Act on workforce data - not intuition - and save big bucks: Qantas analyst
Employers that gather and accurately interpret workforce data before resorting to massive job cuts can avert unnecessary workplace upheaval and save big bucks in future recruitment costs, according to Qantas workforce analytics manager, Nathan Carbone.
Analytics versus "gut feel"At Qantas, data is gathered and compiled into four key workforce areas, says Carbone, who will be discussing the topic at the upcoming Australasian Talent Conference.
"Being able to accurately interpret workforce data is crucial in the current environment," he says.
"Workforce analytics is... helping businesses to make decisions with the backing of data rather than intuition and gut feel."
Qantas senior managers have "seen the effect of analytics", he says, and have learnt to "rely on the stories the data is telling them".
The company can predict future shortages of certain skill-sets and can plan to recruit or train in-house accordingly. It can also strike a more practical balance between a part- and full-time team, and accurately determine the best times to either enforce lay-offs or hold on to staff.
Analytics drive re-focusThe power of HR analytics over "gut feel", Carbone says, can be illustrated by an experience he had with a previous employer.
HR had hypothesised, he says, that new managers would counter their lack of experience in resource management by allowing a high rate of overtime among the staff in their departments until they established the right mix of employees per shift.
Therefore, fast-tracking the staff-resourcing learning curve of new managers would dramatically reduce the company's overtime spend, it was argued.
"What the data analytics showed us, however, was that more experienced managers were allocating overtime as a reward for employees and scheduling overtime based on employee needs, rather than the organisation's requirement," Carbone says.
"Their overtime spend was actually higher than new managers'."
This led to a change in focus, he says, away from strategies to fast-track training for new managers and instead to direct experienced managers to be more responsible in their use of overtime.
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