Four HR Hurdles and How to Leap Over Them

Companies are hurtling toward the future of work. The way we work, where we work, and the skills we need to work are all rapidly evolving. For HR, new challenges are being bred and existing ones are being spun into a web of complications.

Here, we look at difficulties that emerge with the intricacies of digital transformation and the wrath of unhesitating market changes. Instead of scrambling over these problems, we look at how to leap over HR hurdles with intelligent analytics.

1. Boosting Digital Confidence

The overwhelming amount of data and the relentless pace of innovation is creating an urgency for companies to transform. The orthodox is that sales and marketing will jump first, with HR following behind ever so cautiously. HR is often perceived as secondary to direct revenue generation activities, and because of this, HR isn’t pushed to take the reins on digital transformation.

It’s an interesting mindset given that HR is the proprietor of mountains of business-critical data waiting to be turned into intelligence. HR processes also have a proven track record in the cloud — online recruiting sprung there in the 1990s, with learning, performance, and talent management following suit in the early 2000s. Now, almost all HR activity is cloud led and highly innovative.

As the role of HR shifts and infrastructure advances, HR have the potential to become data visionaries. The innate task then will be to embed this idea in the mind of leadership, stressing the importance of people being at the heart of digital transformation.

Core capabilities in SAP Analytics Cloud, the single source of truth about a company’s most important business and people metrics, make it possible to bridge the gap between the role of HR and their ability to measure business impact. These capabilities include:

  • Smart discovery: Understand key business drivers with visual and textual insight as to how underlying variables influence data points. For example, break employee salary down to understand the impact of factors such as office location and employment type. Identify unexpected salaries for particular job roles and identify actionable insights based on validated data.
  • Search to insight: Leverage conversational artificial intelligence (AI) to ask questions of your data in a way that you’d ask a colleague. Turn simple phrases such as ‘show involuntary turnover by region’ into visualizations, allowing you to instantly get the information you need and shift your time to focus on higher value tasks.
  • Digital boardroom: Correlate HR metrics such as number of people on board, open vacancies, and positions filled with finance data, identifying areas where the organization is over budget. Simulate a hiring freeze to understand the downstream impact on talent pipelines and how budget shifts – present this in the digital boardroom to credibly influence behavior and decision-making at the highest ranks of the organization, allowing data-driven decisions to become harmonized foundations for doing business.

2. The War for Talent

It’s suggested that employers in Europe and North America will require 16 to 18 million more college-educated workers in 2020 than are going to be available. Companies may not be able to fill one in 10 needed roles, much less fill them with high performers. With fewer workers to leverage, existing staff need to be adaptable to change and a company’s workforce will need to be agile.

Using analytics, HR can provide forward-looking plans, eliminating the idea that preparing for the future of work is synonymous with preparing for the worst.

  • Align the staffing situation with business needs: Identify critical skill shortages as well as the magnitude of skills gaps. Determine the starting point for best closing these; for example, determine where high performers are concentrated in the organization and consider whether these performers are deployed in roles that require their skills or whether any of these positions could be staffed with less experienced talent. Consider the depth and quality of the successor pool for key positions.
  • Bridge the gap between internal employees and the contingent workforce: Using SAP Fieldglass and SAP SuccessFactors, expand the headcount definition, identify alternative sources of work, and leverage wider skill sets. For faster, better innovation, determine in SAP Analytics Cloud how to best blend candidate pools, creating diverse teams where skills align with business needs.
  • Forecast changing requirements: Use SAP Analytics Cloud to run simulations and do scenario planning. For example, determine the percentage of your workforce that will retire in the next year or in the next five years, identifying unique skills that can be harnessed to make existing employees more resilient to change. Optimize productivity and develop strategies for a more competitive and continuously changing environment.

With analytics, HR has the tools to not just succeed in their role, but to innovate and transform the business.

On Friday, we look at using this same idea in employing new approaches to old problems.