Business Management

People Analytics: The Future of HR

Episode 1- Series - 1

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Joshua Gan, regional Director, Asia Pacific for EHL Group is joined on this webinar by three panelists. Dr. Sébastien Fernandez, associate professor at EHL. We also have Andrew Newmark, regional vice president, human Resources, Asia Pacific, excluding China for Marriott International. We also have Dr. Michael Fong, deputy Chief Executive, Chief Human Resources Officer, and Chief Data Officer at SkillsFuture Singapore, together they will discuss the topic of people analytics.

Definition of People Analytics

It might be surprising for people to see these two worlds together, people and analytics. For many the two concepts seem contradictory because people is about soft skills, it's about something human and the analytics side is more of a hard skill. It's also what makes people analytics very interesting because it uses data, or information, to make people decisions and that's what this definition aims to achieve.

Sometimes in a definition, it can be useful to explain what it is not. It's not just professional experience and judgment. Of course every leader makes decisions many times during the day Vertin it cannot be relied on data, on information. So it's not just experience, it's not just intuition, it's more than that. It's also not benchmarking. There are some companies that try to look at what other companies are doing and try to imitate or to mimic them as though if it worked there, it might work for them in their company which is not necessarily the case.

Lastly, it's important to differentiate analytics from science or academic articles because academic articles is why it's like accumulating evidence across different companies but we never know if what has been observed in many companies also applies to your company. And the value of plaintiff is really trying to use the same techniques, the same strategies that are using scientific research, but to look at all the information which is contained in the company to make, if possible, the best or good strategic decisions.

What is the Marriott International's definition of People Analytics?

The Marriott International has had a people analytics function within its team for at least the last five years. It's a newer function within their HR team that has been growing and evolving during that time and is bringing a lot of value. Perhaps the People Analytics function is bringing a skill set and a mindset to the HR team that may not necessarily be there for a traditional hotel HR leader. For Marriott International, it's about using evidence-based, data on its people or about its people to inform decisions and to help make better decisions. It's a growing function for us which is maybe not as advanced as other areas of the business, like in finance, or in revenue, or perhaps in operations, but definitely from a HR perspective, the function has been growing and will continue to do so.

How can People Analytics support labor challenges?

Using different types of people analytics tools, it's possible to assess the stock and flow of skills within the labor market and to identify what are some of the emerging skills that are needed. And we design policy interventions to address the gaps. We work with companies, and industry bodies to address these gaps. And this is critical to ensure that our workforce remains competitive, remains relevant, and that we don't face structural problems in this skills mismatch in the economy.

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