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If you work in HR, you’re familiar with the challenges of all the usual suspects: retention, recruitment, work culture, and more. You’ve read a lot about talent analytics and you’re wondering if it’s time to make a move. The answer is yes. The risk of starting an analytics initiative is low–in fact, lower than doing anything at all.

So, what now? How do you get a talent analytics program off the ground? Much like a journalist approaches a story, you need to gather all the relevant facts and then tell the story. When you’ve demonstrated to leadership how a talent analytics program can help the bottom line, the rest of the story will quickly unfold.

Research your story.

It all begins here. This is where you can start to build a credible case. For example, let’s say a manager comes into your office to report that an employee who has been groomed for a key position has just resigned. Don’t assume you know why. First, assess the situation and ask questions.

Then assess the business impact. Look at your questions, and whittle the list down to the ones that impact the business. You’ll need to understand the who, when, and why.

  • Who is impacted?
  • When did it occur and why?

As soon as you have a handle on these three things, you can dig deeper. For example, if there’s a department where attrition is high, find out how many employees have left and what they have in common. How many and have stayed, and what do they have in common? This will help you select the right metrics to investigate–resignation, tenure, and promotion rate will all tell you why this is happening.

Tell the story.

Get to the point. If there’s attrition happening, most busy executives want the facts, and they want them yesterday. Present your story in a simple, yet compelling manner. For example, if you were a journalist, your headline might read: “Why are You Not Growing Effective Talent?” Next, report what you’ve learned: who is impacted, what you learned from the data, what needs to be done to fix it, and how will you measure the success of it all.

Hot off the press!

If you can demonstrate that you will monitor, reflect, and change as necessary, you’ll establish yourself as a strategic player who helps build a competitive advantage for the organization.

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