My pick of the best HR data posts from April to June 2012
So here's my second quarterly round-up of all the HR data posts highlighted in this way during the second quarter of 2012 (click here for the first instalment of the HR data tapes, which looked at the first quarter of this year).
With no further ado then (and in no particular order), here is my pick of the best HR data posts from April to June 2012:
- Is the rise in part-time working 'a good thing'? With official data showing a rapid rise in the number of part-time workers in the UK, we take a closer look at the figures, and ask whether this is a positive trend.
- Selection Bias - The Failure To Study Failure This post from the Flip Chart Fairy Tales blog is full of thought-provoking observations on how we use data in the workplace. Rick puts his finger on a paradox at the heart of organisations (and HR) use data. One of the most common objectives of how organisations use data might be boiled down to pursuing success and avoiding failure. But, as Rick points out: "The trouble is, businesses are made up of biased data sets. Studying failures presents something of a problem for management research. We tend to airbrush failure out of corporate history. [...] This inevitable failure to study failure means that management can never be truly evidence based."
- Even Small Data Can Improve Your Organization's Judgment In this post from the HBR Blog Network, US academic Tom Davenport argues that the "(justified) hoopla over 'big data' right now" risks obscuring "some important 'small data' messages" that managers should heed. Davenport identifies three particularly notable "small data" messages for managers: "a) you don't need a lot of data to be more successful; b) you don't necessarily have to do the analysis yourself; and c) you can benefit from data-based decision-making at the smallest level of the organization."
- Data Point #9: Employer Loyalty Isn't Dead? Wait. What? A great post from leading US HR blogger China Gorman, looking at data from MetLife on trends in employee benefit provision. The survey suggests that there is "a widening gap between employer and employee perceptions of company loyalty towards employees." She says that, in common with many others, she had assumed "that the issue of employer loyalty was dead." But the MetaLife data suggest the risk of a "loyalty gap," which HR and executives would do well to take action to close.
- Training By Numbers Some great advice from leading US HR blogger Chris Ponder II here on using numerical data effectively. Chris says: "The next time you run into a situation where numbers are playing into a reason why training is needed, ask questions. A decrease doesn't always mean training is the answer. In fact, asking questions could lead you to another reason for the change in the numbers - process is incorrect, technology is failing, etc. So, remember numbers are great, but they are just one side of the story!"
- HR Metrics: 10 Ways to Assess Strategic Business Context of Your Organization A useful summary of a recent webinar by Ronald Adler and Jennifer Burdick, which outlined "how the use of HR metrics allows HR professionals to tell their story effectively." The post's author says that "the starting point in developing the right metrics to effectively tell your story is to fully understand the strategic business context you're working in," and offers 10 example areas to assess.
- Tips for Developing a Super HR Analytics Team A post from the Smart Data Collective blog.
- Workforce Analytics: Three Fundamental HR Areas for Advanced Metrics Writing on the Human Resources IQ site, Dave Weisbeck looks at the potential value that workforce analytics can offer HR, and suggests three fundamental workforce metrics that HR should focus on "before moving onto more advanced workforce metrics."
- The 30 Most Popular Passwords Stolen From LinkedIn The recent high-profile theft of the passwords of millions of LinkedIn users highlights the need for us all to make sure that the passwords we utilise in the workplace every day are as secure as possible. This infographic from Mashable on the most 'popular' passwords among those stolen from LinkedIn provides some useful insights. Who would have guessed, for example, that the use of obscenities in your passwords could prove embarrassing if they ever become public knowledge?
- People born today won't get state pension until age 77
A superb, but also rather sobering, infographic from consultants PwC.
PwC says: "Someone born today is unlikely to receive their state pension
until they reach 77 and their children will be working into their mid
80s. The Queen's Speech outlined plans that the state pension age will
be linked to longevity, after increasing it to 67 by 2028. Our
projections are based on the rate the state pension age has been
accelerating and analysis of future life expectancies. Perhaps more
soberingly still, it's also worth noting that (as I recently noted in a
blog post entitled An inheritance of perpetual austerity)
the IMF argues that official longevity forecasts "forecasts 'have
consistently underestimated lifespans.' This gives rise to 'longevity
risk' ('the risk that actual lifespans of individuals or of whole
populations will exceed estimates'). This in turn means that Governments
risk having underestimated the future costs associated with ageing
populations. The IMF believes that 'longevity shocks' are likely as the
true costs associated with increased longevity become clear."
- How to link benchmarking more closely to business performance "HR
managers could gain more from benchmarking with other organisations if
they moved from a "good enough" approach to one which focused on best
practice." My colleague Noel O'Reilly provides a summary of fascinating
analysis recently published to PersonnelToday.com.
- Why You Don't Want To Be Invisible Online
What's the difference between your "digital footprint" and your
"digital shadow"? This post from Keppie Careers explains these terms,
which relate to the online data around each and every one of us, and the
key role these data can play in job searches.
- The Social Media Salary Guide What can you expect to earn if you specialise in social media? This infographic from Mashable.com breaks down interquartile salary ranges for a number of social media specialist roles by US state.
- @FlipChartRick: If HR can't do data... In fewer than 140 characters (tweeted from a session at the fourth ConnectingHR unconference, leading UK HR blogger Rick perfectly describes why data skills need to be recognised as critical for HR in 2012. For another Twitter-length take on this topic, see this post: HR wisdom (4): Neil Morrison on what they don't teach you about HR.
- Rob Jones: The one with the paradox of metrics Rob Jones ConnectingHR unconference on what aptly describes as perennial topic of importance of metrics to HR. Rob ponders the key question "if what gets measured gets done, do people only really focus on what can be measured?" Rob hits on a key point here, noting that not all of HR's priorities necessarily lend themselves to measurement. Issues such as "culture, engagement, discretionary effort, leadership effectiveness, etc" arguably require a more "intuitive" approach to their measurement.
- What Splunk IPO Says About BigData in HR A very interesting article from Bersin, which includes the following nugget: "[When it comes to HR's use of data analytics,] the limitation is you. Only 6% of HR organizations feel that they have excellent analytic skills internally and most have not yet invested the time it takes to build a holistic analytics function. And our studies have shown that ultimately the talent analytics team should be part of the entire company-wide analytics function - because data about people, behaviors, customers, and products all relate to each other." How does this resonate with your organisation?
- Barclays looks behind employee survey results to find deeper truths "HR teams generate a lot of data from employee opinion surveys (EOS) but it isn't always obvious how to interpret results." In this extremely interesting post, my colleague Noel O'Reilly looks at some of the key points from a recent article on Personnel Today, which reported on "how Barclays UK Retail bank looked beyond the headline results of EOS data and found some concerns were not being addressed by the survey."
- The real meaning of 'frozen' salaries in law firms An excellent piece of data journalism from Robina Clough on the blog of legal recruitment firm Edwards Gibson. Here, Robina takes issue with recent headlines suggesting that lawyers are being hit by pay freezes. Robina highlights the "lockstep model of remuneration" used by many commercial law firms, and explains why the realities of this remuneration model mean that "whichever way you look at it, the headlines of 'frozen salaries' or 'well below the average' increases are a misrepresentation of the current plight of the modern City lawyer."
XpertHR data round-up archive
Catch up with all the posts in XpertHR's data round-up series!
- HR data round-up June 2012: The costs and benefits of the 2012 Olympics
- HR data round-up May 2012: The changing ratios of HR to employees
- HR data round-up April 2012: IT pay trends; private sector pay forecasts & more!
- The HR data tapes: HR lifers; CIPD qualifications; workforce analytics, & more!
- HR data round-up March 2012: Tough times for graduates
- HR data round-up February 2012: Are employers losing the battle to combat work-related stress?
- HR data round-up January 2012: What is the ideal employee to HR ratio in 2012?
- HR data round-up, December 2011: Christmas working and minimum office temperatures
- HR data round-up November 2011: Why did you get into HR?
- HR data round-up October 2011: National minimum wage; HR data visualisation; & using HR data effectively
- HR data round-up September 2011: Benchmarking absence; social media ROI; & latest HR data blog posts
- HR data round-up July 2011: HR careers, absence & turnover
- XpertHR data round-up, June 2011: Company cars, commuting, benchmarking & labour disputes
- XpertHR data round-up, May 2011: HR benchmarking data, absence & hand-drawn charts