24 Sep 2023

Use HR data as a basis for strategic business decisions

A sound and comprehensive basis for decision-making is essential when senior management and the board of directors are determining strategy and making difficult choices. Here, HR can deliver valuable insights based on hard data that can be linked directly to key business goals.


When a company's business strategy needs to be evaluated and updated, it's usually based on many reports, presentations and analyses. HR has traditionally struggled to influence the decisions of top management with the same weight as more numbers-focused departments like sales and finance. It can ultimately harm the business, as many of HR's responsibilities are crucial to its success. 


But it's not a law of nature that it has to be that way. Modern HR systems provide plenty of opportunities for systematically collecting and analyzing relevant data. With the right approach, HR can deliver detailed and value-creating insights to make even the most conservative CEO or chairperson agree. 


Here are just some of the business-critical questions to which hard HR data can provide an informed answer: 



Are growth targets realistic? 


Very few self-respecting companies do not set new, ambitious growth targets at regular intervals. Here, HR must be able to provide an informed opinion on whether the organization's workforce can meet its goals. 


How many key employees and specialists will you need, and can you recruit enough with your current efforts? If not, you'll need to find a way to close the gap or adjust your growth targets. Perhaps you must allocate more resources to recruitment, employee development and employer branding.



Are you losing ground in the battle for talent? 


The battle to attract the brightest minds is fierce, and a thorough analysis of HR data can reveal how you as a company compare to your competitors and point to initiatives that can increase your chances. Are you attractive enough to lure coveted employees away from your closest competitors, or do they steal two from you every time you successfully attract one of theirs?


Also read: Automate your preboarding and onboarding processes and create employee well-being from the start


A classic issue is when a key employee resigns after being denied a pay rise. You'll then need to recruit a new employee, who will likely need a higher salary. Here, you can use HR data to calculate when it's more cost-effective to pay current employees more in salary instead of engaging in expensive recruitments regularly. It's also possible to pick up signals that show which employees are most likely to leave the organization.



Are you ready to expand into new markets? 


International expansion is often part of a growth strategy, but establishing yourself in new markets is complex. It will often be necessary to adapt your recruitment, retention and management procedures to match local conditions. Is the culture compatible with your values and leadership style? What are the salary levels like? How long should you expect it to take to recruit enough employees? 


HR data can also indicate who among your employees will be most favorably disposed to the prospect of relocation. You can also measure whether an international position increases the likelihood of employee retention and whether international experience positively or negatively impacts promotion opportunities.



Are there problems in parts of the organization? 


Red figures in internal job satisfaction surveys and galloping employee turnover signal that things are not functioning optimally. Suppose the critical numbers are isolated to a single department or unit. In that case, looking at the possible causes, such as management style or workload, is a good idea.


Employee satisfaction could also be skewed for other reasons. For example, if your youngest employees are far more dissatisfied than their older colleagues, it could be a sign that your company culture or onboarding processes need to be adjusted.



Do you live up to your ideals of diversity and ethical behavior? 


Corporate social responsibility and a clear ESG profile have become indispensable in the battle for customers and talent. But do the rose-tinted goals stand up to a reality check? What about gender balance, and are your internal processes fair and free from discrimination? 


With HR data, you can see if you can deliver equal opportunities when hiring and promoting. You may be great at achieving diversity in recruitment, but if many minority employees leave after a short period, it could be a sign of structural issues that don't match your values. 



How Emply supports strategic use of HR data


With Emply's HR solution, you can collect and combine HR data such as headcount, time-to-hire, applicant conversion rate, employee satisfaction and performance reviews. The platform's reporting module provides insight into real-time data, so you're always up to date and can compare with previous data. 


Because Emply offers an open API, you can pull data from Emply and visualize it in a BI tool in many ways. For example, you can set up dashboards where data from other business-critical systems – such as shift schedule or payroll systems – can also be compared. In this way, you can analyze how certain working hours affect employee satisfaction or whether there is an imbalance in the remuneration of specific employee groups. 



Are you interested in knowing more about Emply?


Let us show you how you can optimize and automate your HR processes with our HR system that supports the entire employee journey from job advertisement to resignation.


Book a demo here.

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