HR & Workforce Analytics Innovation Summit 2014 Chicago: Day 1 Highlights

Highlights from the presentations by HR leaders from Wells Fargo, Sears Holdings, Johnson Controls, Trulia on day 1 of HR & Workforce Analytics Innovation Summit 2014 in Chicago.

The modern Human Resources function collects vast quantities of data. Increasingly, this data presents an opportunity to create and utilize a wide range of metrics for recruitment and performance. However, the potential pitfalls for successful use of analytics are apparent. The gap between traditional training and technical competence, the governance of employee & applicant data, and the decision on where to invest has made the area treacherous terrain for organizations starting out with workforce analytics. How do you bridge the knowledge gap between the HR role & analytics? How do you ensure transparency of data usage? How do you avert risk of removing the 'human factor' with over-reliance on your data dashboards? HR Workforce Analytics

The HR & Workforce Analytics Innovation Summit 2014
(May 22-23, 2014) was organized at Chicago by the Innovation Enterprise. The summit addressed the issues mentioned above and brought together HR leaders who are implementing and experimenting with new analytical methods - driving remarkable improvements in their organizations.

We provide here a summary of selected talks along with the key takeaways.

Here are highlights from Day 1 (Thursday, May 22, 2014):

Rajiv DevRajiv Dev, SVP & Head of Insights & Analysis, Wells Fargo delivered a talk on “Creating a Crystal Ball for HR – Building an HR predictive modeling function”.  He explained why and how any organization could create an analytics function within its HR department. The most important global challenge reported by CEOs is Human Capital as per 2013 CEO summary challenge report conducted by the Conference Board. He mentioned that many organizations are trying to capture the accurate report data but they never get to analyzing that data. Organizations should leverage change management techniques to incorporate advanced analytics. They should have a clear plan of direction and goals, especially if the plan requires re-alignment of resources. Any organization will never ever be able to conduct true analysis if they are busy with merely generating reports. Leveraging predictive analytics enables organizations to make better decisions.

Nick SanchezNick Sanchez, Director, Talent Acquisition, Trulia talked about “Fuelling your recruiting engine with data: Scrapping data driven discussions”.  Explaining “Data-driven Discussions” he mentioned that data builds strong partnerships, metrics become trusted talent advisors and insights add strategic value and help accelerate growth.  He started with giving some details and statistics about the company. Nick started working with Trulia from Q4 2013 and he shared a timeline of his journey since then as follows:
  • Q4 2013 --> started with collection of data in proper fashion
  • Q1 2014 --> applied metrics on data
  • Q2 2014 --> deriving insights to make decision
  • Q3 2014 --> applying predictive recruiting, eg. Quality of Hire Regression

Towards the end, he shared an interesting insight derived from Trulia data displaying the best neighborhoods for finding love in Chicago i.e. areas where most singles are located.

Naveen SeshadriNaveen Seshadri, Senior Director, Analytics & Innovation and Ian O’Keefe, Senior Director, Head of Talent Analytics & Reporting at Sears Holdings delivered a talk titled “Dynamic Engagement Analysis: Does Employee Mood Predict Business Outcomes?”. Naveen emphasized that they tried to observe relation between happiness & economic performance and how one affects another.  In the pursuit of capturing happiness at Sears, they used a polling methodology asking participants to rate happiness on a scale of 1 to 5.  Next, he talked about Project MoodRing – which uses happiness as an analytics metric - as an easy way for store associates to provide daily feedback on their work. Ian O'Keefe This feedback system provides managers a way to monitor how their actions as well as their events are affecting daily energy levels and engagement in store. It also helps improving national processes that could have an impact on store associate engagement. Next, Ian took stage to discuss about analytics. Technology and socio-metric data is changing the game, as there are a number of gadgets to know and track moods. Sears uses “MoodRing” to gauge mood on daily basis and receives about 28,000,000 responses over a year.  Distribution of mood responses in overall and within groups is very helpful to analyze and level up mood.

Wendy HirschWendy Hirsch, Executive Director, Workforce Analytics at Johnson Controls discussed about what went in building the Workforce Analytics Center of Excellence (CoE), which was recently launched by Johnson Controls. Workforce Analytics is becoming increasingly important to make various decisions such as growth & expansion plans, modification in product mix & go-to-market strategies, and manage scarcities in external talent pools. The Workforce Analytics CoE supports the strategic purpose set forth by their HR transformation.  They are constantly working to make progress by engaging in more “data driven dialogues”.  She concluded the talk by mentioning data-driven decision-making as striking the right balance by combining art and science. Data and analysis are only half of the solution. Organizations should spend at least the same amount of time understanding the insights and considering the implications of the results.

Highlights from day 2 (Friday, May 23, 2014)