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Is HR really using data effectively?

With the sharp rise in talent shortage faced today, companies are looking into increasing the productivity of employees to make up for this shortage.

Unsurprisingly, as found in a recent SilkRoad report, one of the top areas in which HR leaders want to use data more effectively is in performance management followed by workforce planning and talent acquisition.

62% of the 153 HR professionals polled this year, pointed out that one aspect in which they would want to use data more effectively is in managing the performance of their employees, up from 48% in 2014.

"Accurate, actionable performance data provides valuable insights into questions about the workforce: What’s the profile of a high-potential employee? What are the key success factors for employees? Most important of all, real-time performance metrics can be used to align employees with the business strategy, so that they know what they have to do to reach company goals," the report stated.

The second choice was workforce planning with 45% of the votes, followed by talent acquisition with 39%.

"Clearly, HR professionals want data that gives them a sharp picture of employees’ capabilities and company resources, so that they can address skills gaps, predict future needs, and develop hiring strategies," the report added.

Additionally, it pointed out that the most valued features of HR technology is a well designed user interface (93%), followed by self-service applications (86%) and having a cloud-based system (65%).

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At SAP’s SuccessConnect 2015, Human Resources caught up with Dato Derick Khoo, senior general manager for human resources at Tan Chong Motor Holdings Berhad to find out the three features in HR tech he values the most.

"HR technology has to have a consumer like user interface, something like Facebook and Instagram, where there is no need to download manuals. In this case, the customers are managers and employees, so it has to be simple for them to use."

He added that HR technology should be able to provide constant innovation, giving companies the access to best practice innovation/process innovation on an ongoing basis.

In addition to that, he feels that it would be great if HR tech can help HR become more data intelligent, going beyond the basic reporting to overlaying the data and making sense of it to give rise to insights.

Raj Sundarason, vice president for people solutions for South East Asia at SAP added: "Data for data sake, is like the blind leading the blind. What you need today is that you need insights. Once you have the insights, what you then need to do is that you have to try and build a layer of predictability around that."

A piece of advice he has for companies facing an adoption problem when it comes to HR technology is to "look at adoption in the context of the business problem".

"As we think of rolling out HR technology, we have to think about how do we roll it out in such a way that we are solving the business problem in the context of the user. In this case, the users are the employees, the managers and the HR business partners," he said.

"We have got to get better in understanding what the problem is and then infuse technology into the problem. When we do that, we’re going to be really successful."

Image: Shutterstock

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