The word "Data Science" needed to solve complex problems. While data scientists collect, mine, analyze, structure and present data to help organizations identify trends and root causes and ultimately drive strategies that will impact the bottom line.
Following are the reasons why Data Science skills are needed in HR:
1. Exceed New Expectations Of HR As A Strategic Business Partner:
Now more than ever, HR teams are expected to play a strategic role in their organizations. We are tasked with leading strategies that will attract, develop, engage and retain top talent. With so many challenges facing HR's ability to successfully accomplish these tasks including talent shortages, globalization, generational differences, etc. there's not a lot of room for investing in strategies that miss the mark. Data scientists can provide key workforce data insights as well as tell stories behind what the data means to ensure HR establishes programs that will yield returns.
2. Minimizing Biases:
Solely relying on gut feelings opens up the door for biases. Often, programs and policies are established with good intentions, but could actually be causing more disparity in the long run. Let's take for example a standard question in the hiring process: "What is your current salary or how much did you make in your last job?" The answer to this question is used to guide employers on pay decisions for new hires. However, many activists, lawyers, and lawmakers are arguing that this question perpetuates the gender pay gap that exists. Because women are historically paid less, basing salary decisions on their previous (and likely too-low) salary keeps the gap open. Organizations that want to eliminate equity issues and reduce biases can leverage data science and analysis to uncover trends, policies, and practices that need to be addressed to eliminate bias.
3. Workforce Engagement And Retention:
Most organizations use some sort of employee engagement or pulse survey to understand the discretionary effort and intent to stay within the organization. This is great, but data science skills allow you to take this analysis a step further. What additional data points can help make sense of this information? When are specific groups of people leaving the organization? What keeps them motivated and engaged? Insights like these provide the exact workforce intelligence needed to drive training, retention and other HR programs that are designed specifically with your organization's goals in mind.
4. Managing Recruiting Challenges With Confidence:
Perhaps your industry is like the countless others that are feeling the effects of the skilled labor shortage. Data science can give your organization a strategic advantage in several areas of recruiting, whether it's understanding where to source candidates or identifying the best talent for your vacancies. Data can be used to gain insights on what your employer brand is among your most critical and tough-to-fill talent segments, what your candidate experience is like, whether you're accessing a wide enough talent pool and industries with a surplus of talent that offer transferable skills. Really, the possibilities here are endless. It's all about monitoring and tracking the data that will help your company gain an advantage in the war for talent.
So how can you get these skills on your team? Whether it's hiring a skilled data scientist to join the HR department, retaining with a third-party organization to work alongside your HR team or acquiring a certification in data science, HR teams and professionals should consider adopting these skills to increase the effectiveness of HR's far-reaching programs and strategies.