The use of data to enhance workforce hiring and development is not new, and yet it’s still a science that’s often underused or misunderstood. That’s likely due to the rapid evolution of data capture and analytics in general, especially in the world of healthcare.
Using data to provide strategic insights can connect directly to business outcomes, and so it is extremely important for healthcare employers to get a handle on the process and how best to manage it, says Bryan Warren, Director of Healthcare Solutions at Select International, and Dr. Ted Kinney, Vice President of Research and Development at Select International, both of whom use data to build effective hiring, development and leadership programs.
First, it’s key to understand exactly what workforce data is, Warren says.
“In its broadest sense, it's going to be any data that can be leveraged to provide strategic insights on people, and can be connected directly to business outcomes,” he says. “It can cover a lot of different types of data. The other term you'll hear a lot these days is workforce analytics. This is a little more specific in that its definition usually involves combining software, methodologies and statistical models to the data, so that you can make predictions that can be used to optimize human resource management.”
Those are both broad definitions, so when discussions turn to workforce analytics, it will be necessary to clarify what exactly they're talking about, he points out.
The vital role of workforce data
Why is workforce data so critical today? Why is it a hot topic? We've always had workforce data, Warren says, and we've always analyzed it and tried to understand how to use it to make solid business decisions, but why such a focus now?
“Like most situations, pressure of some sort forces organizations to look for new solutions,” he explains. “In an era of big data, you can imagine where these pressures lead us. They are pretty obvious. Healthcare organizations are in the midst of evolving the entire care delivery system, our payment methodologies, all of this is occurring and in the middle of it, the labor market has definitely started to shift. Time to fill positions is increasing as it becomes harder to find qualified candidates, and accordingly labor costs are increasing.”
On the positive side, he adds, “Organizations are realizing that their workforce is really a core strategic consideration, and most organizations plan to use big data, whatever they believe that to mean, to solve the problem. But the question is how? What is the data and how do we use it? One of the good things we see in all this is from our point of view, this continues a trend of human resources and talent becoming less of an administrative task, and more of a tactical and strategic business objective. That's a good thing.”
In healthcare particularly, he notes, leaders have been recognizing the importance of talent-related analytics in:
“For instance, we can use data to address bottlenecks in the hiring process, for finding and selecting the right people,” he says. “We've been doing more and more work in the space of identifying and developing leaders, and just generally aligning talent strategies with business strategies. That's really the goal of what we want to do with the data.”
About Bryan Warren:
Bryan Warren is the Director of Healthcare Solutions at Select International, where he leads the healthcare team and is actively involved with their clients on executive and position leadership selection in development projects. Dr. Ted Kinney is Vice President of Research and Development at Select International, where he focuses on using data to build and implement effective hiring and development programs that support larger business goals.
This blog post is taken from a recent HealthStream Webinar. To hear Warren and Kinney’s full discussion, click here.
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