This post has been updated for 2021
Frankenstein. Moby-Dick. Star Wars.
Whether it’s for motivation, education, or entertainment, everyone loves a good story. And that includes businesses. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why business intelligence is still growing, as companies search to uncover the narratives hidden in their data.
The HR department is no exception. As talent becomes a scarce commodity, organizations are now applying analytics to their people data.
If retailers can use purchase history data to accurately predict when you’ll run out of makeup, why can’t businesses use behavioral data to spot employee attrition and identify turnover risk?
The intersection of data and human behavior has led to the consumerization of workforce analytics tools. Historically, IT had access to business data and HR relied on them to create workforce reports. But as technology has advanced, these tools have become increasingly easy to use. Now, HR departments can get the data they need from accessible, self-service human resources software.
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What is an HR dashboard?
Acquiring, developing, and retaining talent is complex. From recruiting to performance management, businesses increasingly rely on technology to help monitor the lifeblood of the company. From payroll, to performance measurements, to goal alignment, HR software provides a great deal of worker information.
But simply collecting data isn’t helpful. Data is only valuable when it tells a story.
That’s where modern HR software and analytics comes in. It helps companies aggregate and present employee data in a meaningful way. In turn, that lets your business make data driven decisions.
- Where should you spend time and money sourcing new candidates from?
- What is the difference in skill level between top and bottom performers in the company? How can you bridge that gap?
- How many high potential leaders does the company have and what is the risk of losing them?
- Are you strong or weak in the skill capabilities your company needs in the next three to five years?
To help you spot these trends, an HR dashboard collects the most relevant information — the reports and KPIs you actually care about — and organizes it on one screen. Charts, graphs, and meters visualize this information. Presenting the data graphically helps you monitor everything at a glance and gauge company progress towards goals. You can interact with HR dashboards to drill down when you need more information, and you can customize dashboards to see only high-priority objectives.
What makes a good HR dashboard?
HR dashboards are useful for analyzing performance and identifying areas for improvement in an organization. They’re not only important to HR managers, but for C-level executives as well. Decision makers ensure that company strategy is aligned from executive to managerial to individual goals. Executives and HR leaders must work together to identify the data they need in order to take action. Then you can collect and monitor that data to keep workforce performance aligned with organizational objectives.
A good HR dashboard will provide a concise and intuitive display of clear key performance indicators. Below are a few tips to consider when customizing or creating an HR dashboard:
- Narrow down what you measure. Just because you can monitor dozens of KPIs doesn’t mean you should. You’re not building Frankenstein’s monster. You’re painting a nuanced picture of the workforce that guides the decision making process. Monitor the metrics that benchmark performance. Stick to the eight to 12 most important visualizations and drill down as necessary.
- Only measure meaningful data. The most valuable data is actionable. The goal is to monitor metrics which can be linked to a future course of action. Let’s say HR needs to meet aggressive hiring deadlines due to the company’s rapid growth. If your all of your top performing employees were found through LinkedIn ads, then should you spend time and money sourcing new candidates at job fairs? Only monitor data from which you can glean insights for decisions.
- Dive deeper. Businesses must strike a delicate balance between measuring everything and measuring nothing. To do this, first pinpoint the challenges of each department. Next, determine which are related to HR. Then determine what metrics would provide insight into these challenges.
Let’s use employee retention as an example — it’s a huge challenge for most businesses. But simply monitoring the annual or monthly turnover rate provides no context. To gain insight into underlying causes, you must segment the voluntary turnover rate into multiple categories, such as retirement versus non-retirement, department or manager, skill level, age, etc.. Are you losing millennial employees? Are workers leaving due to their relationship with a manager? Go beyond basic metrics to find the story.
Remember, a dashboard is a means to an end. Monitoring data alone won’t revolutionize a company; taking action will. If your HR dashboard isn’t driving informed decisions and strategies, then modify it until it does. Continual advantage comes from continual improvement.
Examples of HR dashboards
Now that you know the prerequisites for a good HR dashboard, it’s time to familiarize yourself with some examples. Let’s examine a few dashboards from leading HR software vendors so you can better navigate the market.
TechnologyAdvice rating: 4.5/5
Workday is a leader in enterprise HR software, and their software redefines how organizations unify data spread across multiple sources and systems. Workday combines big data analytics and HR into one simple, intuitive interface.
Users can combine Workday data with non-native data for in-depth reports and dashboards that are accessible on a tablet, smartphone, or desktop. An all in one human capital management platform should provide insights regarding retention and performance, in addition to bread and butter metrics such as headcount, absenteeism, workforce productivity, performance goals, and HR to staff ratio.
TechnologyAdvice rating: 4/5
In addition to end-to-end dashboards, you can also access HR dashboards in standalone systems such as a recruiting or applicant tracking systems. Jobvite’s simple interface details how efficient a company’s recruiting process is, by tracking metrics such as hires by recruitment source, and the hiring manager interview to offer ratio.
You can also track referrals, which lets you know how likely your employees are to recommend your company to a friend or colleague. This provides insight into employee satisfaction and comparative data per department referrals. If referrals are severely lacking in one business unit, it’s a red flag that the team or manager could be improved.
TechnologyAdvice rating: 4.5/5
If you want to keep a finger on the proverbial pulse of your organization, OfficeVibe can help. The company specializes in technology that regularly measures employee engagement and satisfaction in order to promote better employee morale, increase productivity, and reduce turnover.
Each week, Officevibe automatically sends a quick survey question to employees. The results of these pulse surveys can be viewed by manager’s on their dashboard as the results are collected. Officevibe’s platform can also be accessed via smartphones and mobile devices.
Finding the right HR software can feel frustrating. It doesn’t have to.
A good HR dashboard is an invaluable tool for businesses. Companies need to be able to see, understand, share, and act on their workforce data. If your company has difficulty analyzing performance, or identifying areas for improvement, consider upgrading to modern HR software that uncovers the meaningful stories inside your data.
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