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How to use data to connect talent management to business results

Sep 24, 2015
From the Global Enterprise Institute

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An article by KPMG’s Brian Hughes, National Private Markets Group leader.

How to use data to connect talent management to business results

Use data, analysis and research to understand the connection between people management practices and business outcomes such as profitability, customer satisfaction and quality.

As a mid-market level business leader, there’s never been a better time to focus on your company’s people.

Talent management issues are front and center on the C-suite agenda in an era of increasing government regulation, rapidly evolving customer preferences, and the demands of a changing workforce.

And executives of emerging companies who don’t have the bandwidth to focus on these issues turn to their HR executives.

Against this backdrop, HR executives have a tremendous opportunity to demonstrate the value they add to the delivery of business objectives through something known as “evidence-based HR.”

This means using data, analysis and research to understand the connection between people management practices and business outcomes such as profitability, customer satisfaction and quality.

Leveraging technology

Now, more than ever, we are seeing HR’s opportunity to leverage technology and data in order to demonstrate its ability to deliver against these issues.

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For example, take a retailer that’s interested in understanding how the types of employees it’s hiring are impacting store performance. HR and business leadership would develop a hypothesis to test and then work with store operations and a data analyst to implement and measure. Results are fed back into the HR operating model to improve overall business performance.

A recent KPMG study conducted with the Economist Intelligence Unit found that the use of evidence-based HR is increasing, and is helping companies draw a line of sight between people management practices and business outcomes.

But it’s not just about the HR function. CEOs need to embrace and lead the way, while at the same time demanding more accountability from their HR leaders on how they are integrating data into their people management strategies.

It starts with three critical success factors:

1.   Get comfortable with data

Move beyond basic HR key performance indicators to data that can deliver predictive insights about the role of people in your business. To do this well, data scientists should work within the HR function. Indeed, a number of our clients are recruiting data scientists as well as working out how to make the transition from analytical insight to action.

2.   Hone organizational and industry knowledge

Develop both your industry and company knowledge. HR is not a generic thing, nor is it industry agnostic. You must apply what you know from an HR perspective to your industry and to the specific needs of your company. You should also know how to frame the questions that will direct your analytical efforts.

3.   Reconfigure the HR department

Reconfigure so that HR and management work together within a model that promotes evidence-based people management.

Becoming evidence-based requires an effort of will and a sufficiently changed mental model that will surely be a challenge for many companies. I am, however, seeing a move among early adopters towards embracing big data and becoming more evidence-based. It’s not quite widespread yet, but I believe it is just a matter of time.


Originally published on The Business Journals website: http://www.bizjournals.com/bizjournals/how-to/human-resources/2015/08/use-data-to-connect-talent-management-to-results.html

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About the Author
Brian Hughes is the National Private Markets Group leader at KPMG. He specializes in advising high-growth companies from the development stage, through financing and capital formation transactions, and eventual initial public offering or acquisition by larger market participants. He has worked with technology, software, business services, venture capital, and private equity clients on issues that include IPOs, acquisitions, divestitures and international operations.

Brian can be reached at T: 267-256-1820 E: bfhughes@kpmg.com.