Companies need not have to depend on a good boss to spot HR trouble or identify talent in their organizations. Now, they can rely on human analytics tools that mine and analyse HR data.
Several companies have begun using an assessment tool called Predictive Index (PI), which creates a behavioural profile and is believed to provide an accurate depiction, or pattern, of people’s core drives and work preferences.
In a recent case at a services sector company, a top manager was believed to be under tremendous work-related stress. The management could have missed the magnitude of the problem till it came out in the open but for the predictive analytics, which revealed that the manager and his team were hit by a slew of problems.
According to the assessment, the manager was on the verge of a breakdown with stress induced due to a recent change of an immediate manager. The analysis helped the company to take preventive measures.
“Predictive Index is like a blood test — getting to know about a disease even before the symptoms have become visible to all,” said Vinaya Bansal, co-founder, The Predictive Strategy Group, which conducts analysis for companies.
The predictive analytics involves a quick and simple psychometric test to assess the natural behaviour of an employee. The results are reviewed and assessed by trained analysts and the report gives a summary of the strong behaviour a person is likely to display along with an elaboration of the management and influencing style. Since it’s data-driven, predictive human analytics makes the process objective.
In another case at a manufacturing company, the PI analysis showed that the morale of a team of 10 people was very low. Taking a cue from the PI analysis, the management carried out investigations and found that the team had issues with their manager. “This kind of predictive analysis can help organisations take corrective actions at the right time to help their employees remain with them and be productive. Often, when such a scientific insight is not available, the management gets to know that they need to intervene only when a bulk of the team has quit for a better work-life,” said Bansal.
Several companies are applying PI to understand people behaviour as well as to promotions of right-fit candidates. The leadership team at Amway, for instance, relied on the inferences made by PI to take more informed decisions. “During a recent internal job posting, we were able to zero in on a candidate even two levels below than the desired position because PI indicated behavioural indices of the person fitted well with the desired profile,” said Shantanu Das, chief HR officer, Amway India.
The direct selling FMCG company used predictive analytics for the first time recently. Das, however, said PI is an aid to decision-making and ultimately the leadership has to take the call considering other parameters.
One of the key benefits of PI is matching behavioural requirements for a job. For instance, the ideal behavioural profile required at, say, level 1 may not be necessary for level 2. This is important when organizations have to internally promote people from level 1 to level 2 and the only criterion for is past performance.
Bansal said, “The behavioural requirement of an ideal candidate at level 1 in one of the cases was more of a perfectionist who could carry out orders of superiors. But employees who were successful at the next level were found to be the ones who were adventurous and had the ability to work with other people. It was a realization for the company that they need to consciously choose some people at level 1 who are more suited for the next role and nurture them accordingly. They may not be best performers at level 1 but would be great at the next job, while the ones who are great at level 1 may not perform or stay long once they get promoted.”
HCL TechnologiesBSE 0.91 % applies an analytics tool which uses an intelligent neural network engine that leverages natural language processing and semantics analysis. It analyses a database of over 5 million candidate and internal employee records, providing hiring managers and recruiters predictive intelligence to hire right, along with an insight on candidates. The tool also provides critical insights from a skill gap perspective to enable talent transformation analytics. The company said 17% demand fulfilled through reskilling is an outcome of predictive intelligence by helping training teams work on right learning modules for employee reskilling/upskilling.
“We have used talent analytics deeply in predicting employee retention and talent fulfilment, as well as profiling talent to enhance performance,” said Prithvi Shergill, CHRO, HCL Technologies. “By understanding workforce demographics and the unique dynamics they demonstrate, it enables us to ensure that we can predict the RoI (return on investment) of programmes, policies and practices with higher accuracy,” he added.
Startups use human analytics tools in a big way. When Ashutosh Pandey, co-founder of fashion social network WithMe, was facing a problem in getting the right candidates, he decided to use PI. Standard interviewing methods and other tests weren’t very useful, said Pandey. “PI gave interesting outputs. We were looking to hire people who are adaptable, open to take risks, could work in a fast and aggressive environment. No other test was able to provide such insights,” said Pandey.