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Nearly Half of UK Organizations Rely on Instincts Over Data

Many organizations in the United Kingdom still rely on instinct and gut feelings, rather than hard data and insight, when it comes to assessing current skills within the organization and identifying skills requirements.


This is according to research from Capita Resourcing, which found this to be the case for 46% of the more than 800 UK human resources and business leaders that responded to the survey.

This is despite the fact that the vast majority (83%) of HR and recruitment leaders regard data and insight as critical to improving recruitment and talent acquisition, and 81% admit that they need more visibility into current skills within the workforce.

Additionally, 50% of HR and recruitment leaders believe that at least half of all skills gaps within their organization could be addressed by better use of data, and 45% believe that data and insight will enable them to predict future skills gaps before they become problematic.

However, HR and recruitment departments continue to struggle to use data effectively. Senior business leaders point to HR and recruitment as the business function that has made the least progress in using data and insight to optimize and measure performance — 24% of business leaders report that it is the worst at collecting, analyzing and using data. Employees also recognize the need for improvements — 92% of UK workers claim that their employer could make better use of data to enhance their employee experience.

HR and recruitment professionals are acutely aware of the need to optimize their use of data to remain competitive in an ever more challenging labor market and to accelerate their journey towards a hybrid workforce over the coming years,” Geoff Smith, executive director of Capita Resourcing. “Organizations need complete visibility of skills across the workforce to make more informed, strategic decisions, not only when it comes to hiring, but also utilization and mobility of current talent and skills. With greater insight on employees and candidates, HR can improve quality of hire, but also drive employee engagement and retention (through better cultural fit of hires), workforce diversity and business agility.”

The research reveals that there is mounting pressure to improve. More than a third (34%) of recruitment and HR leaders report that successful use of data in other parts of the business is shining the spotlight on current usage of data within talent acquisition, and more than half (51%) are concerned about falling behind their competitors when it comes to using data and insight in recruitment.

As a result of the lack of progress in data usage, only 22% of HR and recruitment leaders are extremely confident their organization has access to all the skills it needs to meet business objectives over the next five years.

Organizations must overcome a number of challenges in order to improve their use of data and insight within talent acquisition. Concerns around data security and protection were cited as the biggest barrier, with 41% of HR and recruitment professionals reporting that data protection concerns are making it difficult to effectively turn data into insight.

The research also highlights that organizations simply cannot manage the amount of HR and workforce data they are generating, as 40% claim that the sheer volume of HR and workforce data has become a challenge. Other barriers to turning data into valuable insight and information include budgetary constraints (32%), fragmented and disparate data (31%), outdated technology (26%), and a lack of analytical skills within the organization (25%).

HR and recruitment leaders are aware of the consequences of not improving their use of data and insight, as 42% said their organization will have more difficulty recruiting talent; 38% said candidate experience will suffer; and 37% believe that they will lose candidates to competitors unless they optimize their use of data and insight.

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