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Busting Myths and Proving Gut Feelings with HR Reporting

Every successful business needs a good HR reporting tool in order to deliver value from employee data.  HR reporting helps businesses understand their employee cost base, aids HR leaders and business managers in making strategic decisions to support the organisation, and demonstrates the benefits that HR activities bring to the firm.

Another important use of HR reporting is busting myths and proving gut feelings

There are many potential myths or ‘gut feelings’ that may be circulating around a business that can indirectly affect HR processes.  For example, let’s say someone in a recruitment firm mentions during a lunch meeting that people who play sports are better at placing candidates in the contract market than people who don’t play sports.  Even though this statement is an assumption with no actual data to prove it right or wrong, the organisation inadvertently starts to reject candidates that don’t play sports.

Whether it be a myth or gut feeling, if there’s no data to back it up, it remains unproven with a possible impact to your business.  The good thing is that HR reporting has the power to bust myths and prove gut feelings so you can rest assured your business is on the right track, and secure backup and stakeholder buy in to put everyone on the same page.

To start busting myths and proving gut feelings in your business, you first need to know what you think your problem is (or what you want to prove) so you can determine whether you have the right data, are putting the right data into your system, or need to collect more/different data.

A practical application example: Busting moves and proving gut feelings with HR reporting

The situation

Company Z believes that they’ve got a terrible problem with people leaving their company.  However, when you look at their HR system, the only thing it tells you about leavers is that they’ve left, with no reason given.


The first step in proving this gut feeling is to start putting some reasons into the HR system that address why people leave, so as to start generating some meaningful reports.  Choose perhaps ten reasons, and begin to the collect data.

In this situation, it’s important to look at both voluntary and involuntary reasons.  If it’s involuntary, is the termination disciplinary or a performance issue?  If not, is it a company-wide business decision that resulted in a lot of redundancies?  If it was voluntary, was there a manager problem, did the person retire, or perhaps they weren’t paid enough?  The reasons chosen will ultimately tell you what actions will be required.

It’s worth noting that the person who inputs this information in the system depends on what kind of HR system the company has.  If the business has a brand new cloud-based solution with employee or manager self-service, it’s most likely that direct line managers will be the ones who enter in the information.  If not, whoever manages that part of the system should be tracking the leavers and reasons.

Solution & adjustment

After a few months of tracking reasons for why staff are leaving, Company Z discovered that they indeed had a problem with new employees leaving within the first year, particularly in the area of performance issues.  In response, Company Z further adjusted their leaver reasons and started to collect data on performance issues, such ‘behaviour issues’ and ‘capability or competency issues’.

Finally, after a few more months, Company Z realised that the underlying problem was that there was a capability gap between the new employee and the job at hand.

With the gut feeling now supported by data, Company Z immediately begins to screen candidates with increased rigour, including competency based interviews and conducting a training needs analysis to be able to support the development of the new starters.

And there you have it–the power of HR reporting! This is just one application of how HR reporting can bust myths and prove gut feelings within an organisation.  HR reporting can also be quite useful to other areas of the business, such as marketing, who may be working with HR to drive employee engagement.  With the right data, the possibilities are limitless.

Get in touch to find out more about busting myths and proving gut feelings with HR reporting.


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