stay relevant in the next five years? These were some of the many questions explored. Report by Arina Sofiah.

Human Resources Online's Accelerate HR 2023 made its comeback this year – bigger and better, with more than 30 deep-dive sessions via future-forward keynotes, informative case study-driven breakout sessions, interactive panels and debates, and fireside chats.

Over the span of two days, more than 200 CHROs and HR leaders gathered in person to learn more about meeting the demands of the future through the discovery of megatrends that are profoundly changing people management practices. While the mornings covered a series of plenary sessions, the afternoons were split across two tracks on each day:

  • Culture and change management (Day one)
  • Employee and workplace experience (Day one)
  • HR tech and people analytics (Day two)
  • Belonging, inclusion, and collaboration (Day two)

This article will focus on learnings and insights from the HR and people analytics track. Here are some quick takeaways:

Skills taxonomy in a hybrid world

What does a hybrid working world imply for skills management? With the pace of advancement and changes, what competencies & skills will we require in order for our workforce to stay relevant in the next five years?

These are several questions one speaker set out to explore as part of a bigger discussion on skills taxonomy in a hybrid world. Starting off by setting the context, the hybrid world may be viewed through two lenses.

Hybrid world from an organisational point-of-view:

  • Bigger pool for leadership pipeline with fewer geographical restrictions for talent
  • Greater need to equip future leaders with essential skills focused on employees’ expectations on benefits, wellbeing, and personalised work
  • Digital readiness creates better leaders & eases the transition process
  • Adjust buy/build/borrow philosophy

Hybrid world from a leadership point-of-view:

  • A mismatch between prior work experience and potential role requirements.
  • An emphasis on digital transformation capabilities & essential skills (agility, empathy, navigating through D-VUCAD).
  • Embrace continuous learning to stay relevant and valuable.
  • Openness to different scopes, functions, and levels.

With the mix of remote and on-site work arrangements, requiring new digital skills and additional skills such as collaboration, adaptability, skills taxonomy can create transparency in skills requirements and expectations for both managers and employees.

Skills taxonomy

  • A structured list of skills defined as the organisation level that identifies the capabilities of a business in a quantifiable way.
  • A system that classifies skills within an organisation into groups and clusters.

As the leader advised: "You wouldn’t need to start from scratch. There are materials out there — your job is to curate it." This would mean identifying five to six crucial ones.

Going even further, how can you improve skills management and retention through the use of data analytics?

  1. Identify, collect, analyse
    1. What skills for each job role?
    2. What are the skills gaps and opportunities?
  2. Create, target, update
    1. What kind of development does each employee need?
    2. How can it be tailored for each employee?
    3. How do we track progress?
  3. Monitor, refresh, refrain
    1. Which skills are relevant? Outdated?

Leveraging tech to create a diverse talent pipeline

In the face of a changing landscape, customers are re-evaluating their approaches to future-of-work networking and security.

As our speaker shared, 77% of organisations believe that hybrid work is the future of digital business. Further, cloud seemed to be the new data centre — 92% of enterprises will have adopted cloud by 2023.

This would call for investments in people, processes, and technology. Sharing her own personal view, leveraging technology can impact your talent pipeline in different areas.  

Employee engagement:

  • Engaging employees
    • Redesigns career site
    • Defines employee proposition value
    • Participates in expanded industry lists
  • Strengthening culture
    • Strategy for employee surveys
    • Inclusive event strategy
    • Defines rewards & recognition programme
    • Redefines giving programme
  • Investing in DEI
    • Creates aspirational hiring pipeline goals
    • Inclusive language reviews across JDs
    • ERG strategy and engagement
    • Drives equitable outcomes across performance & rewards

People operations

  • Improving reporting & analytics
    • Establishes reporting COE & deploy customer reports
    • Creates business intelligence COE
    • Implement common hierarchies across P&C systems
  • Supporting hiring goals
    • Supports future state TA processes and programmes through process design, vendor selection & reporting
    • Implements new TA tool for referrals
    • Develops recurring report & data collection for attrition by business leader
  • Improving customer experience
    • Streamlines approvals (PTO and leave administration)
    • Eliminates unnecessary forms
    • Identifies other quick wins and roadmap

The journey to HR automation

As one speaker empathised, getting started in people analytics is always the hardest. 

To achieve success on this journey, this leader shared more on adopting the outside-in & inside-out approach. The outside-in approach would mean the adoption of a data-driven mindset and measuring what matters.

Data democratisaion is the key to driving to adoption of data-driven decision making:

  1. Empowering employees and managers to be comfortable asking data-related questions.
  2. Providing the right tools and data to enable employees & managers to work with data.
  3. This would be an ongoing process. It is a culture shift and a mindset that needs to be developed.

On the inside-out approach, HR must be data fluent, especially considering the rising importance of data. Data is deemed the new currency.

As the leader explains: "With data, you are putting the facts on the table and killing the myths."

Taking it a step further, data governance is also important. Data cleaning should also be an ongoing process. With poor data quality, "stakeholders will spend more time questioning the validity rather than using it."

Debunking data privacy

In this panel discussion on building employee trust in data practices to support the organisation’s business strategy, one leader shared how to break down working in silos:

  1. Create intentional projects to get different groups to come together
  2. Using more of teams for collaboration

Another leader shared on the importance of creating understanding of HR analytics. One such way to do so would be to run HR business classes.

The discussion also touched on the progression of people analytics. As one leader shared, perhaps five to 10 years ago, the world was more focused the having data — on the actual availability of the dashboard itself. Now, businesses are starting to ask beyond that. 

With more focus on internal data now, external data is also needed for more holistic information. One leader noted: "You need to make sense of the numbers — for example, if you see the attrition rate shoot up, this might be alarming. But how does this fare against the market benchmark? Even if it shot up, perhaps it might still be doing better when compared to market benchmark."

Human Resources Online would like to thank all speakers, panelists, roundtable hosts, and moderators for being valuable contributors to this event.

We would also like to extend our gratitude to our sponsors & partners for making this conference possible:

Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsors
Grab For Business
Human Capital Leadership Institute (HCLI)

Boston Consulting Group (BCG)
Institute for Human Resource Professionals (IHRP)
Payroll Serve, A Stone Forest Company
Safe Space
Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP)

Lead image / Human Resources Online 

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