What is HR Data Literacy and How to Improve it?

The HR Industry is becoming increasingly Data Driven and it relies heavily on analytics today. Read on to find out about HR Data Literacy and how to improve it…

With the prevalence of the widely used HR tools such as Applicant Tracking SystemsHuman Resource Integration SystemsRMSsCRMs, etc.- the advent of data and analytics has increased tremendously in the HR industry. However, with the introduction of such tools, it also means that there is a lot of data with the HR departments and a lack of knowledge how to analyze and synthesize such data effectively. This is where HR Data Literacy comes in. It bridges the gap between the raw numbers and the actionable, useful insights. While Data Literacy simply translates to the ability to read, write, understand and analyze raw numbers, HR Data Literacy is the analysis of HR raw data. This acts as the base for Data Driven Recruiting and use of more HR Technologies in any organization. Read this blog to find out more about what is HR Data Literacy and how to improve it.

What is HR Data Literacy?

In the words of Jane Crofts from InsideHR, HR Data Literacy is defined as the ability to derive meaningful and useful information from data, and to apply this to create better products, services, and experiences. In other words, someone who is HR Data Literate does not only look at numbers and understand what they mean, but they’re able to gather actionable insights and use the data to guide the HR processes in their organizations. It is not a domain of only the HR teams or a few teams across the organization- Data Literacy is as important for the floor level workers to the Executive Suite of any company.

Why is HR Data Literacy important?

HR Data Literacy helps in the understanding of how data is intertwined in the everyday tasks of the organization and helps to realize the full potential of such data in taking decisions and hiring. As much as it is important for the Human Resource Departments to be Data Literate, the entire workforce needs to be upskilled in order to be data literate, and HR has a critical role to play in developing this competency across the organization. Improved HR analytics also has been directly linked to productivity and profitability. One notable example comes from energy giant Chevron, who reported a 30 percent increase in productivity after rehauling their approach to HR analytics. Studies have also shown that organizations using people analytics to drive HR and business decisions often see profits that are 82 percent higher than average over three years.

How to Improve HR Data Literacy?

Here are 8 steps for you to follow in order to improve HR Data literacy in your organization:

1. Take an online course

Allowing for the training and skill development of the employees in your organization by way of online courses and training is a growing form of employee compensation in the present day HR scenario. Employees appreciate it when their organization gives them an opportunity to upskill themselves via various online training programs and it increases their retention rates since the employer brand of the company improves in their regard. Developing HR Data Skillsets online is also a very viable option since employees do not need to undertake a full-time study or time-off their work and complete their courses online while also being able to work.

2. Make Data Literacy an issue

HR professionals have an incredibly important role to play in the design and implementation of any organizational data literacy program, starting with building awareness and excitement around the possibilities that a truly data-driven organization brings. For data literacy to be taken seriously, HR must first convey how important it is to all employees, including those in traditionally non-data roles.

3. Understand where to start from

It’s difficult to design a data literacy initiative if you don’t know where you’re starting from, therefore it’s vital to measure your organization’s existing levels of data literacy before you roll out any new programs. There are a number of assessments and measurement tools available to help measure the current level of data literacy across a diverse range of employees or the organization as a whole.

4. Keep concrete goals in mind

It is always important to keep in mind the long term and short term goals that your organization needs to achieve and devise policy measures and programs accordingly. In the absence of concrete goals, there is going to be an utter chaos and loss of time and money, making the whole process cumbersome for anyone. Asking the right set of questions, understanding which data is relevant and segregating the irrelevant data, interpreting the data and checking hypotheses are some of the points to be kept in mind by Data Literate individuals.

5. Encourage a culture of curiosity

Encouraging curiosity is an important element of building data literacy. If the teams aren’t open to exploring data or being inquisitive, they’re unlikely to uncover insights that will help the business to innovate. A study by Harvard Business School found that 92% of employees credited curious people with bringing new ideas into teams and organisations and viewed curiosity as a catalyst for job satisfaction, motivation, innovation and high performance.

6. Locate data enthusiasts in your organization

Across the organization there will be hidden, passionate data enthusiasts, and what better time to discover them and amplify their skills. Call on these team members to help the organization on its journey by asking them to support others in using data in their day-to-day activities. Celebrating your data champions’ skills and drawing from their knowledge will go a long way in laying the foundations for a data-driven culture.

7. Keep assessing continuously

Ensure you schedule regular reviews to assess progress to date, measure incremental improvements, identify gaps and make changes to your data literacy program. Successful data literacy programs will not be a one-hit-wonder or ‘set and forget’ activity, these programs will adapt to the evolving needs of the organization and technological advancements.

8. Reporting and analytics

Reports and Analytics are another aspect that employers need to keep in mind and focus on in order to improve their data literacy. AviaHire’s Applicant Tracking System allows HR teams to generate basic and advanced reports for all the key metrics about their hiring processes and use them to determine various components such as time to hirecost of hireturnover rates, etc. Such insights help hiring managers draw meaningful conclusions from their hiring pipeline and bring improvements into processes that are lagging behind.

In Short

With the world slowly moving towards everything digital and data-oriented, HR teams and their hiring processes should not stay behind on such fronts. Improving HR strategies with time leads to an increased adaptability by organizations to the changing environment, thereby allowing them to make maximum use of the new norms of working.

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Suchismita Panda