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Over the past few years, business leaders have realized something important about the human resources department: If they want to keep growing their businesses and leading their industries over the next few years, HR must be an integral part of the business strategy.

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This realization has brought HR to the leadership table to discuss business strategy. While it’s often easy to see how the HR strategy fits into a larger business strategy, it isn’t always as clear how HR influences those overall business goals.

The data from your human resource information system (HRIS) may be able to shed light on how the business strategy should develop.


The Kinds of HRIS Data You Have

When you use a human resource information system, you’re collecting all kinds of data. This information can be extracted into reports and analyzed.

You probably already do this with some of the information stored in the HRIS. For example, you may want to know about sick day use or leave time in the business. Payroll or benefits administration statistics may also be of interest.

Generally, the insights from this information are easy to apply to your HR strategy. What’s less clear is how information about how you administer payroll or how you hire candidates can be applied to the overall business strategy.


Using Data to Determine Where You Are

The first thing you can do with HRIS data is use it to help you determine where you stand on some of your overall business goals.

Take information about the hiring process as an example. The HRIS contains data about how long the hiring process takes, how many applicants you review and interview, and how many people stay with the company for any given period of time after hiring.

It’s easy to see how this can affect your HR strategy around hiring. What does it mean for the larger business strategy?

The information could give you insights into the candidate experience and employer brand for your company. If one of your business goals is to grow your talent network, you might also want to focus on building a better employer brand.

Increasing productivity could also benefit from the insights provided by the HRIS. You can look at your current levels of productivity and ask what you could be doing differently. Are employees engaged? If not, the HRIS data may provide clues about what you could be doing differently.


Driving Business Strategy and Determining Goals

Now that you’ve assessed where you currently stand, you might wonder what the data in your HRIS can do to help you drive forward a new business strategy or set new goals.

HRIS information might tell you that in order to drive productivity, you’ll need to invest more in the technology you use in your business. How are people across departments using their time? Is there a way to streamline processes and become more efficient?

If you’re predicting there’s going to be a talent shortage in your industry in the next year or two, the HRIS data can give you keen insights into what you need to do to improve your employer brand and become the company all candidates want to work for.

The HRIS data can also show you where your strengths lie. Perhaps you have a great hiring process and the people you hire stay with the company for a long time. This can play into your strategy as you look to attract the top talent to help the business continue growing.


Your People Are the Difference

In this day and age, your workforce can be the difference between success and stagnation. That’s why HRIS information can be so useful when it comes to determining business strategy. From deciding what you’re doing well to figuring out how you can improve, the information already collected in your HRIS gives you more insight into how to grow your business.


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John Griffin

John Griffin

John Griffin is Executive Vice President, Operations. With 16 years of experience, John has worked exclusively as a group benefits professional for his entire career, where he has had the good fortune to have worked with some of the best brands in the business as they entered new markets for the first time. He is obsessed with the client experience for both plan sponsors and plan members, which translates into tireless advocacy for bringing innovation into the insurance marketplace. John Griffin holds a BA from the University of Toronto and earned an MBA from Warwick Business School in England. John has written and published three books and spends most of his leisure time hunting down the best food in every city he visits.