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  • Nigel Dias
    Nigel Dias

    Report Launch: What do career paths in HR analytics look like?

    Join the ThinkTank research team on 3 February as we host a webinar for our career pathing research. Please register here for more information.


    What does a career path through HR analytics look like? While many experiences and careers in HR analytics look very different, one commonality of many professionals working in the space is that the career path was never really considered. As an HR practice that has evolved rapidly in the last few years, we invited the HR analytics community to share their career experiences with our researchers, as we try to answer questions such as:


    • What prepares someone for a job in HR analytics?
    • What are roles within HRA?
    • How can HR analytics professionals develop themselves?
    • What are the career prospects for the HR analytics professional ready for something new?


    In response 285 HR analytics professionals completed our survey, with nearly 200 submitting their resumes for analysis, and over a dozen taking part in interviews. On 3 February we are excited to launch this HR Analytics ThinkTank report, and invite you to hear from the report author Assistant Professor @Mike Ulrich, who will be joined by myself and ThinkTank board members to discuss the highlights from the research.


    To join the webinar please register here.




    Some excerpts from the research:


    What types of backgrounds do HR analytics professionals have?

    While many people assume a career in HR analytics requires a degree in statistics, data science or math; our research found that these backgrounds are not the norm and are often not necessary for many HR analytics roles. HR analytics professionals come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and this diversity of training and thought are a potentially huge source of value to the team and the organization.


    Figure 1. Do you consider yourself to have a background related more to HR or analytics?





    Where did HR analytics professionals start their careers? Where do they go next?

    Our initial motivation for conducting this study was somewhat selfish. Many of us have been labelled the “analytics person” and we struggled establishing an identity outside of our quantitative skills –one author has even been frequently introduced as having a degree in statistics even though his schooling and career have focused on management and HR. We wanted to better understand how people who work in analytics in a non-analytics field deal with the challenges of forging an identity beyond knowing how to work a fancy calculator.


    Figure 2. What types of roles were HR analytics practitioners doing before they joined HR analytics? 




    Not surprisingly, we found that many HR analytics professionals struggle with similar identity issues while also feeling like misfits within the broader HR community. Since many HR analytics (HRA) teams are often small and dispersed across multiple locations, the profession can often feel lonely. HRA professionals often lack colleagues to regularly engage with or mentors who can offer career advice. We hope that this report will provide some sense of community to those who, sometimes accidentally, find themselves in HRA positions, share insights about how to successfully navigate an assignment in HRA, and provide structure and direction to an HRA career path.




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