Big data, smarter staffing

In the past few years, analysts have argued that the skills gap facing businesses will intensify and spread significantly. This period is marked by companies not being able to acquire the talent they need to succeed in daily operations. As with many other obstacles and challenges that have sprouted up in recent memory, big data is beginning to act as a solution to this problem, helping companies become a bit more intelligent in their human resources and hiring activities. 

There are virtually no corporate operations that cannot benefit from more intelligent leadership and decision-making, which is likely why so many firms have turned to analytics as an answer to the questions they face in their own businesses every day. One such operation involves the skills gap, which is expected to become more prominent in the next couple of years, and companies will need to take highly targeted and diligent approaches to ensure their workforce is complete. 

Use cases in Canada
CBC News recently reported that many Canadian firms have started to deploy big data solutions that specifically target human resources practices. The source explained that Andrew Martin, an HR leader for a major restaurant chain, likens the use of analytics for workforce management to the story behind "Moneyball," in which a Major League Baseball coach leverages statistics to recruit his players. 

Now, it is worth noting that not all companies will enjoy rapid and seamless experiences with big data in HR, as it does demand a careful, experienced touch to get right. Still, plenty of businesses are realizing ROI and thriving with workforce management thanks to big data solutions. 

According to CBC News, one of the keys is to ensure the indicators, such as previous experience, grades in college and the like, in place that get fed into the big data program are aligned with specific objectives in hiring and employee retention. This is a common demand of any analytics strategy, in that efforts must be focused on keeping every move aligned with core objectives, otherwise experiencing and measuring returns will be a bit more difficult. 

The one challenge many stated that would need to be surpassed is finding ways to measure intangibles, such as work ethic, the news provider noted. 

Start small
In highly targeted initiatives such as applying the intelligence capabilities of big data to combat the impending skills gap, companies might benefit from an initial pilot to ensure that the strategy is on point. Piloting a big data strategy for recruitment demands in the human resources department can involve the use of the tools for only one specific position that needs to be filled, such as a technically skilled staff member. 

There will be plenty of instances in which businesses try to run before they can walk with big data, and virtually none of them will yield the outcomes leaders expect. Working with a trusted solution provider and scaling up projects can help enterprises reach the desired results more efficiently.