Human resources is evolving. Technology has enabled speculation to become reality through the capture and analysis of data.

From a reactive function that was about hiring, talent management and training, HR has been reinvented as strategic partner. HR teams have always cared about business strategy, but translating their initiatives into measurable insights that benefit the business has been a challenge. Although HR teams have always seen the value in their role, an inability to demonstrate predicted outcomes made requesting budget a struggle, as the bottom line didn’t quite add up.

Change is here. Chief human resources officers (CHROs) and HR managers are now described as HR business partners as leaders in the C-suite recognize HR efforts. HR now drives outcomes that impact organizational success as it aligns itself with the business, becoming a strategic department.

How Does Strategic HR Work?

Through the use of technology, strategic HR combines traditional HR functions, such as hiring and training, and integrates them into the overall business strategy. As a result, HR can help the business anticipate, design and implement organizational change, bolstering retention, enhancing the employee experience, and benefiting both the employee and the employer.

Today, HR departments use business intelligence tools to collect a large amount of people data and leverage it to present initiatives to managers in an impactful way. From onboarding and engaging new employees to boosting the morale of the current workforce, these tools help HR teams demonstrate the ROI of these initiatives and support long-term business goals.

No Need to Be a Data Scientist

Implementing an HR analytics tool no longer requires a major overhaul. By pairing with systems the organization already has in place, these tools help create a stockpile of data. HR professionals don’t need to be data experts to use them; easy-to-use features give them the power to gain insights into their employees.

Workforce analytics can help businesses enhance their decision-making capabilities by anticipating disruptions and changes before they even occur, identifying which managers are good and which are struggling, and determining which employees are engaged. These capabilities help leaders develop effective HR programs and quickly quash initiatives and policies that are damaging.

For example, if a company spends $100 per employee on retention, it makes sense that it would want to know who is most likely to quit and whom they should focus retention efforts on; after all, the largest unnecessary expense is losing good employees. Gaining insight into these areas allows for a proactive HR strategy.

What Does Modern HR Look Like?

By harnessing technology, HR leaders are now able to support business goals, whether it’s attracting and retaining the best talent, developing initiatives for employee satisfaction, or redefining existing policies. People analytics enables HR teams to align their goals with the business goals, provide actionable insights, suggest actions, measure the impact of these actions and report outcomes to the business.

A centralized human resources function has many benefits, and for HR professionals, technology has opened up a door to new opportunities to be a strategic business partner. Data holds the key to demonstrating what they have known all along: HR can help shape organizational success.