Working in HR has changed, hasn’t it? What once was a job of tracking employees–hiring them, educating them, walking the line between reducing hiring budgets and maintaining employee satisfaction and retention–has gotten more… complex. And as vendors charge at us offering the “next big thing” in social recruiting, education management, mobile accessibility, we’re all left with the big question: what, exactly, is our job again?

And while this isn’t specific to HR–roles everywhere are expanding as tools are developed to give us insight into our efforts–it may be most shocking here. After all, since when is HR software more than an electronic filing cabinet?

HR in the Age of Data

Since now, apparently. And that isn’t a bad thing. What these tools are doing–what they’ve done to every industry–is giving us a long, distanced view of our work. In the age of data, HR isn’t about individual employees, alone; instead, it’s about discovering the bigger picture– which groups of employees have certain expectations, hiring trends that can help reduce cost overall, which jobs actually require relevant experience to be performed successfully–and responding to it quickly.

Understand things like this, and HR transforms. It’s as much about mediating employee relations as it is about maintaining a success HR department, one that is responsive and self-aware, one that can provably grow, optimize, one that can learn.

With the right tools, HR departments can make these transitions quite easily, boosting effectiveness and cutting costs.

Top HR Analytics Tools

  • Optimize the interview process with HireVue Insights: At one time, hiring was fairly subjective. Committees would sit down, listen to anecdotal interviewer analysis of candidates, and decisions would be made for better or worse. HireVue Insights does away with all of that. Using Iris–HireVue’s patented data engine–interviews are analyzed for over 15,000 interview attributes and candidates showing characteristics similar to your business’ top performers are recommended based on analysis.
  • Better define your benchmarks with Bersin by Deloitte: While not a tool so much as a membership, Bersin by Deloitte offers access to industry leading insights (provided by Bersin) that are backed by the power and accuracy of Deloitte’s research. With access to these insights, you’ll have access to optimised models of success, frameworks, and reasonable growth benchmarks designed to increase the business impact of your HR department.
  • Increase retention of staff learning initiatives with Skillport: Though we may all have a certain affection for the employee training videos we’ve seen 1000 times and the outdated, awkward learning modules developed for us in the early 2000’s that “demonstrate employee understanding of HR-based learning initiatives”, the truth is that they’re entirely ineffective. A quick survey of education and educational psychology over the last 30 years confirms the fact that not everyone learns the same way, and that one-size-fits-all attempts at education fail. That’s where Skillport comes in. By offering a variety of learning modalities and connecting learners across social and community portals, Skillport increases the likelihood of information retention and provides concise, actionable feedback to administrators.
  • Intelligently manage your talent with Saba: Saba allows employees to create profiles, connect with one another, and access a variety of educational materials. But that’s not where the magic happens. Instead, it happens in Saba’s intelligent core, which tracks all employee interactions, document views, etc., and uses the data to intelligently recommend reading to further professionalize each employee on a personal level. Add to that Saba’s ability to take all the data it has and make recommendations about which internal employees would be a good fit for new positions, successors, and even what adequate compensation would be given their skillset, and you have a truly invaluable analytic tool.

While, inevitably, there are more tools out there (and new ones arriving every day), this is an excellent toolset for making the transition to a more data-driven HR department. By boosting the intelligence you receive on all fronts–in recruiting and interviews, foundational models and frameworks, employee education, and talent management–you can ensure that you’re best serving both the business you work for and the staff you support.

And if you want optimize your professional life, use CircleBack for iOS or Android. An intelligent contact manager, CircleBack cleans, completes, and updates your address book automatically, ensuring you can reach all of your professional contacts exactly when you need them.

What are your favorite tools?