A recent article by Sean Coughlan of the BBC states that 60% of inner London’s employed hold degrees. That is a remarkable workforce demographic. More than half of the workers in London are college graduates.
Compare that to the 36.2% of metropolitan New York City that hold college degrees. The area surrounding the city is included in the statistic, but still the difference is remarkable. Knowing this information tells you a lot about the workforce in the two cities.
To HR professionals, this information becomes useful when it is brought down to the level of their individual companies. Those in HR are concerned about the individuals in their own workforces because the information is useful in managing them and fulfilling their needs, as well as the needs of the company. The more they know about their workforce, the better they can manage hiring and recruiting.
Depending on your role in the company, knowing the percentage of college graduates working with you might be relevant. But until recently this kind of data was labor intensive to collect and process. Think of your own company, and see how many of these questions you can answer:
- What percentage of your workforce holds advanced, graduate degrees?
- What percentage of your company’s employees is female?
- What is the average age of your company’s employees?
- Where is the country of origin for most of your IT department?
Probably not many of these statistics are widely known in an organization. But, certainly C-level employees and the HR department make use of the data.
How HR software systems are useful to an organization
Whether you are a business owner, in management, or in the HR department you have a lot of reasons you need to see what your workforce looks like. The HR department alone is responsible for hiring and diversity needs, developing job descriptions, formulating plans for recruiting, maintaining organizational charts and recruiting related documents, serving on search committees, and understanding and motivating employees.
This is a huge amount of work, and a few years ago the HR department had to be larger to collect and scrape data from countless spreadsheets and employee records. HR software systems reduced the workload incredibly and helped the department run more efficiently. And if you’re using one of the more sophisticated HR systems, the demographic information can be applied either to your entire company or to individual departments and teams.
Examples of top HR systems include Sage HRMS, SuccessFactors, Kronos Workforce Ready, and People’s HR system. These systems empower HR to transcend the data glut by performing all the tedious background labor formerly done by human hands. They track data beyond what an individual human is capable of, tell you how to act next, travel with you, and free you from paper altogether. They super-charge the HR department with instant, pre-built insightful reports.
With just a click, you can view a summary of your entire workforce (or just the sales department), and instantly see the average age, the most dominant gender, the average length of service, and even the hottest country of origin
HR software in the hands of the right people
Imagine if you had access to these statistics about your workforce? You could use the average service term to try to improve the quality of working life within your company. For example, imagine learning that the average employee stays with your company only nine months. But in checking that same report five years later, you find out that your interventions had increased it by 15 months. This is powerful knowledge that leads to change. Measurement facilitates targeted change, and the more accurate the measure, the more strategic HR decisions are.
One of the best advantages of knowing your workplace demographics is that you can ensure a diverse mix of employees to create a complex and productive workplace. Diversity is important, and HR can easily manage it by teaming up with sharp software.
HR and social media
With their hands freed a little because of the software systems, the HR department is ready to take on social media for the company. Most forward thinkers believe that’s where it should be, so they can direct the rest of the workers in their participation.
That is a major shift in duties, but it’s the best solution business owners have found to make room for social media. Since the HR department is people centered and connected to all their coworkers, it makes sense that they would be most able to get social media rolling, with a centralized department responsible for it.
Technology continues to change the workplace in unforeseen ways, and the innovators at the front move quickly to adjust to the new environment efficiently.
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