In earlier posts in this series, I explored some of the advances in data analytics and the sciences that may impact on financial services companies. In this post, I’ll look at some ways adopting the tools and insights of science will transform the human resources function in financial services—boosting its performance dramatically.

The HR function in banks and insurers has spent the past decade successfully streamlining, standardizing, and harmonizing processes to reduce costs and improve efficiency. But in many ways, this has taken the “human” out of “human resources.”

The next step for financial services HR should be to drive business results by improving the performance of every person in the workforce using fact-based insights from science and analytics. Here are some ways it will change how HR organizations work:

HR, talent, and organization change will be completely redefined. Nearly every HR and talent management process and program will need to be rethought considering scientific-based evidence. Traditional training processes like yearly performance reviews, lecture based training events, and centrally-driven change programs will need to be revamped so they are in alignment with what science how knows to be most effective.

New roles will be created in HR and beyond. To harness the power of scientific and analytic-based insights, new roles may be created in HR, including:

• The science ambassador, responsible for keeping abreast of various developments in science in the outside world.

• The R&D talent scientist. These people, often at the PhD level, would conduct experiments, perform analytics, do applied research and development with respect to talent.

• The data jockey, who supports the scientists by running inferential, statistical analysis to answer hypotheses.

• The science applier, who develops company-specific HR and talent management practices based on scientific insights

• Behavioral scientists, who would work with the business or business teams to instill insights from science into everyday work.

New skills and education will be required by the HR professional. Companies will need to provide substantial internal training to bring their HR professionals up to speed or hire new people with analytical skills. In addition, HR professionals may also need to start earning more rigorous, science-based educational degrees to qualify for jobs in the field.

A fact-based culture will permeate HR. To harness the power of science to improve HR and business performance, HR will need to make sure that every HR professional has adopted the mindset of a scientist, and that every process and decision in HR is designed to include the integration of facts to drive higher levels of performance. This is a substantial culture change for financial services HR teams.

The field of HR and talent management will be legitimized as a data-based discipline. As science continues to make headway into providing fact-based insights regarding how to improve human performance, the function could finally become a discipline grounded in science and facts, and gain status as a truly strategic function imperative to business success.

Learn more here: Talent management meets the science of human behavior

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