Workforce Development

Using Workforce Analytics to Create a More Diverse Industry

HR team using workforce analytics

The technology industry is rapidly expanding. With a 12% growth rate, the industry is projected to add half a million jobs between 2018 and 2028.

Despite tech’s impressive growth, gender disparity remains a problem in its workforce. Women account for half of the U.S. population and nearly half of the U.S. labor force, yet only 24% of the tech workforce is female.

In order to recruit and retain top talent, tech organizations must be equipped to address the industry’s gender disparity. Research published by the Harvard Business Review concludes that 67% of job seekers consider organizational diversity when evaluating an offer of employment. To increase tech’s gender diversity, tech companies can use workforce analytics to identify targeted diversity interventions and improve overall organizational and workforce effectiveness.

Workforce Analytics Addressing Diversity Challenges

An organization’s workforce is debatably one of its most important and costly assets. Addressing the workplace system through a data-driven and methodological approach is key to well-informed analysis, planning and optimization of current and future talent. The concept of workforce analytics provides a quantitative basis for identifying such workforce interventions. Management, in concert with HR partners, can use workforce analytics to source quantitative data pertaining to gender, age and geographic location. Simultaneously, the organization can run analyses on salaries, employment tenure and education¬—in addition to a myriad of other data points. The analysis can be integrated into interactive dashboards to provide countless options for display of data in a meaningful and transparent way. This approach also connects the current and future needs of the workforce, providing leaders with:

  • Models that are adjustable and data-driven to determine and justify hiring decisions
  • Tools that help compare and analyze workload among all levels and functional groups
  • Resource requirements for future projects, driven from work being performed and the amount of time dedicated to performing tasks

Applying this thinking to the context of a workforce analysis provides a focus on the alignment of employees to the roles that that optimize their talent, support their career progression and grow the organization. Adopting this focus empowers organizations to hone in on the key factors affecting gender diversity and enact an impactful way to address them.

From Analysis to Strategy

Incorporating demographics into workforce analysis and planning sheds light on more obvious concerns such as an aging workforce, awareness of race and/or ethnicity. It also takes analysis to a strategic level by identifying trends in the tasks employees perform and leadership’s demographic distribution.

Integrating workforce analytics into analysis translates to an actionable diversity strategy for the organization and assists with the development of targeted recruiting and training programs. As a result, organizations can develop and retain high-performing talent that accomplish the organization’s mission and contribute to its success.

This can be achieved through a three step approach:

Step One: Define How the Organization Meets Mission Requirements and Objectives

Identify and document trends in core tasks and take a deeper dive into core tasks’ unique work activities. From there, each core task and activity can be aligned to organizational goals.

This process provides immediate benefits such as activity-strategy alignment and provides a complete view of work performed across the organization. Documenting core tasks and unique activities will indicate which activities are directly or indirectly supporting priorities, where potential duplication of effort is apparent, and where there are opportunities for collaboration based on related themes or outputs.

Step Two: Determine Who Performs Functions and Activities across the Organization

Conduct a data-driven evaluation of workload spread, geographic dispersion and demographic composition, and then align each component with functions determined through step one.

This provides organizational leadership with visibility into diversity around functions and processes while demonstrating the added benefit of providing greater insights into which roles are aligned with priority activities and the demographics associated with each role.

Step Three: Link Existing Workforce Data with Workforce Analysis to Drive Change

Leverage your organization’s data as a strategic asset to gauge operational efficiency and effectiveness, support long-term planning efforts, and address future requirements and potential staffing gaps or constraints.

Viewing analytics through a people-related lens has a broad range of capabilities and impacts hiring, human capital management and training across an organization. It also propels the organization forward to support its future workforce.

RELATED: Women in Technology: Celebrating Strides in the Industry

Identifying and addressing areas where improvement is needed and closing gaps revealed through a data-driven analysis will drive targeted diversity initiatives in hiring and employee development programs, and result in a more diverse and engaged workforce.

Future Proofing the Organization

An organization must make certain that its human capital and talent management strategies remain in unison with the mission and objectives of the organization.

Maintaining focus on these strategies directly supports those who work toward accomplishing the organization’s goals every day, while simultaneously identifying actionable tactics to decrease the gap in gender diversity. A thorough workforce planning and analysis strategy lays the framework for executing these plans in not only an informed, but intentional way.

A primary force behind change in an organization is holistically acknowledging challenges like gender diversity in the workforce and then using a data-based approach to drive the needed change. Setting the tone of where the organization stands, where it’s heading and how the journey will be accomplished—together—is a crucial step in addressing both planning and diversity needs.

Transparency and a results-driven approach to addressing demographic challenges are key to success. By first addressing challenge areas, communicating the current situation and tapping into a data-driven approach to bridge gaps, organizations are well positioned to connect diversity needs to workforce analytics and enact impactful solutions.

Sponsored content. The views and opinions expressed in this blog or by commenters are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of HIMSS or its affiliates.

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