How the ABS transformed their HR & TA function by making data-driven decisions

“Data and analytics have helped us move away from HR being considered as the administrators of the business, to us being considered strategic partners that work alongside the business and help them make better decisions.”

Niloufer Taraporewalla, Recruitment Team Manager at the Australian Bureau of Statistics

This is a great quote from an engaging discussion I had at a recent virtual event with Niloufer. It was great to hear first-hand some of the practical benefits that Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) have experienced since implementing a new e-Recruit and Onboarding solution – from the streamlining and automation of previously manual tasks through to creating a single source of truth for recruitment and onboarding data.

As Niloufer said, the benefits go beyond just providing better support to hiring managers in the business. The advanced analytics function has elevated HR to the level of strategic partner. 

Here is an overall summary of our discussion. 

Overcoming challenges of ‘admin overload’ 

Niloufer discussed some of the challenges faced by the ABS HR/TA team, and these will be familiar to many of us operating in this space. Time and resources are limited, and there are so many different priorities that need to be managed across different business units and hiring managers.

This can lead to ‘spreadsheet overload’, and an overwhelming number of requests for manual extraction of data. Duplication of data becomes an issue, with no single source of truth for managers to rely on. 

How a strong analytics platform has elevated the HR & TA function at ABS 

The implementation of a robust and leading edge recruitment and onboarding technology platform has enabled ABS to overcome these challenges. The ABS now have the ability to: 

  1. Create detailed, customisable reports that hiring managers can access on demand. These reports can present data in any number of ways (eg. by geography, by skill) and allow them to easily view the status of candidates as they progress through the process. 
  2. Generate automatic alerts to hiring managers, so they are aware of any delays or hold-ups in recruitment or onboarding. For example, this could be when a candidate has not supplied certain documentation during the onboarding process. 

Niloufer mentioned that this newfound level of data and insight have helped develop a ‘collective understanding’ between hiring managers and the HR/TA function, so that everybody is on the same page. 

Tips for embedding analytics into HR & TA processes 

I posed a question to Niloufer as to what the primary considerations are for making sure analytics is part of any process change or design. She said, “If you are ever creating a new process, analytics needs to be at the very forefront of that process. If you think of it as a ‘tack-on’, you are going to find the data you collect doesn’t present in the most insightful way”.

I couldn’t agree more with this, as it is so important to begin with the end in mind. Also, she encouraged HR and TA leaders to ‘get creative’ with analytics, and have conversations with recruitment technology providers to find out what other organisations are doing to improve their data-driven decision making. 

Overall, I think Niloufer provided some excellent insights not only for other organisations, but also for any leader who is aiming to transform their HR and TA functions. Investment in advanced analytics can be an absolute game-changer, as it rapidly accelerates the value that leaders can deliver to their business. 

Cover image: Shutterstock

This article was contributed by Acendre.

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