Choosing how you measure dates in People Analytics can make the biggest difference in your reporting.
For example, there is no one right answer for "when someone starts" for your organization.
You may choose the date that they signed their offer letter or you may use the date that they actually have their first day in the company.
The key is consistency. Select one method and stick with it.
Small differences in these numbers can sometimes have a significant impact on the data and can be misleading. Consider the example below.
You have these two different definitions for when someone starts:
Example 1: "They start when they sign their offer letter (date of hire)."
Example 2: "They start when they have their first official day in the company (date of start)."
Now, let's say two different internal departments are comparing the number of hires in a given period.
One department uses example 1 and the other uses example 2.
The company hires 10 new hires, who all signed their offer on January 1st, and all begin the first day at work on January 15th.
How many new hires do we have during the first two weeks of the year?
Department A will report that they have 10 hires during the first two week of the year.
Department B will report that they have 0 hires during the first two weeks of the year.
The date definitions matter, because they can change the interpretation of the data. It's important to be consistent internally about how you measure dates.
Measuring when someone leaves your company can be just as tricky.
Some of the options are:
The last date they worked in the company.
The date that HR changed their status to "terminated."
The date that their last paycheck was generated.
Which one is the right way? It depends - and while there are best practices for each, it's up to you to figure out what makes sense for your organization.
At eqtble, one of the biggest challenges we see in organizations is miscommunication and misalignment of hires, separations, and talent metrics like time in stage.
When you work with us, one of the things that will happen is that we often uncover these differences in your organization and highlight them for you.
Let's take another example: Time to Hire
Time to Hire is a metric that measures how long a candidate is in the full hiring process. It's a great way to track the time that it takes to get candidates through the stages.
You have two options for tracking time to hire:
Variation 1: Calculate time to hire from the date of the application to the date of the offer.
Variation 2: Calculate time to hire from the date of the application to the date the candidate accepts the offer.
Time to Hire will be different in each measurement.
Time to Hire - Variation 1
Time to Hire - Variation 2
If you are using Variation 2 and someone accepts their offer, but they are not able to report to work on the first day (for example, they are on a cruise and can't sign the offer letter until then), your time to hire will look wildly different than Variation 1.
This small difference in the measurement in dates can throw off your metrics
It's important that you are aware of these differences and that you are consistent with your measurement system in order to get accurate data that is actionable.
To sum it all up - when your goal is to improve your hiring process and make it more efficient, People Analytics is a great tool. But, it's important to understand how to use the data and to be mindful of how your People Analytics definitions impact your findings.