2021: 7 HR Analytics Trends Since The Pandemic

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2020 has been a year unlike any other which brought about unprecedented and unexpected changes to our present as well as future. More so, it is also one of the biggest stimulators for workplace reorder of our lifetime since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. COVID-19 has indeed made an impact on the way we live and work forever. 

One area that saw a huge spike in the corporate sector since 2020 is HR analytics. HR or Workforce Analytics is an effective data-driven approach of analyzing information patterns gathered from HR metrics to ultimately improve decisions that impact HR functions.

Some of these trends have been ongoing for a while, others have simply been driven by the recent developments. A few of the trends are inevitable outcomes of the drastic changes faced by organizations, and in some cases, are still facing. 

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2021: 7 HR Analytics Trends Since The Pandemic 1

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

1. Learn more about employees and their well-being 

It has been observed by company executives that COVID-19 has prompted awareness of the need for data analytics capabilities. Employers have started using several strategies to understand their employees’ needs better at a time when a major part of the workforce currently works from home.

    Measures mentioned below are used to learn about employee well-being –

    • Preparing open-ended surveys for employees and performing random or cluster sampling amongst employees
    • Utilizing the gathered behavioral data like average meeting hours, e-mails sent/received and overall network collaboration
    • Executing machine learning algos and leveraging artificial intelligence on internal social media platforms
    • Gathering and combining facility ops, network/ system security, IT data, and risk & compliance data into the existing HR data warehouse

2. Have a futuristic approach while planning 

“As employees continue to work from home, data used to evaluate employee productivity and engagement will become more important.” – Gavin Morton, HR.com. “If you’ve got a system that can help you with workforce analytics and if you have not been using it to its maximum effectiveness, now is the time to do so. If you did not have the rest of the leadership team’s buy-in before, you sure should get it now,” Morton said. 

That being said, HR professionals should emphasize information that can help differentiate remote workers from onsite workers for insights. It would ultimately support workforce planning as the coronavirus continues to impact businesses. HR managers can expect corporate investments on data analytics to increase. Moreover, the data can also help HR managers answer questions for future predictions related to availability of workers, shortlisting employees for bringing back into the office, and possibility of COVID positive employees to be able to work.

3. Store existing as well as new information 

Data analytics has become a more demanding process over the last half year. As organizations struggle with handling more employee data and are dealing with new insights about employees amid COVID, HR managers need to find ways to manage data and get actionable insights on employee performance. For this, employers must develop a plan that systematically stores new data with existing data, even at the cost of doing it manually in the beginning. Companies should also hire data SMEs as and when any new data is identified or needed and assign them data analytics activities. HRs need to be agile and iterative in interpretation and action and adopt significant trends and indicators.

4. Track & measure data that matters 

A recent research report from Frost and Sullivan predicts that the global big data analytics market will grow from $14.85 bn in 2019 to $68.09 bn by 2025. 

Although HRs track a huge amount of data, often you can still find a gap in the areas that add the most value. In such scenarios, the key concern for employers is leadership because HRs track too little data in that aspect. Hence, to create more return, tracking value-adding data related to key problem areas of the organization is of utmost importance. 

5. Redesign HR systems and integrate strategically 

Post the onset of COVID-19, there are various challenges that businesses have to face. It’s not the same anymore. The fact that prior to the onset of COVID-19, we used to collect only a little amount of information on key topics indicates a lack of strategic integration of our HR systems. Now, employers are in dire need to incorporate hi-tech systems for exploring the dimensions that help steer the business. Such systems can either be software-based point-solutions or can be inquired about using regular surveys. Here, things are usually handled by a strategic HR management unit.

6. Solve business problems using HR analytics 

Today, people analytics has become one of the hottest in-demand skills for HR professionals. Now, HR leaders are using data to solve business problems. For instance, identifying high-performing employees, leveraging insights on benefit selections, and identifying how to personalize learning solutions. 

In 2020, a new application for using HR analytics emerged among learners which uses data to analyze the attrition of a diverse employee population and understand reasons behind employee exit. With the help of data analytics, you can ask the right questions, and find out who owns the high potential & promotion process, the criteria for qualifying for such programs, etc. Applying people analytics also helps companies to understand underlying causes, develop hypotheses, and identify proof-based actions to figure out solutions for the business problems. 

Final Words

7. Adapt to smarter HR management systems & technologies

The use of technology is at an all time high today. With the rising hindrances and challenges faced by HRs, it is imperative to adapt to smart HRMS and tools that can support streamlined virtual communications, remote hiring & onboarding, automated payroll processing, and smooth virtual employee exit, among other HR operations. 

It is one thing to follow trends and starting trends is a whole different initiative. Hence, amid these tough times, HRs have emerged successfully by adopting new technologies and methodologies to fight challenges as well prepare for future mishappenings. 

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Kajal Sharma

Kajal Sharma is a Technology Enthusiast. Having completed her Engineering Degree, she keeps abreast of the latest technology trends in the market. She has an enriching experience of many years in Content Writing & Editing and Content Marketing. Besides believing writing to be the strongest form of expression, she finds solace in music and can hum a few bars herself!

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