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  • Nigel Dias
    Nigel Dias

    New Partnership: University College Dublin

    The aim of the HR Analytics ThinkTank is to provide HR Analytics professionals to build functions that have a greater impact and better manage their own careers. Since 3n Strategy founded the ThinkTank is 2015, we have employed a unique evidence-based approach to our industry analysis, which was further enhanced by our academic partnerships with the University of Leeds (2017) and Utah State University (2019), and the addition of our Practitioner Board Advisors in 2020.


    I am delighted to announce that over the summer University College Dublin is joining the HR Analytics ThinkTank as an academic research partner with Dr. @Maria Belizon, Assistant Professor of Human Resource Management, joining our research board. Working alongside Professor @Andy Charlwood (UoL), Assistant Professor @Mike Ulrich (USU) and myself, with our Board of Practitioners, we look forward to producing more quality research over the years to come.




    Getting to know Dr. María Jesús Belizón...

    What is UCD? What is Maria's background? Here is a short interview with Maria so you can get to know her better.





    1.       Where is University College Dublin located? How big it is?

    UCD, as we call it, is the largest and oldest university in Ireland. A global university by mission, we are based in Dublin and we serve over 33,000 students. We are ranked within top 1% of higher education institutions world-wide and 30% of our students are international. So, for a small country such as Ireland, it is pretty big.


    2.       Can you tell us a bit about yourself? Why are you interested in HR analytics?

    During a 6-month internship in finance, funnily enough I developed an interest in HR. So I started my research career surveying HR practices in multinationals as part of an international project. My PhD focused on external and internal factors affecting the transfer of HR practices from the home country to the host operations in multinationals, and an important element in that context was the existence of a HR information system. I’ve always liked technology and the potential that it brings to decision-making and how companies manage their people.


    When the HR analytics field started to developed a few years ago, I reckoned it would be a slow journey, precisely because it merges elements of computer science, data analytics and human resources. At first, it was a personal challenge to understand how those three fields come together to solve HR issues and concerns, and I was also keen to uncover how HR Analytics can get traction in a less data literate field such as HR. My work now is geared towards advancing our understanding HR Analytics process and ultimately, helping organisations to make better decisions based on data.


    3.       You are one of the founders of the Irish HR and people analytics community. Why did you start the meetup group?

    When I was conducting preliminary fieldwork for my first project on HR analytics I realised most HR analytics practitioners were in need of a local community of practice across different sectors and types of organisations. Some of them knew each other through private events but there was no cohesive and unifying platform for knowledge sharing. Ireland is a country where ‘only the local is real’ and as I found myself in an independent position as an academic, I thought I could open up this possibility and set up the community here. Dr. Sarah Kieran from the University of Limerick joined me later and we are lucky to have the support of the Irish Centre for Business Excellence too. For us, it has been key to be part of the HR and People Analytics Global Network by the HR Analytics ThinkTank, the support from the team and the contribution of my peers in other countries running the same type of events. It was not long before Covid19 hit that we had our second meetup so we are looking forward to resume our plan of activities, although virtually for the time being.


    4.       What do you hope to achieve with the HR Analytics ThinkTank?

    The main reason I joined the HR Analytics ThinkTank was to combine efforts with like-minded HR Analytics leaders and academics who are interested in a critical advancement of the HR Analytics space. To me, this boils down to two requirements. One is to conduct rigorous and informed research. The second one is to produce meaningful research insights for the work HR Analytics practitioners and organisations do. Ultimately, I hope the research we are doing will become a point of reference for industry.

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    Latest Community Blog Entries

  • Blogs

    1. The Global Community Content library is an open area of the ThinkTank site where anyone can add content for other people to access, read and use. It is completely open and anyone can add content - although there are some general rules (below). This blog is a quick guide to explain how to add content to the site.


      Rules for Global Community Content

      There are only two rules to adding content to the global library:

      1. You are responsible for having the rights to post the content. 
      2. Any sales content will be removed.



      How to Upload Content to the  Community Content Library


      Step One: Go to the Community Content Library and click "Add New Content" (Click Here)






      Step 2: Enter a Title and the Text for the Content

      Note 1: If you are posting a video from Vimeo or YouTube, you can just put the video URL and it will load as a video!

      Note 2: You can tag other site members by using "@". For example, @Johann Friedrich Gauss.






      Step Three: Complete the other fields

      Note: If you need a new Content Type, Topic Category or Language, please use "Other" and let us know by messaging @HR Analytics ThinkTank. We will add the new category and update it for you.




      If it is older content, you might need to add the date it was original recorded or written, and who is featured in the video.




      Step 4: Agree to the Disclaimers, add a Banner (Recommended) and hit "Save"

      Tip: If you do not have a banner, we will add one when we post it.





      And that's it... The video should appear in the library immediately! Thank you for adding it!

    2. In September last year, I write a guide for How to Run an HR and People Analytics meetup. In those pre-COVID19 days, the guide was really talking about in-person events when we could come within 2 metres of each other and most of us had probably never worn a face mask. Like everything else meetups have gone digital. Since March, HR and people analytics meetup organisers around the world have been experimenting with ways of taking our communities digital.


      It has been a learning journey, and there are pros and cons to this new format. In this blog I wanted to share the experiences of the London HR and People Analytics Meetup community, as we've adapted for this new world. We invite other meetup organisers to contribute their own blogs or comments.


      We also invite you to download our Virtual Meetup Slide Deck Template by clicking here on the image below:


      HR Analytics Template Deck



      So what tips do we have for moving your meetup virtual...?


      Virtual Tip 1: Replicate In-Person Feel and Vibes

      Many of us have learned that the success of virtual meetings requires a shift in attitude - not just from the person leading the session, but the people attending it too. We send an email out 48 hours before the meetup and open with some guidelines to help everyone get into the right frame of mind. My general guide to the community is a simple challenge: "As a community, we need to work together to replicate the feel and vibe of an in-person meetup. Would you feel comfortable doing something at a physical event? If yes, then feel free to do it at the virtual meetup.".


      More more specific guidelines:

      • Webcams On. We think the 'connection' people feel in meetups requires an eye-to-eye connection, so unless you are invisible in real life we ask everyone to switch their cameras on.
      • Be Present. In a normal meetup, people tend to respect the presenter and they don't walk around and do distracting things. The great thing about a virtual event means you can join from anywhere, but please don't join in a way that negatively impacts the experience for other people.
      • Ask Questions. We allow anyone to unmute themselves so they can ask questions whenever they want (just like in real life).
      • Have Fun. It is just a meetup, so don't stress!





      Virtual Tip 2: Be Inclusive

      You shouldn't assume everyone feels as comfortable as you are with your web platform - in fact, it can be a great way to alienate some of your community if they feel unable to navigate your sessions. At the beginning of every session, we do a quick 3-4 minute demo of all the functionality they need to know about.

      Zoom Instructions


      Virtual Tip 3: Your Networking Will be Fine (it might even improve)

      Most meetup organisers feel that the biggest value their sessions bring is the networking and sense of community - and they are worried that this will not translate into virtual webinars. At the in-person London meetups the networking is high energy, and it was a concern for us - but the feedback on our networking as been extremely positive.


      Some ideas for you to consider:

      • Use Breakout Rooms (Zoom). Zoom has a great feature called 'Break Outs', which allows you to create mini virtual meetings within your big Zoom meeting. You can click a few buttons and send everyone into mini groups of 4-5 people to chat on their own. This works very well for us.
      • Given Enough Time. Make sure you give people enough time to network. You can always end the networking early if you need to.
      • Use Digital Tools. Other groups are using tools like Mentimeter, Miro and more to improve their experiences.
      • Suggest Questions or Themes. Suggest questions for people to ask each other in the virtual meetups to help them get started.
      • Eat and Drink. This is probably my personal view but there is something human about eating together and our networking usually happens over pizza and beer. Encourage people to bring a snack for the networking.




      Virtual Tip 4: Keep Recording and Writing Up and Keep Going

      The biggest trick to long-term Meetup success is still the same trick as a successful change management programme... Keep going, maintain clear momentum and communication and share successes. If you can, tell people when the next meetup will be, and share the blogs and recordings of your sessions (on the ThinkTank?) so other people can see what they missed and join in the future.






      I hope this helps. If anyone has any other questions about the London meetups or suggestions or ideas, please let me know. Here are the useful links if you want to start your own meetup:

      1. Register Your Meetup on the Global Meetup Map
      2. Put your Meetup Event on the New Global Meetup Calendar
      3. Join our the Meetup Organiser Linkedin Group.



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