Navigo Blog

3 Key Differences between Workforce modelling & HR analytics [2020 Update]

HR analytics and workforce modelling are two very important tools for HR professionals. With so many overlapping HR tech solutions available, it can be hard to decide which investments are necessary and which create the most value for your business.

Knowing the difference between workforce modelling and HR analytics can help you identify gaps in your HR metrics. It’s also useful if you’re seeking approval for a workforce modelling business case.

But first let’s define them:
HR analytics is the data-driven assessment of your current workforce relative to business outcomes
Workforce modelling is the creation of scenarios to visualise skill gaps and future talent needs

So, what are the defining characteristics that make these HR tools important to businesses?

HR analytics tell you about the current state of your workforce

Workforce modelling vs HRAnalyticsHR analytics give you a breakdown of your current organisational situation. The data from HR analytics will tell you how many people are working for you right now, who your biggest performers are, and what departments are performing the most effectively.

The timely perspective HR analytics provide is a great basis for making strategic decisions. You need to have a strong understanding of how your organisation currently stands to bring it into the future.

HR analytics won’t tell you what talent you need to expand. HR analytics lack of forward focus is where workforce modelling steps in, it can give you the insight into the future of your company the way HR analytics can’t.

Workforce modelling visualises your skill gaps and future talent needs

Workforce analytics

Workforce modelling uses factors such as current headcount, likely attrition rate, and required skills sets to determine your future talent needs. Consider it succession planning for your organisation.

Setting up a workforce modelling initiative reduces the growing pains of an organisation as it expands. Skill gaps are pre-empted, and new employees are hired before current employees get stretched too thin.

Workforce modelling factors in elements such as turnover as well as talent shortages. Skilled workers who entered the workforce 20 years ago will be more likely to retire in the coming years.

It allows you to avoid ‘brain drain‘ in your organisation, by hiring talent to replace outgoing employees. You need to factor in what talent is leaving your organisation in the coming years as well as the talent coming in.

Using the predictive power of workforce modelling also eases major transformations, such as a merger or change in processes. It shows you who needs to be doing what, as well as additional factors involving training and data migration.

Being able to visualise such a significant change may make the task seem daunting, but workforce modelling has the opposite effect. Being able to predict what factors you need to include in a change makes managing the change easier.

Use both tools together for a more organised workforce now and into the future

HR analytics is the best starting point to decide how to improve your organisation. Use a current snapshot of your organisation as a basis for your workforce modelling strategies.

Create an outline of how you would like your organisation to look in 5 years time. Compare this to where your organisation currently stands in terms of headcount and skills. List all the positions you would need to fill and the skills those positions require.

Look at your current workforce and what stage in the employee lifecycle they are. Assess what positions will need to be replaced as older employees retire and you face general turnover.

Become the workforce modelling expert in your organisation today

You can become an expert in workforce modelling too. Present data that clearly shows talent is a competitive advantage. Your organisation knows what it wants to do – now show them how you’re going to do it.

We also have a free 14-day org chart trial, so you can explore an easy-to-use workforce modelling tool first hand – with no commitment.

If you have any questions, book in a free strategy session with Navigo’s workforce design advisor, Kirsty Davis.



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