Big data and social media have grown to play a large role in human resources.

In fact, 60% of companies are now investing in big data and analytics for HR initiatives. Understanding the lay of the land in HR—and how these elements play a role—is essential when considering a human resources degree.


The Tools

A survey by Jobvite revealed that 94% of respondents in the staffing industry reported that they either used or planned to use social media as a recruiting tool. Tools such as TribeHR and BambooHR are paving the way for HR professionals to establish engaging recruitment strategies, store information for candidates and current employees, and analyze employee benefits and materials all in one place. Some of these tools also have built-in social media integration that allows hiring managers to link individuals to their social media accounts. Human resource professionals not only need to understand how to use the new tools, but also figure out what the data provided by these tools mean for the future of business and staffing needs. 


Overcoming the Skills Gap

Millennials are quickly taking over the workforce—with 10,000 Baby Boomers retiring each day, Generation Y is now the largest living generation and the majority of the U.S. workforce. This means that companies will need to establish succession plans and have training programs in place to get this generation up to speed in areas of leadership and company longevity.

And it’s not just about recruitment and training. High turnover is a major issue in many industries. Corporations need HR professionals to analyze turnover numbers and discover why employees leave and what the future recommendations will be. Big data can help with these predictions.

Meghan Biro, Forbes contributor, predicts that the cloud (and more specifically, big data) will provide analytics and quantitative insights that HR professionals will be able to use to identify skills gaps and build effective retention and succession plans. As HR managers look to use some of the tools mentioned above, they can better address needs related to leadership roles, skills development, and employee education.


A Cut Above

HR professionals who stay in-tune with technology trends and tools will have an edge on the competition. They’ll be equipped to predict retention rates, provide valid succession plans, and understand the needs and wants of potential employees.

HR is no longer just about staff development or management of personnel, but rather, an all-encompassing field that includes training, management, staff education, recruitment, and even business development and succession planning. Understanding the changes related to technology and social media—and their roles in HR—will allow you to bring value to the table as an HR professional.


Learn how a human resources degree from Capella University can help you develop practical skills to apply to real-world situations.

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