Accenture Layers Data Intelligence to Guide HR Decisions

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By Laime Vaitkus
June 6 — Drawing on multiple sources of data allowed Accenture to make better decisions about employees and compensation that led to substantial savings, Christine Brand, director of total rewards at Accenture, told a conference audience.

Management consulting firm Accenture has 370,000 employees in 60 countries. "Our biggest asset is our people, but it is also our biggest cost item, creating a pressing need to determine exactly how to invest our rewards. We needed to tackle this strategically, to provide insights that will drive us to the right outcome," Brand said.

HR found that traditional market data often lagged too far behind, particularly in areas with rapidly changing skill sets, such as information technology, according to Brand. The pay market for IT skills can change within six to 12 months, and Accenture needed more current data for its pay decisions, she said June 6 at the WorldatWork conference in San Diego.

Besides market data, Accenture also relied on its own internal data, based upon the 2.5 million resumes it receives and 90,000 hires made each year, Brand said. Accenture also creates a database from exit interviews, finding out not only why people leave, but where they go to work and how much they are earning there.

Accenture uses market data, internal data and online salary sources to create a more comprehensive picture of what the current market rates are for a position, according to Supriya Bahri, the company's total rewards senior manager, who also spoke in the session. Accenture also tracks the hiring demand levels for various positions to determine which skills are trending upward and downward, so pay can be adjusted accordingly.

This focus on data intelligence allows Accenture to better allocate its compensation budget, ultimately saving money by spending it more efficiently, Bahri said.

There are other benefits as well, she said.

"As we improve our market position, we increase loyalty and increase retention" and get "more acceptances on recruiting offers. By spending the money wisely, you reduce your overall investment," Bahri said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Laime Vaitkus in Washington at lvaitkus@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tony Harris in Washington at tharris@bna.com