HR tech this year? It’s all about the data

From the continued explosion of hybrid work to unstable economic conditions, HR leaders have had to navigate their fair share of new challenges this year. While organizations have taken varying approaches to solving their people problems in 2022—from beefed-up benefits to culture transformations—they all likely share one reality: Going forward, technology has to be at the heart of any forward-thinking people strategy.

So, how will HR technology continue to evolve to help HR leaders meet the unforeseen challenges 2023 will bring? HRE recently spoke with four people leaders who agreed that among the many ways tech will improve the world of work in the coming year, solutions that generate good, reliable people data are going to be king. Here’s what they had to say:

Kathy Cullen-Cote, Teradata
Kathy Cullen-Cote, Teradata

Kathy Cullen-Cote

Chief People Officer

Teradata

“During challenging economic conditions, companies must maintain a focus on the areas that will help them continue to succeed. I believe there will be a continued emphasis on data analytics as an enabler for companies to make the right decisions, at the right times. From a people perspective, the market has seen a real shift in the workforce as financial concerns have expanded. Many companies are facing unprecedented talent attrition.

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“I believe data is a critical component in mitigating talent loss. Companies must leverage data to understand who is leaving their organization, and why. It is equally important to understand the same of those who have stayed. All too often, organizations wait too long to understand the experiences of their people. Regular employee pulse surveys will give companies useful insights into how their people are doing, enabling agile decision-making on the matters that are most important.”

See also: Why talent mobility must be at the heart of your 2023 people strategies

Emma Phillips, ADP
Emma Phillips, ADP

Emma Phillips

Division Vice President, HR, Worldwide Sales and Marketing

ADP

“In life and at work, time is of the essence, and the future of work will reflect that in greater magnitude. We will see HR leaning heavily into tools that enable them not only to understand what’s happening at work but why and when it’s happening. HR is going to need to respond at that speed of change and HR leaders will use technology to help them actively listen and act decisively. Timing matters, from the moment a worker disengages to the time a leader actually schedules that proactive conversation. Having timely discussions in an urgent matter will ultimately be the winning formula for HR professionals in 2023.”

Related: What HR gets wrong when it comes to using EX data

Janice Burns, Degreed
Janice Burns, Degreed

Janice Burns

Chief People Officer

Degreed

“L&D leaders have an unparalleled opportunity to gather data through digital learning, to give a dynamic overview of the skills being built in their workforce. Overlaid with HR and recruitment data, this can be used to determine skill supply versus skill gaps and spot opportunities when L&D can help the business deliver its goals (through ensuring the right people have the right skills). Like when the rise of the internet created unrivaled opportunities to become more targeted with marketing and sales, thanks to consumer data, the same thing is now happening with the employee experience in workplaces.

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“As L&D becomes more data-driven thanks to the wealth of data created by digital learning systems, it changes the skill set for L&D itself. In 2023, I expect to see more L&D teams introduce data analysts, data scientists and business intelligence to their teams. This might be a dedicated person, or depending on resources, they might upskill existing L&D team members. It’s an exciting opportunity for L&D, because having access to data and the people to analyze it will give them more of a voice in strategic conversations. This might finally be the year where L&D doesn’t just get a seat at the boardroom table but drives it, with tangible skill data and business value results.”

Holly May, Walgreens Boots Alliance
Holly May, Walgreens Boots Alliance

Holly May

Executive Vice President, Global CHRO

Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.

“People analytics is an integral domain and area of expertise for HR teams right now. In 2023, I anticipate we’ll see companies continue to move from having a lot of data to proactively using people analytics to solve problems and position organizations for the future. I believe these commitments and investments will continue to grow as the potential is better understood and realized. At WBA, we’re investing in workforce planning analytics, including roster management and scorecards, to optimize our organizational effectiveness, cost profile and investments. These analytics have helped our HR business partners and leaders to understand the implications of decisions and tradeoffs. We’re also doing skills gap analyses using data and putting in plans in place to address those gaps.

“These evolutions build upon the ways WBA is already utilizing data including monthly divisional ‘org health reports’ with insights on diversity, equity and inclusion, turnover, engagement and more. Using these monthly reports, our team proposes specific action items and steps to act on the data and associated trends we’re seeing. We’re also using data to closely track how incentives influence retention and labor gaps in our markets. Analyzing the data, by connecting the various data points, enables us to make business decisions and investments in a smarter, more accelerated way.”

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Jen Colletta
Jen Colletta is managing editor at HRE. She earned bachelor's and master's degrees in writing from La Salle University in Philadelphia and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter and editor before joining HRE. She can be reached at hreletters@lrp.com.

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