The often-contentious relationship between marketing and IT has made for great organizational spectator sport, but perhaps the more interesting game in town is the revolution in HR’s deepening relationship with Big Data.

The growing field of Talent Analytics adds a very interesting dimension to Big Data and converged HR infrastructures. Most of the consulting engagements I’ve worked on in this area are driven by four intermeshed HR and IT needs: 

  • HR needs to better leverage technology to identify skills and leadership gaps and to scour the labor pool to identify talent that will provide competitive advantage to the enterprise. Unfortunately their systems tend to be some of the most antiquated in the enterprise.
  • Central HR has always shared the challenge of documenting ROI for the investment in their business unit. Big Data gives them their first opportunity to analyze complex interrelationships between skills, payroll, performance, innovation, training, collaboration, risk/reward, compensation, success and morale.
  • HR is desperate to develop a deeper understanding of SMAC (social, mobile, analytics and cloud) for their own professional growth and survival. But they also need these skills to more effectively recruit, hire and retain the high-in-demand SMAC job candidates.
  • HR is becoming increasingly involved in driving internal social enterprise strategy given their role as agents of organizational harmony through increased technology-driven communications and collaboration.

Whereas many marketing organizations have taken a go-it-alone approach to technology deployment, HR remains much more dependent on central IT for adoption and implementation strategy. Ironically, initiation of talent analytics strategies have been limited by the scarcity of talent possessing these specialized data analytics skills.

The final challenge shared by IT and HR is the inseparability of talent analytics and social media skills. Research shows that IT and HR can both be “socially awkward” when it comes to these platforms. According to WANTED Analytics™, “more than 4,800 jobs for Human Resources professionals required social media skills in the United States during September 2013 alone, a 43% year-over-year increase in demand. Other research shows that only 10% of IT leaders possess working social media skills.

Add to this the need for HR-focused staff to translate new-found talent data analytics into compelling, actionable stories and we see why some HR groups are embedding marketing folk into their organization.

To what extent is your IT organization involved in Talent Analytics strategy and adoption ?

How would you characterize the relationship with HR versus that with marketing ?

Given technology skills demands, does the fact that IT is a major benefactor of a successful talent analytics strategy change the chemistry of the IT/HR business relationship ?

Frank Cutitta is the CEO of The Center for Global Branding and a Research Associate with CSC’s Leading Edge Forum. His practice,  Weapons of Mass Discussion® focuses on leveraging the convergence of IT, Marketing and Data Science.