Workforce Intelligence: Definition and Perspectives

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Workforce Intelligence: definition and outlook
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Understanding Workforce Intelligence: Definition and Scope

Workforce Intelligence represents an evolution full of promise: it aims to move from traditional decision-making based on managerial instincts, to an approach in which data is truly integrated into the decision-making culture. 

This approach involves the collection and analysis of diverse employee data to optimize HR operations, reveal previously invisible information and improve workforce productivity. This transition is essential as organizations move away from intuitive decisions to fact-based strategies, recognizing the importance of accurate information for effective HR management

Workforce intelligence requires the involvement of a wide range of players: 

  • Internal digital and IT teams, for their knowledge of HRIS architecture.
  • The employees, who are the first to enrich the information thanks to good adoption of the HR platform.
  • Leaders, whose managerial skills evolve with this new situation.
  • The HR team is the first to transform itself in this area.

This process and everyone's commitment to it ensure that we can extract the significant and precise insights that lead to cost reduction and improved performance.

The 6 components of Workforce Intelligence

The components of Workforce Intelligence
The components of Workforce Intelligence

Let's take a look at the 6 key elements of a complete Workforce Intelligence approach:

  1. Optimizing workforce planning

Use workforce data (skills, skills, availability) to conduct strategic resource planning, optimizing the deployment of talent on key projects. It is also possible to use obsolete skills to reskill them and fill penurious positions.

  1. Talent Acquisition insights

Collect and exploit data from your ATS to improve and streamline recruitment processes: identify the best talent pools, leverage (sources, communication, etc.) to source the most promising candidates.

  1. Retention analysis

In addition to the elements declared during the off-boarding process, use advanced analyses such as seniority, the length of time since the last promotion, etc. to understand the factors influencing the non-retention of employees and retain talent.

  1. Performance and Productivity measures

Gathering the real explanatory factors of performance to go beyond traditional indicators. This involves looking at aspects such as job satisfaction, meeting individual aspirations, technical and interpersonal skills , QWL, as well as the quality of work processes.

  1. Analysis of Learning & Development effectiveness

The R.O.I of training is a subject without limits, and measuring the effectiveness of training programs starts with identifying the gaps skills. From then on, it is possible to evaluate the progress made skills through regular assessments, whether formal or through 360° feedback. 

  1. Diversity and inclusion indicators

Foster an inclusive work culture, using data on internal mobility and promotions, the gender equality index (mandatory since March 1, 2023), social climate indicators and employee perceptions. 

All these elements need to be compared with the competition in your sector.

The Imperative: Why Invest in Workforce Intelligence?

Investing in Workforce Intelligence is a response to the challenges of managerial transformation, performance optimization and, more prosaically, HR's ability to answer the "impossible" questions it faces.

A myriad of difficult and unanswered questions surround HR managers and executives alike. Finding answers requires going beyond the scope of traditional methods. 

Answering "impossible" questions, panorama:

  • "Among your current talent pool, who will be suited to the future roles in demand?"
  • "Are you certain of the long-term commitment of the high potentials identified in your recent staff appraisal?"
  • "Apart from headhunting from direct competitors, what are the best sources of talent for the skills in demand over the next two years?"
  • "What specific interventions or training programs will best develop or requalify employees for future roles, taking into account the changing needs of the industry?"
  • How can we ensure fair and impartial decision-making in talent selection and promotion processes, taking into account the factors of diversity, equity and inclusion?

These questions highlight the current shortcomings of traditional approaches, whether for predicting future skills needs or for guaranteeing long-term commitment. Workforce intelligence is emerging as a solution, offering prospects for answering these unanswered questions.

Facing the Challenges of Data Dilution 

A major obstacle for organizations is the overwhelming dilution of data scattered across disparate sources, hampering effective decision-making. The challenge lies not only in the availability of data, but also in its accuracy and relevance. 

Workforce intelligence responds to this dilemma by rationalizing data sources and consolidating information by validating its reliability. 

Illustration with the 5 best practices for making reference systems more reliable skills.

Rely on a platform integrated into an HR ecosystem 

Neobrain has forged technological partnerships with the major players in HRIS: Learning Management Systems, Core HR (Payroll, GTA), Applicant Tracking systems, assesment, .... In this way, each piece of information can be fed into a central tool capable of highlighting the salient facts about your human capital. Here is a list of our partners:

Neobrain's software partners

Top 10 benefits of Workforce Intelligence

Workforce Intelligence is a pillar in the revolution of HR strategies, offering several key advantages:

  • ‍Extendvisibility into topics traditionally managed by HR: The systemic approach offered goes beyond traditional HR domains, providing information on areas previously managed solely by HR. This expanded visibility ensures a comprehensive understanding of the various aspects impacting organizational growth.
  • ‍Integratingdata culture into managerial decision-making: Integrating workforce intelligence into decision-making processes enables data-driven managerial insights, promoting informed strategies across the organization.
  • ‍ShortenMobility and Attraction Cycles: Workforce intelligence facilitates faster talent mobility and attraction cycles, optimizing HR processes and ensuring rapid responses to evolving talent demands.
  • ‍Reliablehigh-potential program: By harnessing workforce intelligence, organizations improve the reliability and effectiveness of high-potential programs, ensuring the identification and development of future leaders.
  • ‍Conservetime for priority tasks: workforce intelligence helps optimize resource allocation, enabling HR teams to devote more time to tasks that contribute directly to organizational profitability.
  • ‍Reducesilos between functions: Using workforce intelligence helps break down organizational silos by offering comprehensive insights that encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing between departments.
  • ‍Improvetalent acquisition and retention: workforce intelligence software acts as a catalyst, simplifying the recruitment process and enabling recruiters to quickly identify the best talent from a wide range of profiles. By ensuring an ideal organizational fit and tracking engagement, these solutions strengthen talent retention initiatives.
  • ‍Buildingmore Cohesive Teams: Global Workforce Intelligence solutions offer a panoramic view of skills employees across the organization. Advanced analytics enable HR experts to better allocate tasks for greater cohesion and productivity within each department.
  • ‍Makeagile, accurate decisions: the qualitative, comprehensive data provided by workforce intelligence software gives HR managers precise information on workforce dynamics. This data-driven approach enables proactive, informed decisions, aligning human capital with organizational goals.
  • ‍Strategically allocatethe workforce: companies use workforce intelligence solutions to assess current workforce capabilities and predict performance over defined periods. Insights from employee data identify critical gaps in skills, enabling proactive adjustments in talent management strategies to meet evolving industry requirements.

Facilitating Adoption: Tips for Embracing Workforce Intelligence

Entering the era of the workforce data optimization approach involves strategic considerations for successful implementation. 

Here is a summary of the essential elements:

  1. Facilitate integration and scalability: Ensure seamless integration with existing HR tools and systems, as well as with external data sources, for a smooth transition. Scalability is crucial, in line with the company's growth plans in terms of geographic expansion and management of varying data volumes and complexities.
  2. Choose flexibility and customization: Prioritize solutions that offer flexibility, meet specific organizational needs and effectively integrate existing metrics.
  3. Opt for a comprehensive range of analyses: Opt for solutions offering descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analyses to gain insights into current employee productivity, anticipate future trends and propose action plans.
  4. Automate what can be automated: Look forHR automation features that target known bottlenecks in HR processes, improving efficiency and streamlining operations.
  5. No compromise on data confidentiality and security: Ensuring strict compliance with data confidentiality and security standards, protecting employee data and guaranteeing ethical use in compliance with legal regulations.
  6. Evaluate Return on Investment (ROI): Evaluate the estimated Return on Investment (ROI), taking into account implementation costs, maintenance and training expenses, to effectively understand the value proposition.

By combining these practical strategies, organizations can make a smooth transition to this new culture, leveraging existing tools while aligning with future business needs and ethical standards. This approach empowers HR professionals to adopt evidence-based decision-making, fostering a more impactful role in organizational success.

Neobrain: workforce intelligence in action

How can workforce intelligence be used to avoid layoffs?

Illustration with a major player in the food industry

By conducting an in-depth analysis of the skills workforce and aligning it with the skills demanded by local businesses, this company managed to save several million dollars by avoiding redundancies. In addition, the company launched a training program to enable less "employable" employees to acquire the skills skills in high demand at four nearby plants.

How can Workforce Planning be maximized to reliably detect high potential?

Illustration with a pharmaceutical giant

The transition to workforce intelligence also implies a cultural change for managers. Previously, high potentials were identified by managers and assessed by the HR team. However, this led to an increase in the number of individuals designated as "high potential" whose performance did not justify their inclusion in this specific program.

Neobrain established a methodology by examining data common to truly high-potential employees, creating a framework communicated to both HR and managers. This initiative has resulted in reduced expenditure on training programs for high potentials and greater clarity in succession planning."

How can we use our knowledge of skills to build bridges between professions?

Illustration with a leader in mobility products and solutions

In a period of major industry change, this market leader was faced with a decision between retraining or substantially reducing its workforce. Neobrain and this company launched a program to improve understanding of current and future skills , enabling workforce capabilities to be adapted to navigate this major transition.

Conclusion

Integrating AI into workforce planning offers concrete insights for informed decision-making. The emergence of Generative AI adds a pedagogical dimension by explaining the results displayed by your Talent Intelligence solution. 

It provides visibility into individual certifications, team compatibility and project optimization, enabling optimal resource allocation and planning. However, in this data-driven landscape, the human aspect remains indispensable. Final decisions are made by individuals, impacting real human beings. A strategy must take into account team preferences, travel times and commitment factors. Taking the human element into account keeps teams informed and engaged, boosting retention, which is critical in today's labor shortage.