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HR Analytics: Big Data and Digitalization in Talent Management


The era of HR Analytics has dawned. The corresponding functions provide a view into the future of a company and thus a human resources management under completely new circumstances. To what extent big data analytics are becoming ever more relevant – what is behind it and how can you make use of it not only in the search for candidates, but also in talent management and employee retention? Find out more about this in our article.

HR Analytics through the ages

Analyzing the current status – HR analysis tools have been able to do this for a long time. In recruiting, for example, they calculate the time to hire: the time that elapses from placing a job advertisement to the final occupation. The tools also compare indicators with the quality of the applicants. Therefore human resources managers can make statements about whether their recruiting process was a perfect fit.

Too many unsuitable applications indicate that the job posting was posted on the wrong channels. Based on the data analysis, HR can follow-up systematically and selectively. Today, at the press of a button, it is possible to identify potential for improvement. What used to take days or weeks without the technical assistants.

HR Analytics: The application areas

There are many application areas for HR Analytics. Some examples:

  • Applicant Management: Modern matchmaking tools can shorten the recruitment process by up to 80 percent. With a few clicks, HR executives can analyze submitted applications to see if they fit the needs of a vacancy or not. Recruiters can see in seconds which applicant perfectly meets the requirements for a job.
  • Talent Management: With the HR Analysis Tools HR managers are able to create actual target comparisons between the current profile of an employee and the ideal requirements of a job. The software will then show if there is any need for development for an employee or not. In the latter case, the HR department’s software even then suggests appropriate training procedures to grow talents even further.
  • Succession Planning: Anyone who wants to know which employees have the potential to hold a leading position can also have this calculated by HR software. The digital personnel files of the potential candidates can be scanned by the software and be evaluated regarding their competencies, name, position and other defined criteria. One mouse click later you will receive the profiles of all suitable employees.

HR Analytics enables customized deployment of employees.

The advantages that HR departments have by using such HR-Analytics tools compared to common manual evaluations in bulky Excel lists are obvious:

  • Higher accuracy
  • Easier to use
  • Faster and more accurate availability of results

So far so good. But now a new era in HR Analytics is dawning: Big Data Analytics. The corresponding tools go far beyond the previous classic actual target analysis. They literally give HR departments a glance into the future. But one by one! What is big data and big data analytics anyway?

Big Data Analytics: What’s behind it? 

Big Data” means large amounts of data coming from a variety of sources: for example the Internet, social media or the in-house application management system.For a long time this data was archived completely unstructured side by side in different systems. Nowadays, all data is linked together and there are smart algorithms that can bring structure into the mass of data and evaluate it under certain aspects. In this case we speak of big data analytics.

Big Data Analytics in HR 

Using and evaluating this data becomes a matter of course for more and more companies in everyday business. A good third (35 percent) of the companies in Germany already use big data analytics. This is the result of a representative survey by Bitkom Research and KPMG. Big data analytics are becoming increasingly relevant for HR as well.

For example, candidate data from job applications, assessment centers, and publicly available information from the Internet and social networks are already being analyzed to identify the best talent for an open position. Behind this are so-called talent search engines, which detect potential candidates even in the depths of the WWW, into which, for example, Google would never advance.

Big Data in Candidate Search and Employee Engagement

Thus, they do not leave out any special forum in their search and compile the candidate data in a structured manner. Everything the HR manager has to do, is to get in touch with the suitable candidate. The computer does not do that (yet).

In terms of employee engagement, big data analytics can answer an HR department’s question about the employees willingness to quit and what career opportunities the talents need to stay. For this purpose, the current curriculum vitae of the talent is compared with a large mass of comparable career paths and a probability calculation is made.

Big Data Analytics can also be helpful when analyzing the job market. HR managers can use special tools to look at the demand and supply of specific job groups in the market. If supply narrows, companies know timely that it’s time to act.

Talent Analytics: The latest craze in big data analytics

And then there is a very special area that has opened up thanks to big data technologies: Talent Analytics. HR just needs to enter a question and the tool will provide the answer. For example:

  • What is the perfect career planning for employee XYZ?
  • How will employee turnover develop in the next 10 years?
  • How can the fluctuation curve be lowered?
  • What about the company’s performance curve with the same cast over the next 5 years?

The computer calculates the results from existing employee data, company surveys, freely available employment statistics, statistics from the company and, and, and. The result for the HR departments are forecasts with a fairly high truth content.

The range of what is soon feasible on the basis of such analyzes in HR departments is not yet foreseeable from today’s perspective. Only one thing is certain: With big data analytics, HR faces a new range of analysis options, which can be used to manage corporate and personnel management processes more structured than ever.

The Future has just begun.

Published in[:de]Digitalisierung[:en]Digitalization[:de]Get-to-know I HR insights [:en]Get-to-know I HR insights[:de]HR Wissen[:en]HR Know-howAllgemeinTalentmanagement