6 Ways to Bridge the Talent Gap With People Analytics

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Smriti Rajan comes from a political science and literature background, having an immense passion for writing across varied topics. She has written several articles and blogs for diverse audiences worldwide. She has produced several research publications, policy frameworks, and opinion pieces for think tanks, government institutions and corporates. Alongside this, she writes for a large Fortune 500 clientele and is a key contributing writer for Wikistrat on their EMEA desk. Currently, she resides in India.

Your people and your HR operations, and the total workforce generate a tremendous amount of useful data. The challenge for HR is to use both internal and external data to close their organizations’ talent gaps by making faster, more informed talent decisions.

Investing time and resources into people analytics/ talent analytics can be the catalyst that enables your company to close its talent gaps. The benefits of talent analytics span as far as an organization is creative and purposeful with the data it collects. 

Here are 6 ways in which you can bridge the talent gap with people analytics: 

1. Anticipate the impact of business strategies on the workforce

Using external data and your workforce data, you can understand how business trends, automation, and digitization influence business decisions and impact your workforce.

Using forward-looking analytics, you can develop predictive models to inform your business strategists on talent availability. You can anticipate a talent gap before it happens, so you can develop plans for closing it. The information you uncover can inform both short-term and long-term business strategies.

For instance, if you discover that you will need more machine learning specialists in the near future, you can start looking for freelancers for your upcoming projects but also research where and how you can hire full-time ML specialists and if and how you can upskill your existing engineers.

2. Understand the labor market through recruiting metrics 

By understanding skill sources and availability through tracking relevant recruiting metrics, you can target recruiting more effectively. You can save costs by putting your resources only into those sources that produce results.


Understanding localized labor markets better can help you build a solid sourcing strategy. For example, some companies have found that critical skills, such as data science, can cost less if they hire from small-town colleges rather than competing in large metro areas.

3. Create pre-employment assessments for effective onboarding

Pre-employment assessments can give you an edge in understanding employee strengths and challenges so that you can create customized onboarding plans. A personalized approach will increase self-development and engagement and lower your new hire turnover rate.

For example, if the pre-employment assessment data shows that your newly hired data scientist is experienced in Python but not so much in R, you can put extra focus on this statistical computing language in your onboarding and training plan.

4. Facilitate learning and development 

Employee assessments can also enable you to develop personalized development plans. A well-designed tool will help you create plans that motivate your people by giving them a clear path to self-improvement based on building the skills that they are currently lacking or that they wish to improve.

These personalized development plans can also open up paths that individuals may not have thought possible.

5. Reduce employee turnover

High turnover rates can contribute to widening the talent gap at your organization. Create more in-depth insights into worker turnover using active and passive data collection to understand the genuine reasons people leave the organization.

Experian built a predictive model analyzing about 200 attributes and circumstances that might drive flight risk. Their analysis discovered that being on a team of over 10 or 12 people increased flight risk. They now include that risk in their organizational design models. The analysis made it possible to present evidence-based conclusions to managers as they designed their interventions.

6. Manage alternative work relationships

The present-day changing work dynamics has paved the way for non-traditional employment relationships. Many companies found that some of their people were more productive working at home. 72% of remote office workers say they want to work away from the office at least two days a week, and 32% don’t want to go to the office at all.

Much of most companies’ workforces are not only employees, but contract workers, consultants, freelancers, and contingent workers:

Therefore, to manage the organizational skill inventory, HR needs to have a comprehensive view of all workers and their skills. People analytics comprises much more than employees in the HRIS. Data aggregated from multiple sources is imperative.


Where Do You Start Now?

Once you have worked through your skills assessment, you are ready to embark on a detailed skills gap analysis and develop a plan for closing the gaps. You may find that not all or even most of your analytics will entail advanced skills, but those that do require those skills may have the most impact on your business. 

You will be most successful if you think big and start small. Solve one talent gap and learn from it, then scale up as your capabilities grow. Practice your skill gaps analysis on yourself and your team. To maximize the usefulness of people analytics, always link it to business goals and objectives. 

What are you waiting for, start now!

ALSO READ: 4 Ways HR Leaders Can Help Remotely Working Women

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