Is the future of HR evidence based?

Data & research has always fascinated me. Call me a geek (which I am proud to be btw), but research is the key to so many things. With a background in L&D, research helps me ensure I understand business challenges and can offer the right solutions - many times it's not a training need that is required. However without the research and acquiring the data I could wrongly assume what the solution is and produce something that isn't fit for purpose.

Likewise when I'm evaluating the success of any solution the data that is tracked whether this is anecdotal evidence or metrics and KPI's is paramount to demonstrating that the solutions have made a difference - hopefully the right difference!

Without evidence and data we are largely shooting blind, using hunches and past experiences to help us make the decisions using assumptions rather than facts and data that may tell another story and help you come to different decisions.

I've been following the debate around BIG DATA for sometime and came across this recent article in HBR - There is no such thing as big data in HR  - it's very much worth a read as for me it links in to the evidence based approach that has been growing in voice. I've found a few more resources on the subject that I wanted to share so you can make your own mind up.

There have been three reports released recently by the CIPD that highlight different approaches to evidence based practices

1) Human capital analytics and reporting

2) Human capital theory: assessing the evidence 

3) Human capital metrics and analytics: assessing the evidence

Whilst these reports can be quite detailed they shed light on growing trends around evidence based approaches. As Edward Houghton states 

The professionalism of HR comes in to play by interpreting data and evidence, and using it actively on a daily basis, to inform clear recommendations for key stakeholders, and to drive move evidence-based HR practice. HR should use analytics and data, which may come from the work of vendors and their solutions, to inform their decisions, but decisions cannot and should not be solely data driven. Professional judgement, an appreciation of stakeholder views, and perhaps most crucially, the use of scientifically proven evidence, should be used to inform decisions. HR analytics is part of the evidence-based practitioner’s armory, and as such we need to build the capability to use HR analytics alongside other forms of evidence to which HR professionals are well acquainted. 

Another great resource on evidence based HR is the recent GoodPractice podcast with Mark Hendy - Mark writes a regular blog and has particular focus on evidence based HR 

You can download or listen to the podcast here

So what's your take on this evidence based approach, are we (HR and L&D) lacking the data as the HBR article suggests?

Is this changing with your organisation focusing on the data and analytics available?

And finally - is the future of HR and L&D evidence based?

I'd love to hear your views

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