Desk-Based Research for HR Competitiveness 17 Dec 2014

Desk-Based Research for HR Competitiveness

During the last 20 years, the role of the corporate HR department has changed dramatically.

HR Competitiveness

HR is now at the forefront of creating competitive advantages for companies. To accomplish this new mission, many organizations have discovered the benefits of outsourcing transactional HR functions so the internal HR team can focus on business strategy.

HR Challenges Today

Managing human capital within any organization is a key to success — but there are HR challenges that can impede this expected progress if not handled properly:

  • External environment — A changing business landscape due to constantly changing regulations, technology and economic factors.
  • Finding and retaining talent — This is already the biggest HR challenge and is getting harder all the time. By one estimate, a serious talent shortage is on the horizon: 1.5 million fewer college graduates than needed by 2020.
  • Understanding the competition — Accurate competitive intelligence can provide a needed business advantage.

Unless these challenges are addressed successfully, the role of strategic management for human resources will be a difficult one indeed.

How to Compare Your HR Competitiveness

Do you really know how your HR department stacks up against the competition? With help from experts like Research Optimus, you can review how your competitors are doing in HR performance areas such as these:

  • New hires — Parameters such as applicant-to-hire ratio, hiring speed, hiring quality and hiring volume should be reviewed along with recruitment advertising methods and mode of hiring.
  • Salary bandwidth — It is always critical for HR to have direct knowledge about the “prevailing salary” range for all company positions.
  • Attrition rate — Find out if average length of employment is better or worse than within your company.
  • Retention rate — In a world of shrinking talent, HR departments should have a constant goal of outperforming the competition in retaining employees. This HR competitiveness assessment extends to 360 degree performance data, team building strategies, learning and training opportunities and quality benchmarks.

After you have looked at your competitors’ HR parameters, you then need to take one or two steps back and look at your own organization in the same way that the competition might be already searching for potential vulnerabilities in your HR armor.

Profile Your Competitiveness

Once you have gained competitive intelligence about HR departments within other companies, it is time to place the magnifying glass on your own organization. Performing a SWOT analysis — examining your company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats — is a prudent starting point. Unfortunately, this delicate area can often be handled ineffectively when left to internal staff who have a “vested interest” in protecting their positions. One solution: ask an outside organization such as Research Optimus to be the “umpire” instead of allowing the “home team” to assume this role.

Today’s HR function is increasingly judged on how the HR team is “responsive” to its customers — including both company executives and the overall workforce. Other aspects to look at during your internal HR inspection include resource optimization, performance increases, and improved internal and external customer orientation due to strategic management decisions.

A desired goal for your HR department should be to gain “Preferred Employer” status. This highly coveted designation means that given all other employment choices, employees choose to work for the “Preferred Employer.” Is that your company or a competitor? You need to know the answer!

Leverage Desk Research to Remain Competitive

One of the best methods for integrating new HR roles tied to competitiveness is to aggressively connect research to the company’s HR practice. Your company might be already invested in using “big data” methods such as data mining to improve marketing — the next logical step is to build upon that research commitment by extending advantages to HR.

This involves much more than just crunching numbers — you want to make sense of the data by formulating useful insights that can help you shape changes to business strategy. The strategic use of data is likely to expand even further in coming years. Will you be a market leader or be left behind?

One of your most practical management solutions is to leverage research requirements by hiring a Desk Research Assistant who can help you create visual analytics for presenting both HR and marketing data — this unique research service is offered by Research Optimus.

Your Next Step

If you want to save time and money while upgrading the performance of the entire HR team, hiring the data analyst is one of the smartest moves that you could possibly make.

– Research Optimus

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