Humans of HR: Company Trends in Benchmarking and Analytics

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In the first installment of "Humans of HR," HR Manager Melanie Wiegert shared her experience with recruiting in a multi-location workplace. Melanie relayed how important it is to be precise when managing HR representatives in different locations and how organizations can work to create a cohesive recruiting experience.

In this second installment, we talked to Melanie about adapting company trends and what an organization should do with benchmarking and analytics.

Do You Follow Trends, Even Those of Larger Organizations?

Social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter have made it much easier to find best in class examples. I listen to a lot of podcasts and often find myself being inspired by the thread of an idea. What is innovative to me is when you take an idea and manipulate it to be as effective as it can be in your own environment.

I'll give you an example. I was looking on LinkedIn the other day and saw a promoted ad for Home Depot, and they had two pictures side-by-side. The viewer was to find the difference between the two pictures, and encouraged you to interact with the ad. I don't remember the job title, but it was like, "If you're the kind of person who likes to look at this and find things that are different and have an eye for detail, you might be a fit for us." That was interesting and it caught my eye. So, I took a snapshot of that and talked about it with my marketing director.

I try to be open to be inspired by ideas like that and find things that work. I try to find trends in a really macro, broad-stroke sense.

When I look at company trends, I'm more likely to go to a CareerBuilder seminar and hear, "Almost 80 percent of applicants are using mobile devices to apply for jobs." So, I'm going to go back to my website and try to apply on my phone, because that's an important trend, and then realize, "Oh, this is a horrible applicant experience. We have to scrap this."

Can Benchmarking and Analytics Tools Help You?

Yes, but in an ad hoc way because we don't have a defined cycle and we may not benchmark everything every year. We may be targeting two or three things that we want to watch or improve, and that may change from year to year.

What Benchmarking and Analytics Insights Have Been Most Useful to You?

For me, the things that are the most helpful are things that can help me be adaptable — like generational trends of millennials. You can get overwhelmed by company trends and data. Take this generational issue, for instance. I may not realize that not only is 15 percent of my workforce baby boomers who are retiring in 10 years, but it's 80 percent of a certain department or job title. So, I think it's most helpful when it helps me gain that "a-ha" moment.

What Is Your Advice to HR Leaders as It Relates to Benchmarking and Analytics Tools?

Be thoughtful, and don't think more is always better. Just because somebody or some technology can do something, doesn't mean you need to implement the functionality exactly that way within your organization. When it comes to benchmarking and analytics, look at no more than a dozen metrics at a time. Maybe that number changes after a couple weeks, but don't always add and add. More is not always better when it comes to benchmarking and analytics. What if you found an issue with everything you were monitoring? Would you be able to resolve those issues? If the answer is no, you're monitoring too many things.

Want more Humans of HR? Check out Part 1 on recruiting in a multi-location workplace and Part 3 on a career path in HR.

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