Entrepreneur interview: Peter Clark, co-founder of Qlearsite

In an exclusive interview for Growthbusiness, Qlearsite co-founder Peter Clark explains how companies can better understand what would help their employees be more motivated and engaged in the workplace.

Qlearsite’s co-founder Peter Clark is a firm believer that today’s way of managing staff is out-of-date and he wants to help fix it with his AI in HR solution.

His company, founded in 2014 and based in Old Street, London, aims to give firms evidence-based insights in how their employees are performing and ways they can improve staff happiness at work.

How can HR use big data analytics?

Counting Deloitte and Virgin Media as well as tech darlings Improbable among their clients, throw in $7.7 million in fundraising from Summa Equity and you have a company that is gearing up for growth (they are signing up 1-2 clients a week). The firm say that companies currently hold lots of data on their employees such as how much they are paid, whether they’ve done company training, or if they’ve travelled on a work trip. He says this is fragmented data and believes he can bring it all together in one place so firms can better understand how they can help their staff.

Clark shares some of the insights the company has found over the years, ‘We know that if someone doesn’t take a holiday for six months then they are twice as likely to get ill. And if they are asked to travel 1,000 miles or more by train in a single month then they are three more times as likely to resign.’

It’s pretty clear that the HR department can use this information to better retain and motivate staff. Using predictive analytics and AI, the Qlearsite platform can gain insights from a pattern of overtime to help an employee earning £14,000 a year at a call centre and has two young children to support, for example.

‘We know that you want to work overtime a couple of days a week to earn that extra £3,000 a year which means a lot. But if you do more overtime (every day of the week for example) you’re more likely to be unhappy at work. Our platform can help find that sweet spot of overtime.’

The problem of keeping staff motivated has been rising in recent years; a report by Gallup found that 68 per cent of UK employees were ‘not engaged’ in their job.

Keeping sales staff happier

Qlearsite says it can see a pattern where after six months in the job, stress and unhappiness rises amongst sales staff. They know this because of open-ended employee surveys sent to staff.

In the first three months, staff are bedding into a company with no pressure to sell, after four months they are expected to sell but after six months if employees haven’t made a sale they face being fired.

‘We found that in this crucial time, we found it was effective to slightly lower the sales target for the employee,’ he explains.

All of this sounds like common sense but he says it’s surprising at how many companies miss this and tend to dismiss the sales team as ‘complaining.’

What about troublesome employees?

So will companies be able to get data on that troublesome employee who is always calling in sick? Clark says that the company prefers to track groups of people, such as the sales team rather than case-manage individuals.

‘If a group of people have a common complaint, it could be a lack of engagement from management or even sexual harassment from a boss. We would get onto that.’

‘We can also tell employees things like, Did you know that other people with your skill set are applying for promotion. Have you considered too?’

‘The data that we get from survey’s is confidential, not anonymous.’

As upcoming GDPR rules means that people have the right not to be profiled via automated decision making profiling, Clark is clear that data shared on his platform will remain secure and will not discriminate in any way. Rather it allows employers to make marginally better decisions about its employees.

Further reading on HR

How to make HR more impactful

Michael Somerville

Michael Somerville

Michael was senior reporter for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2018 to 2019.

Related Topics

Big Data
Machine Learning