The Brave New World of CSR: AI and Predictive People Analytics
Predictive people analytics is a hot HR buzzword these days, but what does it really mean?
A recent article by experts at McKinsey & Co. offered a succinct insight by quoting Bill James, the famous baseball historian and statistician: “There will always be people who are ahead of the curve, and people who are behind the curve. But knowledge moves the curve.” Some companies are mapping HR data to ensure that employees and the company as a whole are on the right side of the curve.
McKinsey’s research has found that sometimes the results of data analytics is counterintuitive. As an example, they illustrate the case of a bank in Asia that used data analytics to trace the correlation between top performing employees and various data points across five categories. The results upended expectations.
“Whereas the bank had always thought top talent came from top academic programs,” McKinsey’s experts noted, “hard analysis revealed that the most effective employees came from a wider variety of institutions, including five specific universities and an additional three certification programs.” The findings of this bank’s analysis have since been applied to their HR hiring and training practices and has resulted in a 26 percent increase in branch productivity; a rate of conversion of new recruits 80 percent higher than before the changes were put in place; and a rise in net income by 14 percent.
Predictive people analytics can help leaders reduce risk and make smarter HR decisions through actions like better targeted recruiting, more limited biases in hiring, and increased retention through improved management. But data analytics can also do something else that benefits HR departments, something that experts are paying less attention to right now but which has huge implications for employee engagement; it can make a company’s social impact efforts far more effective.
While we’re at it, let’s talk about a related buzzword in HR these days: artificial intelligence. As Meghan M. Biro laid out for TalentCulture, AI is an area of computer science where computers are “developed” to behave much the way humans do. “Strong AI” simulates human reasoning; “Weak AI” includes systems that can think but don’t tell us anything about how humans think; and “In-Between AI” includes systems that are informed by, or inspired by human reasoning.
As with predictive people analytics, AI is affecting the way that organizational development leaders understand the ways their companies can and do function. Through artificial intelligence, HR leaders are able to make the most effective decisions for their organizations, so much so that this technology is increasingly a cornerstone of HR innovation. Harvey Nash’s recent HR survey found that 15% of HR leaders are affected right now by AI and automation, while 40% think it will have an impact in the next two to five years. Sixty percent of survey respondents felt that technology-enabled HR had become more central to their role in the past year.
Together, AI and predictive people analytics have the potential to dramatically disrupt the way that companies approach corporate volunteer programs, in ways that can be game-changers for community impact and employee engagement. With corporate philanthropy increasingly tied to employee recruitment, retention and engagement, improved effectiveness in this realm through new technologies which are themselves optimizing decision-making in HR can become an explosive advantage for companies.
Recognizing this area of opportunity, Causecast has just brought together the trends of AI and predictive people analytics in a new analytics product called Causecast IMPACT AI. This is the first and only real-time predictive analytics product for employee giving and volunteering, creating such a powerful stream of intelligence that it’s like having a strategic data analyst on your team.
We created Causecast IMPACT AI as a response to the needs we observe in CSR leaders, who are nearly always strapped for time and resources. Managers of employee volunteer and giving programs must have real-time information about how their programs stack up against those of competitors, as well as insights into the best direction for these programs to maximize participation and impact. Our product even provides an Artificial Intelligence Coach that helps leaders know what actions to take, when, and how, to drive employee motivation and engagement. Who wouldn’t want that?
Causecast IMPACT AI is currently available in exclusive limited release to current Causecast customers and is being made accessible to select early adopters through an application process on the company’s website. Want to learn more about how AI and predictive people analytics will drive the future of CSR?