In most organizations, HR has come a long way since the filing cabinets stuffed full of employee resumes, appraisals etc., but many systems in place today are legacy systems that simply transferred those paper processes onto a computer. Hiring decisions may have been made based on these files, but often in isolation from any other information used by HR.
For a long time job roles have been defined by HR leaders and managers to define the “ideal” profile and skill-set for particular role, but this has often been built on assumptions based on past profiles, rather than applying any serious analysis to it.
The transparency revolution has greatly increased the amount of information easily available on employees and candidates, with sites like LinkedIn having millions of detailed profiles that are largely publicly searchable, so there’s plenty of data out there to start analyzing. This makes it all the more surprising that despite the information publicly available, many companies have little idea of the skills and experience they actually have within their workforce.
As more progressive HR organizations start to get wise to gathering and managing their employees’ skills, they are starting to have a more accurate picture of which skills are lacking, based on those established job profiles and the proliferation of “big data” is now enabling them to take that a step further.
Using data science (the ‘moneyball’ approach), organizations’ data can now be comprehensively mined and crunched to not only look at who has which skills, but also to compare this skills data with performance data to get a clearer picture of which of these skills are actually driving business performance. This allows learning organizations to assess the ROI of training better than ever before, and identify the areas in which to concentrate training hours and dollars in order to drive the highest return.
This will enable employees to pursue personalized development plans, rather than everyone following the same track, so learning will become on-demand and more efficient, ensuring that every individual is focusing their development efforts towards progress along a pre-defined career path.
For many organizations this will turn past assumptions on their heads and make them realize how much has been wasted pushing the organization in the wrong direction, but better to learn this late than never.
Tying this information to career paths will allow companies to not only map the most common or successful career moves, but also look to the future in predicting future success of key individuals, making succession planning much more of a science.
Some leading organizations have already started this process, but there are many companies out there that are several steps behind, and have not even got an effective way to identify and document the skills they already possess. It’s time for HR leaders to become the innovators and earn their seat at the table by proving that they have what it takes to drive business performance based on science and not just assumption!