People Data … and Winning the Battle for Top Talent

January 27, 2016 – Sixty-seven percent of HR professionals report they lack data and analytics capabilities required to gain a ‘big picture’ of company talent, according to the 2016 SilkRoad State of Talent Management report. The research is intended to provide analysis of the issues that matter most to HR professionals and forecasts the top talent management trends in 2016.

Alarmingly, 44 percent of HR professionals have no plans for performance management projects in 2016, even if research shows an increased dissatisfaction with current performance practices.

The study also found that 55 percent of HR executives are concerned with properly engaging and retaining employees, as fierce competition for top talent has shifted the balance of power to savvy candidates. Another 48 percent worry about creating an attractive organizational culture.

“Landing a highly skilled candidate can sometimes feel like hunting for an elusive unicorn,” said Dan Finnigan, CEO of Jobvite. “Recruiters need to get creative and take a multipronged approach using social media, insights gleaned from analytics, and mobile tools, while engaging the entire organization to help find and hire top talent. That’s how winning companies will stay one step ahead in this competitive career landscape.”

According to the Jobvite’s Recruiter Nation Survey, recruiters need to incorporate data into their work — a full 72 percent acknowledged data analytics as somewhat important or very important. In addition, 92 percent of recruiters utilize social media in either discovering or evaluating candidates. Eighty-seven percent of recruiters use LinkedIn, while 55 percent use Facebook and 47 percent use Twitter.

“2016 brings unique challenges for HR professionals in a more competitive than ever job marketplace,” said John Westby, vice president of corporate marketing at SilkRoad. “Data-driven decisions and an increased focus on properly engaging employees will be the keys to identifying needs and winning the battle for top talent.”

SilkRoad’s trends to watch for in 2016:

  •   HR gets smarter about workforce analytics: ‘Gut feel’ decisions aren’t going away, and executives will increasingly push to use analytics and data science to predict workforce needs and identify skills gaps
  • Mobile gains ground: Professionals must step up their game in mobile recruiting or risk losing top performers to the competition
  • Company culture and integrated employer brands assume an even greater importance to provide continuity — from hiring through every transition in the employee lifecycle
  • Agile performance management applications catch on, improving manager-employee conversations and helping companies gain deeper workforce performance insights

HR professionals have been expressing their need for better tools to manage their respective workforces. Only 52 percent of organizational leaders are satisfied with the data they currently receive from their recruitment process outsource provider, according to the ‘Measuring Up’ report released by Korn Ferry subsidiary Futurestep. Low volume of data, accuracy of metrics, and alignment with business outcomes were specifically highlighted as problem areas by businesses monitoring performance metrics.

While the Futurestep findings emphasized the need for RPO vendors to go above and beyond to satisfy clients, the report warned of the importance of mastering basic analytics first and foremost: “Good metrics go hand in hand with good RPO and achieving this pointed to the promise of a successful long-lasting partnership between the RPO provider and client.”


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It is also more important than ever for today’s CHRO to understand how important new technology is within a company’s HR department. According to research from Aon Hewittfuture CHROs will need to be cognizant of the rapid progress in HR technology, particularly SaaS solutions, to improve HR processes and analytic capabilities.

Companies are now realizing the importance of HR technology as hiring is on the rise and have been invested in it in recent months. Just last week, Randstad Holding announced it is leading a seed financing in Focus Orange Technology. The investment is centered around the development of Crunchr, Focus Orange’s analytics platform. Crunchr collects, validates and consolidates people data into meaningful insights around strategic workforce planning, succession, talent management and employee preferences.

In November, Talentsoft, a global, privately held leader for cloud-based talent management solutions, completed a funding round of $27 million. The round was led exclusively by Goldman Sachs’ merchant banking division. The company’s software application suite provides an end-to-end talent management solution, ranging from recruiting to learning, and from compensation to performance management.

“IDC forecasts high future growth in the market for talent management applications as organizations in Europe and elsewhere are adopting digital business models and new work practices,” said Bo Lykkegaard, associated vice president at IDC. “Furthermore, we see customer demand changing from niche talent applications to broader, SaaS-based talent and human capital management suites.”

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief, Hunt Scanlon Media

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