How We’re Helping HR to Build Credibility with The Board

January 28 2019

We’ve been talking for a long time about the evolution of HR. In 2015 Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends report declared that HR needed an ‘extreme makeover’ in order to deliver greater business impact. More recently, the consultancy still believes that “HR often cannot keep up with the pace of change in business”.

Why not? We have powerful analytics, there are plenty of great HR role models and global thought leaders from whom we can learn. We know that HR will be able to deliver greater impact if the function is more strategic, more relevant, more commercial…. but something is holding us back.

From my experience, both within organisations and as a consultant, I believe much of it comes down to credibility and how HR can build credibility by providing comprehensive, reliable, timely insights.

Where does lack of credibility stem from?

In one of our recent workshops for HR leaders we talked about barriers to credibility. The common causes came down to:

  • Data validity: “Even if I have the data the board will query it’s validity and source if the message isn’t something they want to hear” said one participant.
  • Data scope: HR now has access to a wealth of data but if it’s only internal, the team struggles to offer a broader view. In some cases, resorting to Google for answers!
  • Data Lens: “How do we become more agile as a business?”, “How is digital transformation affecting corporate culture?” are the types of questions our workshop participants are being asked to answer.

Data in this context isn’t reams of spreadsheets and charts about attrition and benefits, but about offering real-life insight into the external talent landscape.

Empowering HR with credible intelligence  

External talent data can be expensive and time time-consuming to source manually and comes in multiple sources and different formats. Without access to this data, companies risk making strategic decisions without insight. Plus, HR either fails to build, or risks losing, credibility.

This is how the initial concept for Stratigens came about. Stratigens is a platform that continually gathers people, location, and other relevant market data (for example the maturity of HR and the ease of doing business) from multiple sources and applies science and analysis to help answer people-centric strategic questions.  

Why should we pick one location for a new office over another? What are other organisations doing about the gender pay gap? What’s the appetite for overseas labour to move to this market? Who might our competitors for talent be in future?

The results are presented in a visual and interactive way, clearly identifying relevant data to help HR make better informed decisions and provide credible data to the business.

Data-led decision making

In Deloitte’s 2018 Global Human Capital Trends survey, 84 percent of respondents viewed people analytics as important or very important, making it the second-highest ranked trend.

Good news that it’s moved up the agenda, however, people analytics can be a confusing term as it infers that we’re looking at individual people.

People analytics needs to include the bigger picture too. Whole markets, entire talent populations, the overall ‘mood’ surrounding your organisation. Stratigens helps identify forward-looking areas of risk and opportunity by providing external talent data relevant to business questions.

The latest Future of Jobs report from the World Economic Forum finds that when determining job location decisions “companies overwhelmingly prioritise the availability of skilled local talent as their foremost consideration”, with 74% of respondents providing this factor as their key consideration.

If HR could offer this data up to the board it would be a great example of bringing credible insight to the table. Stratigens will enable just this kind of input from HR.

“Making data-based decisions versus decisions based on your prior experience or your gut — that’s the secret sauce to the HR digital transformation” says Microsoft’s GM of Business Insights, Dawn Klinghoffer. And I’d argue it’s also the secret sauce to building HR’s credibility. After all, without data, you're just another person with an opinion.

To find out more about Stratigens and how it can help your business, please contact our team on 029 2035 1419 or visit