In advance of her presentation at People Analytics World 2018 in April, Vanessa Lammers shares a few thoughts on her experiences and predictions in HR Analytics...
Vanessa Lammers is the Global Director of People Analytics for Nestle Waters. Having recently completed her PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology, she is passionate about leveraging both psychological theory and the scientific method to enhance the overall employee experience.
Vanessa has taught both undergraduate and graduate-level courses in psychology, business, and statistics. Her academic research has focused on applicant selection and job fit; in the applied setting, her focus has been on high-performing organizational cultures, work-life balance and productivity, organizational effectiveness, and employee engagement and retention.
Vanessa leads strategic workforce planning for Nestle Waters globally.
For how long has your work involved analytics, either directly or in project leadership?
I have worked in people analytics for nine years. I started out in the external consulting space doing project work for litigation purposes; I made the switch to internal consulting when I joined Nestle Purina PetCare Company in 2012.
For how long have you worked in the HR domain?
How well do you feel People Analytics is progressing?
It's exciting to reflect on the evolution of People Analytics; I think senior leadership has gone from viewing People Analytics as a "nice to have" to a true "need to have." The more familiar the business becomes with the purpose of People Analytics, the unique skillsets of the individuals who work in this space, as well as the types of business questions that can be best answered using analytical techniques, the more the besiness leverages this center of excellence. The more successful partnerships People Analytics teams foster with the business, the more actionable and meaningful insights they provide to the business, and hence, the busier we become!
The most beneficial part of this journey, for me, has been witnessing the way in which the value brought by People Analytics teams positively impacts the extent to which HR is seen as a strategic partner to the business. The acknowledgement that effective talent management is not just an art - but also a science - has changed the way in which business leaders think about "human resources".
What have been the greatest challenges that you've faced within People Analytics?
For me, the greatest challenge has been supporting 35+ markets who are all in different stages of their analytics journey; there is no "one-size-fits-all-approach" for us with respect to People Analytics at Nestle Waters. Many of our markets are in joint ventures, which makes workforce planning very complex.
What are your predictions for 2018 and beyond? Where are things heading?
I think there is going to be a much greater focus on planning for the impact of advancements in technology and AI on how jobs are done today.