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Business Intelligence Methods HR Departments Should Leverage

Business Intelligence Methods HR Departments Should Leverage

Human resource personnel have a monumental task. It's their responsibility to hire, retain, and handle all affairs related to company employees. According to one estimate, 46% of new hires quit within 18 months. Issues like this fall on HR since recruiting and hiring costs the company money.

One solution is to use business intelligence (BI) tools for employee data mining. Consider these BI methods for recruiting and retaining the best workforce.

It's All About the Data

BI is all about acquiring and interpreting internal data. The data doesn't just pertain to consumer patterns but also employee and staff behavior. With the latest BI software, you can come up with your own set of key performance indicators (KPI) for evaluating and predicting future employee patterns.

Employee and Financial Performance

With different data sets, you can look for patterns regarding employee turnover rate and individual employee contribution. You can determine the following factors:

  • whether employee turnover is correlated with periods of slow business growth or project failure.
  • the retention rate of employees who consistently meet individual benchmarks versus those that don't
  • whether specific training program investments lead to greater retention

Sick and Vacation Days

Your BI system can spot trends regarding sick and vacation leaves. Do requests for vacation leave increase during a specific time of year or during a specific business cycle? Do the trends differ among male and female employees? By understanding when and why employees take their vacation or sick leave, you can better plan ahead for anticipated periods of high employee absence. This helps you determine the proper course of action, such as hiring temporary employees, employing an on-a-need-basis virtual workforce, etc.

Predict Behavior of High-Quality Recruits

Use questionnaires to determine common traits that distinguish top performers from the underperforming ones. A BI tool can sort the information collected from an online survey completed by employees. Through easy-to-read charts and graphs, it will reveal top traits among the highest performing members. Perhaps the top performers indicated they take themselves less seriously, are people-persons, value coworker input, and so on. You can have prospect recruits take the same survey and hire the ones that indicated the same general personality.

Determine Why Employees Leave

When employees turn in their two-week notice, have them fill out another questionnaire asking their overall sentiment of the job and why they decided to call it quits. Common reasons include:

  • lousy pay
  • too much work
  • issues with the boss or coworkers
  • feeling undervalued or better treatment being given to other employees
  • lack of opportunity advancement

You can also ask questions, such as whether a 10% pay increase or a department transfer would be enough to get them to stay. Examine the data to determine the primary causes. You can also purchase HR data from third-party data suppliers to see whether company turnover trends match the turnover of the industry as a whole. This will help you determine remedies for improving employee satisfaction.

Manage HR Overhead

According to one study, finding a replacement for a departed employee costs the company the equivalent of six to nine months' worth of salary for the position being filled. This means high-level employees are especially costly and can run up to the five to six digit-range per replacement. A BI tool will log the cost details associated with employee recruitment. Determine the amount being spent when replacing employees of various skill levels.

Turnovers are an inevitable part of business. HR staffers aren't mind readers and can't gauge for certainty whether the newly hired employee is a dud or a diamond in the rough. The next best solution, though, is to rely on BI tools to extract data and reveal insight regarding general employee behavior.


Lucy Boyle (@BoyleLucy2), is a full-time mother, blogger for Allocable and freelance business consultant, interested in finance, business, home gardening and mental health.
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Tresha D. Moreland, MBA, MS, FACHE, SPHR, SSBBP, founder of HR C-Suite, is an HR thought leader in Human Resource Strategic Management. She has held key human resource leadership roles for over 20 years in multiple industries most recently a senior vice president in the healthcare industry. Tresha is the founder and publisher of HR C-Suite ( HR C-Suite is a game changer results-based HR strategy website. It is a first-of-it's-kind site that organizes HR strategy based on desired business result. She has developed a business philosophy of integrating human resources with business strategy, thus creating a hybrid HR leadership approach. This approach enables the leveraging human resources to achieve business results.

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