I have been speaking to a lot of HR audiences lately, and sometimes they get a little uncomfortable when I bring up the analytics topic. Most HR departments don’t do a good job at analytics, and then they wonder why they don’t get the budgets to make an impact on the business.
One of my suggestions to HR is to hire a good numbers person, someone with strong undergraduate or preferably graduate statistics.
Looks like this is exactly how the Evil HR lady got her start.
I had a master’s degree in political science, with a strong emphasis in statistics. Since you never see a “Help wanted: Political Scientist” sign in the window, I knew I needed to look outside my field of study. What I really wanted to be was a trainer. I knew that trainers often work in Human Resources departments, but how in in the heck was I going to get a job in HR?
Well, first, I went to a temp agency and asked to work in an HR department. “I’ll do anything!” I said, and I meant it. If the temp agency had sent me to wash windows in an HR department, I would have done it. Instead, they placed me as an admin (I can type!), and for 6 months in a couple of different assignments I worked as an HR admin. Then, I saw a job posting. Job title? HR Metrics Specialist.
What on earth does an HR Metrics Specialist do? Well, I didn’t know, but one of the qualifications was the ability to do statistics. That, I had. So, I applied, interviewed and was hired. My boss told me flat out that the only reason they had hired me is that I appeared to be the only person in the universe with a modicum of HR experience and the ability to do statistics.
I’ve been ranting on about this topic for ages, here are a few.
so it is nice to see some validation…
Mathematics is a beautiful thing. Spend 20 minutes in the company of Benoit Mandelbrot. (click here if you can’t see the video)
By the way: Jim Holincheck and I recently published quite a bit of research on workforce analytics, and there is buckets of cool stuff on pattern based strategy on Gartner.com