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Financials can boost HR metrics and analytics

Companies such as ServiceSource, Morgan Stanley and Wal-Mart are integrating financials with HR to determine talent strategies that produce the best ROI.

More and more organizations are discovering that they can obtain potent workforce insights by bringing together human resources and finance.

Executives need both HR and financial data, for example, to measure the performance of recruiting, analyze the costs of staffing employees, predict ways to retain a top performer or determine if a certain program is delivering good results.

There are plenty of advantages from integrating HR and finance.

Consider ServiceSource, which makes money by helping companies grow and retain revenues from contracts with their customers. It uses Anaplan for workforce planning and workforce management.

ServiceSource integrates Anaplan budgeting, planning and forecasting software with Workday HCM and ERP and found the combination to be a powerful tool for HR metrics and analytics. The company used Anaplan and Workday to help staff a new sales center in the Philippines and close the gap between workforce supply and demands.

ServiceSource, based in San Francisco, uses the integrated applications for its quarterly forecasts of the numbers of employees needed to service a particular customer. Anaplan pulls in actual head counts from Workday to help make the projections.

Executives from Chevron, Morgan Stanley and Wal-Mart also use data for a deeper understanding of performance indicators such as turnover or which talent strategies produce the best return on investment.

Big organizations are putting a huge emphasis on using financials for HR metrics and analytics. Chevron and Wal-Mart both operate "centers of excellence" staffed by specialists who churn out reports that draw on advanced analytics.

Improved integration with finance can help make HR more strategic and produce some incisive HR metrics and analytics.

For example, organizations need to know payoffs, such as exactly how much they spend to hire someone and precisely how much they lose as a result of a termination. If they invest in talent development or training, organizations should also know the expected return on that expenditure.

HR metrics and analytics can also work with data in performance management systems. For example, it's possible to integrate next-generation performance appraisal tools with ERP and sales software and use the data to measure performance. Sales organizations are already good at collecting business data to determine if individuals performed well and met their goals.

In the future, that could be the case across an organization.

Next Steps

Wawa taps SAP for workforce metrics and analytics

Allied Global collects with Workday HR and financials

Visier provides workforce analysis at Informatica

This was last published in February 2016

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