What is the Role of the Human Resources Analyst?

What is the Role of the Human Resources Analyst?

The evolving business landscape means that the role of Human Resources has grown beyond traditional tasks to now provide strategic guidance critical for any organization hoping to navigate constant changes and gain a competitive edge. No longer solely focused on hiring, training, or addressing employee issues but rather called upon to offer insights that can strengthen planning for the future and optimize the use of all resources, the Human Resources Analyst expertly bridges the worlds of workforce management and data analysis. 

In this article, we will explore the role of a Human Resources Analyst in organizations, skills needed to become and Human Resources Analyst as well as how to become a Human Resources Analyst.

What does a resource analyst do?

Data Management and Analysis


Human Resources Analysts are responsible for collecting data from across the company through systems like surveys, Human Resources Management Systems, and Performance Management Systems. They organize this information for review by cleaning incomplete entries, standardizing formats, and consolidating it into one place. A lot of analytical software tools are then employed to identify changes, outliers, and links between different metrics over time. This could show things like whether remuneration impacts retention or how long vacancies stay open before being filled. Their findings inform decisions such as predicting when to start new hires or how training impacts performance.

Reporting and Strategic Insights

Creating presentations, reports and interactive dashboards is a major part of Human Resources Analyst's work. These visuals highlight key results to management and executives - everything from how diversity has progressed to the success of onboarding activities. They provide extra context that explains what changes in Human Resources mean and why or how they influence operations or strategy. In addition, they also communicate results in a simple way that supports important discussions.

Process Improvement

When analyzing Human Resources procedures, Human Resources Analysts look closely at key metrics over time to identify areas needing improvement. Comparing current results to past benchmarks or industry best practices reveals where certain functions may not be running as efficiently as expected. If issues surface, like feedback is sometimes overlooked or onboarding drags on longer than planned, the Human Resources Analysts team delves deeper to find the root causes at play. 

They use further discussions with employees and managers, plus additional data gathering and process mapping to provide clearer insight into why hiccups have occurred. Potential fixes are then suggested with the goals of streamlining tasks to both save time/resources and better serve staff needs, such as through automation, standardization, or consolidated approval methods. 

Predictive Modelling

Human Resources Analysts leverage predictive modeling techniques to predict potential issues before they arise. For example, attrition modeling allows them to analyze past termination trends about factors like tenure, leadership changes, compensation levels, and more. This helps predict which roles or divisions may experience higher turnover in the future based on historical attrition pattern

In addition, before implementing any changes Human Resources Analysts use predictive modeling to analyze anticipated outcomes to verify if benefits genuinely merit the effort. Only changes with a strong rationale for enhancing workflow gain approval, ensuring workplace systems constantly evolve while still respecting worker impacts.

Talent Management and Succession Planning

A key part of Human Resources Analysts' work involves using people analytics to support ongoing talent management and succession planning initiatives. By leveraging various data points including performance reviews, training records, skill assessments, and more, they help leadership identify both top performers currently in critical roles as well as high-potential employees who show promise for future growth. 

These insights help ensure the organization has the right people in the right jobs now while also maintaining a strong pipeline of future leaders. The analyses done by Human Resources Analysts also shed light on who may need additional coaching or development projects to help strengthen certain areas. Similarly, evaluating the impact of past training investments aids the company's efforts to continue offering the right programs and experiences to help employees progress along individual career paths. The collective goal is to retain the best talent and facilitate smoother leadership transitions whenever the need for replacements arises.

Compliance and Risk Management

Ensuring adherence to employment laws and regulations is another important role Human Resources Analysts play through monitoring various aspects of Human Resources programs and policies. By reviewing compensation and benefits data, hiring metrics, performance indicators, and more across divisions and demographics, they can identify any areas of noncompliance or potential bias that could present undue risks. 

If the Human Resources Analysts’ examinations uncover disparities, such as differences in remuneration or promotions between genders or locations faring less favorably, action is taken quickly to remedy the issue and shield both employees and the overall organization. Staying proactive in addressing any concerns reduces the chances of valid complaints or penalties down the road while also preserving a culture of equitable, ethical treatment for employees. Fair practices have long been a top priority, and the diligence of Human Resources Analysts plays a key part in maintaining compliance standards organization-wide.

Human Resources systems management and implementation

A core part of any Human Resources Analyst's role involves working closely with the various technology systems used across the employee lifecycle. Much of the operational data analyzed originates from the organization's human resource information management platforms, which automate tasks like benefits enrollment, payroll processing, and performance reviews. These digital systems require ongoing maintenance to ensure seamless integration with changing business needs over time. 

Some Human Resources Analysts' responsibilities thus include assessing potential new systems to add value, executing system upgrades or migrations to pastures new when advantages arise, training users on functionality, addressing technical glitches promptly, and testing modifications for issues before they disrupt workflows. Staying abreast of evolving software and teaming with IT experts allows them to advise leadership on optimized systems supporting both compliance and strategic personnel ambitions into the future.

Skills Required for Human Resources Analysts

Technical Skills:

  • Database Management - Ability to design, build, secure, and maintain databases that house organizational HR data. Knowledge of database query languages like SQL is also important.

  • Business Intelligence and Analysis Tools - Proficiency in market-leading analytics tools like Excel, Tableau, Power BI, and SAS, etc. to extract insights from data.

  • Statistical Analysis - Knowledge of statistics, modeling, and hypothesis testing to quantitatively analyze trends and relationships using SPSS, STATA, etc.

  • Predictive Modeling - Skill in developing and applying statistical algorithms and machine learning methods to forecast future outcomes and patterns based on historical data using tools like Python, R programming, etc.

Analytical Skills:

Interpersonal Skills:

  • Collaboration - Effective partnership with other departments to define needs, gather requirements, and implement solutions.

  • Communication - Convey quantitative findings via reports, dashboards, and presentations tailored to different audiences.

  • Consensus Building - Bring people together, gain alignment and buy-in around recommended actions.

Human Resources Expertise:

  • In-depth knowledge of Human Resources best practices, employment laws and regulations

  • Understanding of compensation and benefits programs

  • Awareness of talent acquisition, retention, and development strategies

  • Familiarity with core Human Resources functions like payroll, learning, and development

Project Management: 

An HR Analyst should be able to organize resources, assign tasks, and monitor timelines and costs while managing risk to implement initiatives smoothly.

Business Acumen: 

Understand strategic objectives, industry trends, and financial implications and link how people data can support organizational goals.

These combined skills allow Human Resources Analysts to maximize the potential of analytics for both operational and strategic impact.

How can I become a Human Resources Analyst?

When screening candidates for Human Resources Analyst positions, many hiring managers place heavy emphasis on a candidate's domain expertise in human resource management practices. A background cultivated through relevant academic study, such as a human resources degree or training in industrial/organizational psychology, is commonly viewed as supplying a thorough grounding in Human Resources principles and operations.

However, employers also see value in applicants possessing complementary skill sets, such as a foundation in business analytics, economics, or statistics. Individuals with training in quantitative fields can contribute unique analytical capabilities that augment more traditional Human Resources training. Of course, such candidates may need additional learning around Human Resources-specific processes.

Relevant work history is another highly attractive quality. Direct exposure to Human Resources initiatives and management of Human Resources information systems provides interpretable assets. Familiarity with common technologies utilized inside the organization, ranging from reporting platforms to talent management solutions, can give applicants indispensable context.

Proficiency in utilizing common digital tools also features prominently. Core programs like spreadsheet software remain staples for assembling and examining employee information. A strong aptitude for tasks like merging disparate datasets and extracting insights using pivot tables represents a basic expectation for most roles. A blending of both Human Resources domain aptitude and technical facility allows analysts to deliver strategic value.

Is Human Resources Analytics a good career?

Yes, Human Resources analytics is a very promising career path for several reasons:

Growing Field: As companies place more emphasis on data-driven decision-making, the need for Human Resources analytics professionals is increasing rapidly. It's projected to be one of the fastest-growing fields in Human Resources.

Valuable Skills: Human Resources analytics combines business acumen, technical skills, and analytical abilities - skills that are highly valuable in many industries. The training can open doors outside of just HR roles.

Strategic Impact: Analytics allows HR to demonstrate tangible value and ROI. Professionals can work on high-level initiatives like planning, benchmarking, and improving organizational performance.

Career Progression: There is room for advancement as skills are developed. Career paths may include lead analyst, director of people analytics, VP of talent management, or consulting.

Job Satisfaction: Many find it rewarding to apply data skills to solve complex people issues and help drive better business outcomes. Positive impacts on recruitment, retention, and productivity can be seen.

Salaries: According to Payscale, base pay for HR analytics roles is typically higher than generalist HR positions, starting around $51000 on average in the US. Salaries have a strong earning potential of over $100,000 with experience.

Future Proof: As AI, automation, and data-driven strategies become more prominent, HR analytics competencies will remain highly relevant well into the coming decades.

Differences between HR Business Partner and Human Resources Analyst

Role: HR Business Partner (HRBP) acts as an internal consultant and strategic advisor to business leaders on people issues whereas Human Resources Analyst focuses on analyzing people data to identify trends, and opportunities and provide insights.

Skills: HRBP needs strong consulting, relationship building, and business acumen skills whilst Analyst requires analytical and technical skills such as statistics, programming, and data visualization.

Functions: HRBP partners with management on initiatives like organization design, change management, and talent development whereas Analyst researches and reports on metrics like turnover, candidate sources, and compensation benchmarks.

Influence: HRBP directly influences strategic people decisions and direction at the business unit level whilst the Analyst provides analytics support and recommendations but may not direct decision making.

Perspective: HRBP looks at people issues from a business leadership point of view whilst the Analyst maintains a data-driven, analytical lens focused on metrics and trends.


The Human Resources Analyst plays a pivotal role within modern HR, acting as a bridge between people management strategies and data-driven insights. Through analyzing workforce metrics, conducting research, and leveraging analytical skills, Human Resources Analysts provide organizations with the fact-based understanding needed to effectively navigate ever-changing business conditions and maximize human capital performance. 

As the business world increasingly recognizes the value of metrics in decision-making, the importance of the Human Resources Analyst function is poised to grow in shaping recruitment, retention, learning, and development, and other critical people initiatives - ensuring HR strategies are optimized through rigorous data analysis and continuously informed by key performance indicators.

Logical Zivurawa
This article was written by Logical a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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