Employees are an organization's most important asset, and a human resources (HR) department serves as a bridge between employees and leadership. Every employee plays a role in a company's culture, and their contributions can be vital to a business's success or failure. Because organizations rely on their workforce for productivity and success, HR departments are key players for their ability to attract and hire the right people for every role. HR teams help businesses and organizations oversee the recruiting, hiring, onboarding, training, and offboarding of employees, create administrative procedures that support a company's workers, and more.
Why HR Is Essential for Entrepreneurs
Busy entrepreneurs and business owners often don’t have the time or the necessary people skills to connect with prospective employees, so having HR professionals who are knowledgeable in hiring, onboarding, and communicating with employees is critical to help move a company forward. The scope of work performed by an organization's HR department is broad. Individuals interested in working within this field can pursue different HR roles, including those of HR manager, training and development specialist, hiring manager, and more.
HR can be fulfilling and challenging, and finding the right role requires careful thought and understanding. Read on to learn about the key areas in HR and how a human resources degree can prepare you for many great career options.
- Recruiting and Staffing
- Compensation and Benefits
- Human Resources Compliance
- Organizational Structure
- Training and Development
- Performance Management
- Workplace Safety and Health Issues
Leveraging HR Data for Strategic Decision-Making
Data analytics in modern HR practices provides insights into employee behavior and overall organizational performance. By analyzing critical HR metrics such as employee turnover rates, recruitment costs, and employee engagement levels, HR professionals can identify patterns and trends that can help them optimize their recruitment and retention strategies, improve employee satisfaction and performance, and develop better workforce planning strategies. As a result, data analytics has become a critical component of modern HR management, driving better business decisions and allowing organizations to thrive.
The Shift to Data-Driven HR
HR has come a long way from being a purely administrative function with little to no emphasis on data-informed decision-making. Before the advent of data analytics, HR professionals mainly focused on hiring and firing employees, tracking attendance, and payroll processing. The role was primarily manual and heavily reliant on paperwork. However, things have changed significantly in recent years thanks to the introduction of human resource information systems (HRIS). These systems use data to track employee performance, productivity levels, and even job satisfaction. The data they produce allows HR professionals to make better-informed decisions regarding workforce planning, training, and development.
The Power of HR Metrics and KPIs
Metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) are essential tools in HR as they help evaluate and track progress. These metrics provide insights into the company's performance by gathering, analyzing, and reporting data. HR uses metrics and KPIs to measure employee performance, retention, and engagement, among other critical areas. These numbers help identify strengths, weaknesses, trends, and opportunities for growth and improvement. Additionally, HR reporting entails presenting the data to management, enabling the team to make better-informed decisions based on the insights gained from the metrics and KPIs.
Predictive Analytics in HR
Predictive analytics involves using statistical algorithms and machine learning techniques to predict future events based on past data patterns. In the context of human resources, predictive analytics can be a potent tool for organizations to make informed decisions and shape their workforce strategy. For instance, HR departments can predict workforce needs accurately, forecasting an organization's skill and talent requirements. Predictive analytics can also predict employee turnover, allowing organizations to identify flight risks and take proactive measures to retain key talent. The insights from such analytics can inform various HR decisions, from staffing and recruitment to training, development, and retention practices.
Making Objective Decisions
One of the key advantages of using data analytics is that it leads to more objective decision-making based on facts and data rather than subjective opinions or personal bias. This shift in thinking is essential for companies seeking to make intelligent, future-focused choices and achieve their goals effectively. When HR initiatives are backed with data, it becomes easier to get management support. Having objective information supporting the HR initiatives can also help eliminate management's doubts or concerns.
Getting Your HR Degree
Most professionals in the HR field start by earning a bachelor's degree in human resources. The degree program equips individuals with a fundamental understanding of how businesses operate and allows them to delve deeper into the dynamics of employee management. Additionally, obtaining a master's degree in human resources can be a game-changer for those with an existing HR career. Not only does a master’s provide individuals with advanced knowledge and strategies for managing and leading a team, but it can also open up opportunities for career advancement.
WGU's entirely online courses and certification programs are designed for busy working adults who want to learn the most relevant skills of their field. With no set log-in times, WGU gives students the flexibility to learn on their own schedules, with the option to progress as quickly as they can master the material. Learn more about how WGU can prepare you to enter the rewarding and team-centric field of human resources.