The 20 best HR Analytics articles of 2014

According to revered authorities such as Josh Bersin, 2015 promises to be the year that analytics goes mainstream in HR. As such, I thought it may be helpful to warm-up with a list of my favourite HR Analytics articles of 2014 (listed in no particular order):

1. iNostix How HR Analytics will transform the world of hiring | @iNostix

Luk Smeyers and Jeroen Delmotte’s Leuven based firm iNostix is one of the most interesting and progressive vendors in the HR analytics space. This extends to their blog, which regularly churns out thoughtful and informative posts. The example selected persuasively provides five ways in which predictive analytics will transform recruiting.

2. Patrick CoolenThe 10 Golden Rules of HR Analytics | @PatrickCoolen

Patrick has developed a formidable reputation for his work at ABN AMRO where he has introduced predictive analytics into the HR space. Here he provides his version of the 10 commandments – related of course to HR analytics. For more on what Patrick has achieved at ABN AMRO check out this piece on the iNostix blog: The HR Analytics Journey at ABN AMRO.

3. Morten Kamp Andersen5 reasons why HR Analytics must sit in HR and 5 reasons why HR Analytics should not be located in HR | @MortenKamp

Morten’s excellent All About Human Capital blog has a number of gems on it (so do check it out) but if I had to pick one from 2014 it would be this two-part piece. It presents the case for and against HR Analytics being under the auspices of the HR department – they certainly provoked some healthy debate. If you were on the jury, how would you vote?

4. Andrew Marritt5 Types of HR Analytics Vendors | @AndrewMarritt

My co-chair at the People Analytics 2015 conference is one of the leading authorities in the HR Analytics space through his Organization View business. Andrew has published a series of blogs on LinkedIn – and several white papers that are well worth getting hold of. This one classifying the five types of HR Analytics vendors is a must-read for any CHRO considering ramping up their analytics efforts in 2015.

5. Ian O’KeefeExit HR Practitioners, Enter Talent Analytics Algorithms | @ianmokeefe

Ian runs the HR Analytics function at Sears and has driven a number of initiatives that have led to a direct and positive impact on the retail giant’s bottom line. Ian draws on his experience in this piece outlining, for example, how talent analytics algorithms can help drive individual productivity levels. Also check out Ian in conversation with iNostix on the HR Analytics Journey at Sears – it’s hugely impressive stuff.

6. Dr John Sullivan – Why HR Needs to Get Serious and Adapt Workplace Analytics – Part 1 & Part 2 | @DrJohnSullivan

Sullivan’s pull-no-punches style has perhaps never been as powerful as in this two-part sermon on TLNT evangelising the irrefutable case for HR adopting data driven metrics and predictive analytics. Read it and prepare to be converted to the analytics cause.

7. Karen O’LeonardWill HR Lose the Battle Over Analytics?

This excellent article from Karen O’Leonard of Bersin by Deloitte warns that as HR continues to drag its feet over adopting analytics it is running out of time before its cousins in Finance wrest control. Will HR get its act together in 2015 before it’s too late?

8. Josh Bersin, John Houston & Boy KesterTalent Analytics in Practice: Go from talking to delivering on Big Data | @Josh_Bersin

O’Leonard’s article above draws on Bersin research that 86 percent of companies report no analytics capability in their HR function. In this detailed Deloitte University Press publication, Bersin and his cohorts outline how organisations can quickly go from talking (or even avoiding?) to delivering on HR analytics.

9. John BoudreauWhat to do when you can’t predict your talent needs

In this HBR article, Professor Boudreau – one of the pioneers of HR analytics, explains why the ‘fox’ approach is better than the ‘hedgehog’ when it comes to coupling predictive analytics with strategic workplace planning. A must-read.

10. Jonathan FerrarPredictive Analytics: What Big Data Means for the Future of HR | @jaferrar

Jonathan leads strategy and product management for IBM’s Smarter Workforce and Big Blue features regularly in this piece that describes how HR as a function in flux needs to embrace analytics and be more data driven in its decision making.

11. Neil MorrisonYou’re not as big as you think | @neilmorrison

Neil’s Change-Effect blog is widely and rightfully regarded as one of the premier HR blogs. His article from October arguing that for the vast majority of organisations data in HR is rarely ‘big’ really resonates.

12. Nathan R. Kuncel, Deniz S. Ones and David M. Klieger: In Hiring, Algorithms beat Instinct

According to this excellent HBR article, studies suggest that yes, algorithms do indeed beat instinct. Indeed, the authors recommend that a purely algorithmic system should be used to narrow the field with human judgment only called upon at the final selection stage. Controversial? Read the article and make your own mind up.

13. Matt AlderCan you replace a recruiter with an algorithm? | @mattalder

Speaking of algorithms, this excellent article from November by Matt Alder ponders whether eHarmony is about to make a foray into the world of hiring, and if so what the implications are for all those recruiters out there.

14. Greta RobertsFrom Human Screen to Machine: Predictive Analytics Helps Avoid a Major Point of Hiring Failure | @gretaroberts

In a similar vein, Greta – CEO of vendor Talent Analytics, outlines how predictive analytics can make significant improvements to the recruitment process and lead to hires that deliver more value to the organisation and drive business sustainability.

15. Benjamin Taylor This is why your Data Scientist sucks | @bentaylordata

If HR is really going to get jiggy with analytics then chances are they will need to hire some data scientists. Here, Benjamin Taylor – Chief Data Scientist at HireVue (do check out their HireVue Insights product) shares his perspective and experiences.

16. Dave Millner: HR 2020: We Need Data Scientists Now! | @HRCurator

Just in case you hadn’t quite got the fact that more data scientists are needed in HR, this article by Dave Millner rams the message home further. If only Mario Balotelli was this clinical in front of goal…

17. CEB blogsHR: Applying business judgement to data science | @CEB_HR

As a third musketeer to the above entries from Benjamin Taylor and Dave Millner, this article on the CEB blog balances the need for data and analytical expertise with the ability to use business and organisational knowledge to draw conclusions from talent data.

18. Josh Bersin2015 HR Predictions: #7 Leaders will invest in talent analytics and workforce planning | @Josh_Bersin

Every year leading industry analyst Bersin by Deloitte make their annual HR predictions. This year (as admittedly in previous years) Bersin predicts that leaders will invest heavily in talent analytics and workforce planning. Surely, Bersin will be proved right this year, won’t he?

19. Beth Ellyn RosenthalWhy ConAgra Foods Decided to Outsource HR Analytics After Doing It In house

Talking about Mark Berry (who is cited in the Bersin’s article above as a prototype leader in the HR Analytics space): this article on Outsourcing Center, describes how Mark built the HR Analytics function at ConAgra Foods from scratch and then, in order to take things to the next level, decided to outsource to an external partner.

Finally, if you’ve enjoyed these articles you may also want to have a read of some of the articles I’ve written on the subject:

20. David Green | @david_green_uk

  • The Who’s Who of HR Analytics Influencers – Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4Provides brief profiles of 72 HR Analytics influencers within this burgeoning space.
  • Part 1 and Part 2 of our fictional HR Director’s journey into the world of HR Analytics – Provides a satirical take on the foray of one HR Director into the world of HR Analytics.
  • Is HR ready for the Big Data & Analytics revolution?Asks if the HR function is ready to plunge headlong into a world of data, analytics and science.
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