MyHRCareers: Empathy, Vlookups and Business Curiosity

Giles Slinger talks technology at myHRcareers September Networking Party
Giles Slinger, Director of OrgVue

Really enjoyed the myHRcareers session last night, speaking alongside Neil Morrison, HRD from Penguin. Great talk from Neil, documenting his HR journey. I love Penguin’s Michael Lewis books, and I’m reading one of their great titles at the moment: Small Giants: Companies that Choose to be Great Instead of Big. (It’s from 2007; I’m catching up!)

The discussions before and afterwards were definitely as much fun as doing the brief talk so I’ve jotted down the question that struck me most over drinks and included the notes from my talk at the bottom.

Question: What do I need for a career in HR analytics?

Three things: empathy, Vlookups and business curiosity. Empathy, because you’re dealing with people, and all the analytics in the world need to be informed by what it means for the people. Vlookups as a proxy for analytical skills. You don’t need to be a world-leading statistician. But comfort with the slightly more advanced functions in Excel is a good indicator that you will be ready to take on the challenges of new tools. And business curiosity, because you have to be interested in what your business does, and how HR can help people achieve more for their colleagues, their products and their customers.

And the talk? The key points from me (I won’t claim highlights):

  1. Future HR roles are going to become more analytical as in house transactional HR activities are eliminated by IT, self-service or outsourcing. James Ballard, of Annapurna HR, suggests that 30% of HRBP job adverts now ask for analytical skills compared with 10% 4 years ago, and he sees it rising to 60% in 4 years. Marketing departments have already taken this route; HR will follow with a lag.
  2. What will new HR people need?
    • Ability to integrate information from multiple sources
    • Connecting inputs to outputs
    • Data visualisation
  3. What’s the big opportunity in HR?
    The newest opportunity: learning information. Especially if you can connect the data on who is learning, from whom. Who the contributors are, how they are rated by their peers, who are the hidden gems…  And if you connect that data to performance, customer satisfaction, tenure, skills, experience, absence, pay, location you will have an insight into your organisation that no-one has had before.

Please stay in touch!

Career Opportunities with OrgVue: Interested in becoming a consultant, analyst, or software developer? In 2014 so far we’ve had 11 interns, and our intern programme will continue on a rolling basis till 2015. So if that interests you please get in touch, we’d love to hear from interested myHRcareers members!

HR data and analytics workshop: Want to try your hand at HR analytics and playing with data? Join us for our HR analytics workshop with myHRcareers where you can see why OrgVue was selected as one of 5 dashboards that every business needs by entrepreneur.com.

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HR Career paths & HR analytics, 24 Sep 2014