Why It’s Vital to Develop Your Data Skills in HR Technology

As an HR professional, you’re keenly aware of the importance of key performance metrics to track your effectiveness. In fact, chances are that your ability to accurately forecast and meet the staffing needs of your company, engage with and attract in-demand passive and active candidates, and maintain a talent-rich pipeline of worthy job seekers is becoming increasingly reliant upon your ability to leverage the wealth of available data that’s out there. And if it’s not now, it soon will be—the HR industry is experiencing a seismic disruption of sorts, with innovative HR technology tools changing the way the field operates.

Having sharp data analysis skills and an ability to utilize today’s HR technology are among the most valuable and sought-after items that companies look for when recruiting. In order to remain competitive in the field, you will need to know how to source and collect workforce data in order to make smarter, most cost-effective hiring decisions.

That said, companies are encountering significant pain points when trying to hire and train staff in data analysis. According to Jeanne Achille, chair of the Women in HR Tech Summit at the annual HR Technology Conference & Exposition and CEO of the Devon Group, “Many HR functions face hurdles when seeking to add analytics competencies to their staff… HR is swimming in data but often doesn’t have the staff to help interpret that data in a meaningful way for the business … In terms of recruiting for those roles, I think we’re still several years out from having an established talent pool.”

Developing your data skills in HR technology is a worthwhile endeavor and if you start now you’ll be ahead of the curve. A great place to begin is to do some basic industry research to discover what tools are driving today’s (and tomorrow’s) HR data analysis. The internet can be your best friend here, as there’s a wealth of information online—just be careful to choose credible sources.

Sources like PandoLogic can help you get up to speed on the HR technology powering the evolution—including programmatic recruitment, predictive algorithms, machine learning, and AI software—and help take your data skills and recruitment management efforts to the next level. You can also leverage your professional network—including trusted colleagues and professional HR groups, many of whom host information-rich websites full of helpful resources as well as skill-building conferences throughout the year. 

Once you get a better handle on the leading data analysis tools out there, consider pursuing training opportunities to help you get up to speed. Although there are some free resources online, often your best bet is to invest some time and money in formal training. Your employer may be more than willing to help subsidize this expense, especially if you make a clear and compelling case that shows how it will ultimately help their bottom line. Once you start building these valuable skills, you’ll not only be a more valuable employee and potential candidate on the job hunt trail, you’ll also be more effective in your position—a real win-win.

Consider building your data skills and mastering today’s—and tomorrow’s—HR technology a necessary investment in your career as an HR professional. Those who do so will survive and flourish as innovation continues to sweep across the industry; those who fail to do so risk getting left in the dust. Where do you want to be?

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