Starting the Workforce Analytics Journey: The first 100 days (Co-Author)

May 2015, IBM

This report provides a 10 step framework for embedding workforce analytics practices in HR. The goal is to provide a simple framework and practical guidance to both HR professionals and business leaders. This includes those in HR who want to enhance the effectiveness of their function’s impact on the business and senior leaders who are considering investing in implementing an analytical approach to people-related decision-making in their organizations.


Your best workers may not be your employees (co-author)

October 2014, IBM

The workforce is changing. Cradle-to-grave employment is a relic. Technological advances have allowed workers to be more mobile and global. The financial crisis of 2008 has had a lasting impact on employment around the world and across industries. Since then, multiple studies have documented the rise of independent workers, also known as contractors, freelancers, or consultants.

In this research report, we compared independent workers to regular employees in a sample of over 33,000 workers across 26 countries, and discussed the implications of our research findings for the Human Resource (HR) function. This report contains significant and perhaps surprising insights about independent workers. 


The rise of social media in the enterprise has enabled new ways for employees to speak up and communicate openly with colleagues. This rich textual data can potentially be mined to better understand the opinions and sentiment of employees for the benefit of the organization. In this paper, we introduce Enterprise Social Pulse (ESP) -- a tool designed to support analysts whose job involves understanding employee chatter. ESP aggregates and analyzes data from internal and external social media sources while respecting employee privacy. It surfaces the data through a user interface that supports organic results and keyword search, data segmentation and filtering, and several analytics and visualization features. An evaluation of ESP was conducted with 19 Human Resources professionals. Results from a survey and interviews with participants revealed the value and willingness to use ESP, but also surfaced challenges around deploying an employee social media listening solution in an organization.


What can businesses do to retain talent?

First they should understand where their employees find value. Employees now have the ability to work remotely and to instantly connect with counterparts across the world. Today’s employees are not only technically savvy, they  expect their work environment to foster collaboration, where flexibility is key, and in which they have the tools and resources to make an impact.

Increasingly, businesses are turning to social networking technologies to not only help meet these new demands, but to also improve productivity.

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The publication, written by Gillian Pillans, outlines the mothods and options for developing effective HR and People strategies. Jonathan Ferrar helped Gillian write a case study focused on how IBM developed a HR Strategy (section 6.2; page 39). This followed work that Jonathan led in 2010 & 2011 under the sponsorship of the Chief HR Officer at IBM called HR Thinkfuture - a strategic endeavour to envision the world of work at IBM in the year 2030 - which led to the adoption of key HR and people strategies.