Links International is an innovative human resources outsourcing company in Asia. Here, we are firm believers that people are the ones to drive business success. This is why we dedicate ourselves to HR and in elevating the dialogue in the market place.
In the past, we’ve hosted events like HR Leaders in Retail Discuss HR Tech Trends in Asia, which saw a great turn out. In order to continue the dialogue, yesterday we hosted another event for HR leaders in financial services, talking about HR analytics aimed to raise HR’s function in the business scope.
For this event we invited Andy Lam, Director of HR Analytics at Prudential to co-chair with us to discuss the future of HR and the adoption of analytics to bring further value to the table. On the day, we had the honour of hosting HR professionals from some of the leading companies, including AXA Asia, KKR Asia, Manulife, CVC Capital Partners , OCBC, Dah Sing Bank, BUPA (Asia), BOCI Group, CBA and many more. For anyone who may have missed our event, below is a recap of the key insights from our discussion.
HR Analytics in Asia
With the intention of opening the dialogue on HR analytics, we started with a simple question, “Where are you with analytics?” Unsurprisingly, the consensus among our guests was that, in Asia especially, little attention or resource has been placed in properly utilising analytics in terms of HR.
As we went around the table, HR professionals agreed that, while analytics is a valuable asset in adding value, on the local level it just hasn’t been as readily adopted. In general, people were more comfortable in sticking with the more “old fashioned” ways, relying on Excel over analytics systems, as analytics was not yet a requirement, whereas reporting was.
Strategic Adoption of Analytics
As an HR analytics specialist himself, Andy shared that the best approach to introducing analytics into HR was to be focused. This meant separating reporting duties from those of analytics and putting in the resources to have different people dedicated to each. As the traditional approach to HR prioritises reporting tasks over those of analytics, by separating the two functions, people specialised in analytics can draw more significant insights, as opposed to being bogged down by reporting duties, and leaving analytics to the eleventh hour, which leaves little room for true insight.
Like with anything else, to build from scratch is always the hardest. If you are thinking to implement analytics functions in your HR, you may consider starting small, using Excel in the initial phases, in order to build a mentality of using predictive analytics. As you build value and gain traction with these methods, it will be a lot easier to make a case to move onto higher profile systems like Links People Analytics, which can offer a wider range of capabilities.
Working with analytics differs from reporting in that it requires a more attentive mindset. Whereas reports look only at the figures, analytics requires more analysis of data, which also attains to looking outside of traditional measures for greater insight. Good analytics is more about having the right data, as opposed to just having data. This means being creative with what you’re looking at, for example to measure proximity (seating arrangements), scheduling , and email data on top of the usual employee demographics and pay. This means to experiment, looking not only at the quantitative but also qualitative data to arrive at some sort of insight.
End State of HR Analytics
As Andy put it, “What’s the end state of HR analytics?” Ultimately, analytics exists in HR to help us make more informed business decisions. However, this isn’t easy. On the contrary, the successful adoption of analytics in HR will take forward-thinking people who believe in the method, as there are no quantitative ways to measure its ROI in the short-term, only proxy measures. But what HR analytics does do, is help make progress in the business challenges that the company faces, bringing value that adds up over time.
“It is great to have such a fruitful meeting filled with interactions
which doesn’t tend to happen in usual HR seminars.”
Head of Human Capital
Asian Investment Bank
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