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Angela Merkel or Sheldon Cooper – Who should you hire? An introduction to people analytics.

by | Jun 9, 2019 | People Analytics

This lecture was given to a group of Business/Computer Science master students as a part of the course Decision Support System at University Mainz. Take a look at the slide deck, my three lessons learned, and the video below. Please get in touch in case of questions or if you are interested to discuss people analytics with us.

My Lessons Learned from talking to my students

HR = reputation problem

I keep asking the question “Who might consider working in HR?” in my lectures. Usually none of the students will be.

Here are the main reasons:  (1) boring, mostly admin work, (2) no impact, (3) poorly paid.

People Analytics = new reputation

The good news is, that I can get at least 30% of the students interested as a result of my lecture.

When you ask them what changed their minds. There are two main reasons:

(1) cool things you can actually do with analytics in the people space,
(2) interesting topics with large impact, which are beyond the admin aspect

HR is not only a function

When student think of HR, they think of admin processes, poor experience in their job interviews, may be training/learning organized by HR.

As a result HR is seen as an administrative support function, with little value.

HR is everywhere / integral

HR or people analytics is not only a business function.

Whether your are leading or coaching someone informally. Or if your are a member of a team, you will be confronted everyday with aspects of HR.

The HR departments responsibility is to improve the quality of these everyday HR decision over time. 

Myopic career choices

I always ask the question “Who would you rather work for after graduating?

a) a well known, large company paying you 50k or
b) a start-up, where you learn a lot, paying you 35k.

Altering the choice architecture

While initially, 90% of the students prefer the large company, I see the percentage drop to 40%.

Basically, what happens is that the students are being nudged by me (altering the choice architecture). Suddenly, they think about, how happy will if I might have diffculties seeing my impact in a larger company, or how will a slower learning curve impact my salary in 5 years time?

My people analytics lecture on video

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