Predicting Business Success through Talent Analytics

Predicting Business Success

Making a prediction is an opportunity to look at the undesirable or unintended consequences of a trend before it becomes part of the new normal.  The game of forecasting isn’t just about being right. A contentious prediction can also start a conversation about the future we actually want, and even mobilize us to change course if we don’t like where we’re headed. This is where human creativity is essential, and it means our predictors aren’t in danger of being replaced by machines anytime soon. Predictive analytics is the practice of analyzing current and historical data to make predictions about future events. It’s rooted in statistical analysis, but what makes predictive analytics so powerful is that it can identify complex patterns across massive data sets and uncover trends that may have been missed by the human eye.

Employees and payroll management are the heart and soul of any business and employees experience defines company’s success. Today the company uses analytics to hold itself accountable for the things that matter most to its employees, knowing that happier and healthier employees create better-satisfied clients. The expectations of companies to “want more” from their talent is driving the companies to reinvent a whole range of people practices and leading to talent analytics. It is focused on applying statistics and technology to large sets of people in order to make better organizational and operational decisions in employee management.

The ability to leverage data, particularly as it relates to ‘predicting the future’ is an exciting avenue that probably has more questions than answers. And the related questions are:

  • How do we improve our new hire engagement and retention?
  • How do we shorten time to project management?
  • How do we provide knowledge and skills more effectively?
  • How do we improve quality of hire?

Let’s explore some of the possible answers to these questions through a combination of data science and organizational behaviour studies, predictive people analytics to positively influence strategic onboarding, beyond just predicting “attrition”.

Predicting the future performance of employees

There are two ways in which predictive analytics can be used to improve employee performance and timesheet management.

The first is to hire employees who are top performers. Currently most of the companies would use “experience” and “references” as way to predict whether a candidate would be good fit for the organization and to some extent, these factors would be good predictors. But that which is obvious isn’t always true. As per one of the research, references only explain 7 percent of an employee’s performance and experience explains even less at 3 percent.

The top three predictors which are correlated to the future performance of employees are cognitive tests (26%), structured interviews (26%) and work samples (29%). Each of these tests provides a very insightful perspective to how someone thinks and how someone solves problem. The ones who are able to adapt and solve problems are better equipped than the ones who are involved in repetition and consistency.

After knowing the factors, the next question is “how” we go about assessing the candidates.

For “Cognitive tests” based on the organizational DNA, one can design and select the right kind of tests from a list of various Cognitive tests available in the market and search online.

For structured interview, it is asking the same questions to all the candidates in the same order.  It also means only having one interviewer in the room at a time. And it means assessing each candidate question by question as opposed to assessing all the questions for each candidate.

For work samples, the candidates are asked to explain specifically how they would address a work situation which is very similar to the role description for that position. There are plenty of work sample questions for every type of job.

The second way is hiring for culture add attributes. In the recent past, most of the companies have focussed on hiring “culture fit” candidates. Culture fit is when an employee or candidate is aligned with the organization’s core values and company culture. Interviewers would conduct interviews against the core values of the organization which in most cases would be teamwork, honesty, reliability, integrity, ethics, quality etc while attempting to get right set of people. Focussing solely on culture has led the organizations into a homogeneity culture thus keeping the diversity factor in the backseat.

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