The 8 HR Analytics Every Manager Should Know About
By Bernard Marr ,


It goes without saying that people are vital to the success of any company. There’s no doubt that any business which can attract the right competencies, manage talent effectively, utilize capacity efficiently, and retain employees is setting itself up for long-term success.

HR departments are generating more data than ever before but at the same time they often struggle to turn their data into valuable insights. Based on the work I do with companies all over the globe I have identified some of the most important analytics managers can use to better understated the people-related side of their business. This post builds on my article on the key business analytics tools, which might make good additional background reading. Here is my list of HR analytics every manager should know about:

1.Capability analytics

The success of your business depends on the level of expertise and skill of your workforce. Capability analytics is a talent management process that allows you to identify the capabilities or core competencies you want and need in your business. Once you know what those capabilities are you can compare them to the capabilities you have in place at the moment to see if you have any gaps.

Tip: Capabilities are not just about qualifications and skills; they can also include capabilities that may not be formally recognized, such as the ability to develop and maintain relationships.

2.Competency acquisition analytics

Talent matters, and the acquisition and management of talent is often a critical factor in business growth. Competency acquisition analytics is the process of assessing how well or otherwise your business acquires the desired competencies. You need to start by identifying the core competencies your business requires now and in the future. Then assess the current levels of these competencies within your business and identify any gaps. You can then monitor how effective you are at developing these competencies in-house or spotting and recruiting candidates with those competencies.

Tip: Key to effective competency acquisition analytics is focusing on a small set of core competencies.

3.Capacity analytics

Capacity affects revenue. Capacity analytics seeks to establish how operationally efficient people are in a business, e.g. are people spending too much time on admin and not enough on more profitable work, or are individuals stretched far too thin? It also allows businesses to establish of how much capacity they have to grow?

Tip: The tricky part is establishing a system to track capacity without creating huge administrative burdens and without alienating employees with a ‘big-brother’ approach. Big data and sensor system can be very effective here.

The best people and HR analytics (Source: Shutterstock)
The best people and HR analytics (Source: Shutterstock)

4.Employee churn analytics

Hiring employees, training them and then integrating them into the business costs time and money. Employee churn analytics is the process of assessing your staff turnover rates in an attempt to predict the future and reduce employee churn. Historical employee churn can be identified through traditional KPIs such as the employee satisfaction index, employee engagement level and staff advocacy score. Surveys and exit interviews are also useful tools.

Tip: Always remember that some employee churn can be desirable. It is important to identify a healthy level of churn and develop system to pinpoint the ‘regrettable’ churn.

5.Corporate culture analytics

Culture is notoriously difficult to pin point and even harder to change. It is essentially the collective (often unspoken) rules, systems and patterns of behavior that embody your business. Corporate culture analytics is therefore the process of assessing and understanding more about your corporate culture or the different cultures that exists across your organization. This then allows you to track changes in culture you would like to make, understand how the culture is changing, create early warning systems to detect toxic cultures in their development and ensure you are recruiting people that don’t clash with the corporate culture.

Tip: One way to assess culture is through the analysis of customer service conversations, which can provide a rich vein of data to assess corporate culture.

6.Recruitment channel analytics

Employees represent the greatest cost and greatest opportunity in most businesses. Recruitment channel analytics is the process of working out where your best employees come from and what recruitment channels are most effective. Recruitment channel analytics will involve some historical assessment of employee value using KPIS such as human capital value added and return per employee. Surveys and entry interviews are also useful sources of data.

Tip: Aggregator sites like operate like Trip Advisor for recruitment and can provide companies with independent reviews of their recruitment process.

7.Leadership analytics

Poor leadership, whether of a business, division or team costs money and prevents a business from fulfilling its potential. Leadership analytics unpacks the various dimensions of leadership performance via data to uncover the good, the bad and the ugly. Data about leadership performance can be gained through the use of surveys, focus groups, employee interviews or ethnography.

Tip: It is advisable to make the data collection anonymous, so that employees can really open up and provide useful information. Few employees would feel confident or safe talking about their leader or manager if they knew that person could or may have access to their opinion.

8.Employee performance analytics

Your business needs capable high-performing employees to survive and thrive. Employee performance analytics seeks to assess individual employee performance. The resulting insights can identify who is performing well and who may need some additional training or support in order to raise their game. Today, we have many innovative ways of collecting and analyzing performance, from crowdsourced performance assessments to big data analytics.

Tip: I advise companies to move away from the classic and outdated performance reviews. With modern data capture techniques it is possible to analyze performance more holistically and less focused on specific parts of a job that might cause employees to skew their behavior.

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