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  • Writer's pictureHumdex

Must HR be data-led if they want to be business critical?

Find out for free in our Humdex Next Generation-HR global study report.

Testing a theory

Many of you will already know that Humdex has recently been very busy gathering information, via a global study, with an aim to help people professionals and leaders with future planning.

At Humdex we believe that data is a key part to understanding the present, the past and in planning for the future, but how does this data play a part in the formation of a successful prospective workforce? More information was needed here and an intrinsic part in our search for answers was to test the theory that:

"HR Professionals must be more data-led if they want to be business critical"

The results of the study are now available to download as a report for FREE. This report is packed with insights gathered from over 100 senior HR and business professionals, across 17 countries and multiple company sizes.

Request your copy of the report on our research and studies page HERE

Together with our expert for strategic feedback partner, EUCUSA, the Next Generation-HR study creates a quantitative map of the experience and perspectives of business leaders.

Discussing the findings live

To celebrate the results of this study being made publicly available we sat down with a globally renowned and varied panel of experts to discuss the data implications and participate in a live Q&A.

We were truly humbled to have such an amazing panel use their grey matter to test our theory and results.

Read more about the panel members in an previous article we published here.

We were then humbled for a second time by the level of interest and the positive feedback we are receiving for this data. The live panel discussion was conducted on November 24th and hosted by non-profit organisation LEAD, please enjoy a recording of the event below (we apologise for some of the connection issues some of our panel faced at times, these are thankfully short in duration):

Panel Q&A round 2

We were not able to get round to all the questions asked by the audience in time, however we were able to get some pf the panel to answer a few more after the show.

Q - In terms of diversity and inclusion, the business case has been made. It has been made again and again, and yet, women’s representation in corporate leadership has stalled. Racial wealth disparities are widening. What are the bottlenecks?

Dr. Deb Cohen - The question of why diversity efforts have not been as effective as the positive business case for D & I would suggest is a good one. On the one hand, it is quite encouraging to hear executives and HR leaders talk about their support for D & I, the result of this support; however, has not moved the needle to the degree necessary or desired. One challenge is that while organizations have invested time, effort and funding, it is often done with a generic brush that does not take into account the nuances every organization has with respect to the demographics of their workforce. In addition, requiring employees and managers to take training is not always effective in motivating employees and managers. Bottom line is that leadership buy-in needs to provide genuine guidance and values, not just funding; employee development needs to be implemented carefully and customized to the organizations key levers and be consistently delivered. Organizations can’t command that bias be stopped, they have to understand where bias may come from, why it exists and how best to address it. It’s less of a bottleneck and perhaps more of misplaced efforts and investments.

Q - What is your advice/guidance to a new manager (early career) on how to view HR? How do we in the business function help HR come into the more strategic?

Temi Dalley - In today’s ever-changing world, it is becoming increasingly evident that HR is an enabler. An early career manager, for instance, is in dire need of support on how to balance the needs of the business with the expectations of their teams. HR has a huge role to play in enabling line managers to get the best out of their people as the best strategies can be derailed by a dysfunctional culture.

Today’s strategic HR leaders are demonstrating tremendous leadership and facilitating the change and transformation, we need to see to drive innovation and business results while making workplaces great for all employees. The bedrock of continuous impact for HR then becomes hinged on levels of collaboration and engagement with the business.

Indeed, the realities of work today have further shown that there is no business without people. Simply put, HR is the Business and the need for a seat at the table should be viewed as integral not a privilege.

Alex Fleming - My advice to someone who is a new manager on how to view HR is to see them as both a supporting function and also as a team who can assist with curating and implementing strategy. To support HR professionals in becoming more strategic I recommend that HR managers stay focused on how HR impacts business results, not just in in terms of cost efficiencies but also in driving revenue generation through productivity. It is important HR professionals have strong commercial knowledge of how their work and function impacts the wider business and that they are enablers to success. Base decisions and advice on data and be outcome focused at all times.

Thank you again to our panel for lending us your considerable brain power. If you do care about your future workforce and how data plays a part in its success, we do recommend that you download the Humdex Next Generation-HR report and encourage you to contact us with your questions.


We work hard at keeping up to date and informed on the latest trends and news affecting the world of people analytics, diversity and inclusion & strategic workforce planning. If you would like to know more about the work we do, then please contact us.

Author -Scott Brent

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