HR held back by data?

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Joined: 05 Feb 2019, 13:40

HR held back by data?

Post by Eloise63 » 02 Jul 2019, 08:42

Found this article on HR being hindered by data very interesting, as a people focused career its interesting to see data becoming a growing part of the HR industry. ... fectively/

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Re: HR held back by data?

Post by workingmom » 03 Jul 2019, 15:36

Hi Eloise - I think that this is about credibility and the ability to speak the language of other business functions that are increasingly using digitally-derived data to underpin decision-making. It may be that HR doesn't currently do this to the extent that other business functions, but I think there may be a reason for this.

I don't believe this is because HR professionals are inherently data-resistant but because the type of 'data' that is being discussed is very mechanistic and we work with a wider range of 'data' than stats and numbers. The data we work with is less 'measurable' we know it includes people and their behaviours, it's about decision making that is (in the words of Myers-Briggs terminology) based on 'feeling' rather than logic - decision making driven by how it will affect people, whether it fits in with their values. It could be a chicken and egg situation - that HR may attract those who think this way and therefore are not naturally driven to seek out the 'hard' data of facts and stats - but will equally take into account 'other' data - ie. what's the person's tone of voice tell us? what's the underlying motives behind their behaviours? what does their body language tell us? The type of data that we're used to in HR is soft data and this is equally relevant if you know how to interpret it, but is much harder to record in a traditional data capture / analysis format.

I think that the increasing digitization of the workplace means that HR will get held back if it doesn't pick up the language... however the real challenge I'd say is in identifying how we record the soft data to make good HR decisions rather than just relying on hard data which may not aid our decision making when it comes to people.

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