SHL, an international company which specializes in talent measurement, has found out that 77 percent of Human Resource (HR) professionals worldwide do not know how its workforce potential affects the company’s bottom line. This is further broken down to 41 percent being unsure and 36 percent not having a clear understanding of their workforce’s potential.

Completed by 592 HR professionals from companies headquartered all over the world, including the United States, China, Australia and South Africa, SHL’s annual Global Assessment Trends Report 2013 focuses on key trends within the industry in the year ahead. It will also provide insights into talent assessment practices.

Apparently, less than half of organisations surveyed actually use objective talent data to drive business decisions. HR also appears to be overwhelmed by the volume of employee data, which results in a struggle to come up with valid conclusions to help drive businesses forward.

“This means key information on talent potential and future capability is overlooked, effectively making targeted programmes that identify the next generation of leaders and nurture talent for critical roles ineffective. This increases succession risk for organisations, putting business performance and continuity in jeopardy,” said Kok Fann Leong, managing director at SHL Singapore.

Big data isn’t that big 

The report revealed that HR professionals are facing a big problem – a “big data deluge.” These professionals are left confused on how they should manage talent data to impact company performance. Respondents also indicated that the two major challenges for HR to overcome are data quality and accessibility, and that there is room for improvement in these areas.

Forty-four percent of respondents shared that their organizations use objective data on competencies and skills to make workforce decisions. Another 18 percent said they are currently satisfied with how their organization manages talent data. However, according to an upcoming report from CEB, SHL’s parent company, organizations effective at using talent analytics can boost employee bench strength, performance and retention by up to 19 percent.

“HR is still grappling with its ability to provide strategic data to the business on its workforce and is ill-equipped right now to take advantage of big data. They do not yet have the systems and tools required to identify people intelligence, create metrics, and link HR data sources together,” added Kok Fann Leong.

With regard to social media, the report showed that it is one sources of data distracting HR from the important metrics. Eighty-eight percent of employers claim that there is a lack of confidence in the quality of candidate data from these social media sites, but still a good 20 percent use that information to make hiring decisions. Another 30 percent believe that said data is useful in determining candidate fit.

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