HR Data and Decisions: Why HR Metrics May Fail

by Michael Haberman on November 4, 2009 · 0 comments

Marketing guru and all around smart guy, Seth Godin, wrote a blog post entitled When Data and Decisions Collide that made me write this post. He gives several examples of situations where data did not drive decisions, despite overwhelming evidence. As an example “The data shows that famous colleges underperform many cheaper, friendlier, smaller colleges. How much is your neighbor’s envy worth?” The examples indicate that we make decisions as much based on emotions as we do data, even not more so.

Not really an earthshaking conclusion on my part, but it got me to thinking how often do we apply that type of decision-making to human resources issues, even the strategic ones? So will this make it slower for us to adopt some HR metrics? Will we be more or less likely to change a course of action based on data given that HR can be so driven by emotional decisions? Or are we doomed to emotion because we are “the people” people?

Provide me with some answers please?

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Cathy Missildine-Martin, SPHR November 4, 2009 at 3:13 pm

Well you know I had to weigh in here as this is my passion. I believe that if we (HR prefessionals) dont start using data and metrics for decision making and performance tracking that we will continue to have that table problem. (the lack of a seat). The business talks in a language of numbers and analytics, we should too!!


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