Global confusion in managing employee “data deluge”

employee data

Over a quarter of employers worldwide do not know how their workforce potential is affecting the company’s bottom line. A new report by talent measurement solutions provider SHL suggests HR managers are overwhelmed by the volume of employee data and struggle to elicit meaningful insight that will help drive businesses forward and deliver results. “Our research shows that even though organisations measure employee performance, they have historically focused on efficiency data, like how well an employee is performing versus data that allows them to make a strategic talent decision,” said Ken Lahti, vice president, Product Development and Innovation, SHL.

SHL’s annual Global Assessment Trends Report 2013 revealed that HR professionals are facing a “big data deluge” with confusion over how to manage talent data to impact company performance. As of 2012, around 2.5 exabytes of data are created each day, which is set to double every 40 months. Two major challenges are data quality and accessibility, and respondents indicated that there is room for improvement in these areas.

Less than half of respondents (44 per cent) said their organisations use objective data on employees’ competencies and skills to make workforce decisions and only 18 per cent of HR professionals are currently satisfied with the way their organisation manages talent data. However, according to the upcoming report from CEB, SHL’s parent company, organisations that are effective at using talent analytics can boost employee bench strength, performance and retention by up to 19 per cent.

Social media is one source of data which is adding to the deluge and distracting managers from the metrics that matter; despite 88 per cent of employers claiming a lack of confidence in the quality of candidate data from social media sites, 20 per cent use that information to make hiring decisions and 30 per cent believe the data is useful in determining candidate fit.

“HR is still grappling with its ability to provide strategic data to the business on its workforce and is ill-equipped right now to take advantage of big data. They do not yet have the systems and tools required to identify people intelligence, create metrics, and link HR data sources together,” said Lahti.