If I could do math, I would rule the world. That’s what I tell myself, anyway, as I try to navigate through some of the hype that surrounds workforce analytics and talent analytics. Human Resources analytics seems to require math. What gives?
My friend, Dr. Matt Stollak, thinks that human resources professionals need to take a statistics class ASAP. I think that’s a noble goal, but I can barely get myself to a pilates or yoga class. I want to take some cooking classes and more archery lessons, too. If my time is x and a statistics class is y, I can’t do the equation but statistics will lose.
One good thing is that great HR technology companies have the backs of their customers. This is true. They want you to be successful, and they know that the average HR practitioner doesn’t do math. They offer dashboards that show your data in a logical way, and they offer consulting services to help you understand what to do with that information.
Some HR technology vendors can marry your company information with other data in their proprietary networks. They can operate as a consortium and tell you how you’re doing on issues related to talent management, workforce development, talent mobility, and any other buzzwordy issue in the marketplace.
(It’s not like HR is the only math-deficient department, btdubs. You think that Adderall-addict in your marketing department knows math? He’s American, which means he’s dumber than the average Estonian but smarter than a Spanish kid when it comes to quadratic equations and whatnot.)
Back to the original question: how much math do you need to know to work in human resources in 2015?
Well, I’m all for personal development. We can’t be functioning idiots and expect our companies to thrive. However, as you grow in your career, it’s important to remember that you get your work done by collaborating and leading people. You don’t have to be an expert on everything. You surround yourself with great and talented people, and you rely on them to provide candid insights and solid expertise.
So hire people who are good at math. It’s too late for you (and me).