When you realise how more efficient you can be with advanced hr portal software as a manager, it might start you thinking where else you could be making better use of technology to streamline procedures and produce a better outcome.

Throughout businesses, it’s the growing value of data and learning how to use it to its potential that’s really transforming how we do our jobs, and according to Personnel Today, it’s no different for HR managers. However, it’s some HR departments that are the biggest culprits for not retaining and making use of data for providing insight, as 24 per cent of business leaders pointing to their HR team as the worst at collecting and analysing data, and the employees who had made the least progress in this field.

Yet, according to this new research, HR managers believe they could solve many of their company’s issues, especially surrounding skills gaps, by being armed with the ability to better employ data insight. 50 per cent said that with the right insight, they could close up these skill gaps, while 45 per cent said they even believed it would help signal where future skills gaps could reveal themselves, and help managers safeguard against them.

It’s not that HR managers are unaware of lacking in this area, as over 30 per cent say that successes elsewhere in the business with data are putting them in the spotlight, while only 22 per cent said that they were ‘extremely confident’ their company had the skills in place for it to meet its goals over the next five years. Likewise, in a time where everything is data driven, half of businesses said that assessing skills came down to ‘instinct’ and a ‘gut feeling’.

So what’s standing in the way? HR and recruitment does come with a lot of data behind it, and this is one of the key challenges according to 40 per cent of HR managers. 32 per cent said that budget resources was the issue, while 26 per cent said that their technology is not up to the task. Over a quarter also said that they didn’t have the analytical skills within their team to make use of data efficiently for this purpose.

Geoff Smith, executive director of Capita Resourcing which commissioned the research, gave an example of how data-led recruitment might work: “People would solve each analytical teaser… This unique way of proactively targeting and engaging with a specialist talent pool and using data to identify people with the right skills meant the company employed candidates that would not have been invited to an interview from their CV, but were the right fit for the role and added the skills and value they needed.”

He went on to explain that data analysis could help HR departments not only in the recruitment process, but also in retaining talent and increasing productivity, helping employees become more engaged and ensuring that a workforce is diverse and contains all the skills required to achieve its goals.