The Ultimate list of HR Metrics

Everything you could possibly want to measure about your employee experience to help you get great people and keep great people

We know that as HR professionals, you have a lot on your plate. You have to ensure employees are engaged and feel valued, that managers are equipped with the tools they need to support their team’s career development whilst also achieving team performance goals, and that your efforts and initiatives are closely aligned with business strategy. Talk about a job and a half.

For some, it may be hard to know where to start. Attacking all issues at once, from high talent turnover rates to low employee engagement levels, isn’t an option many organisations can afford to choose. That’s why focusing on your single most important problem is usually the best approach.  We like to call it ‘your exam question’.

But how can you determine what this should be? How do you come up with your big exam question?

At Let’s Talk Talent, we like to know what we’re working with. So we usually start with data from audits, surveys, focus groups, interviews and HR automation tools to truly understand employees and their challenges. Setting out initial benchmarks throughout the main touchpoints of an employee’s lifecycle can help spot areas for improvements that may warrant your immediate attention. A bit like a geologist studying volcanoes, monitoring their core temperature and seismic movements for signs of activity. But volcanoes are fairly simple to measure. People on the other hand are multi-faceted. How can HR departments quantify happiness and job satisfaction? Which of the many data sets available should you keep an eye on to maximise performance and contribute to organisational goals?

Don’t worry, we’re here to help.

We have compiled a list of all the metrics you will ever need to review in order to benchmark and improve every single stage of your employee experience within your business. From the moment candidates first hear about you as an employer, until the day they leave.

Download our ULTIMATE list of HR Metrics

Employee Value Proposition (EVP) Metrics: Determining the strength of your brand

Marketing principles, when applied to your brand as an employer, can help generate interest amongst the best candidates available. Using the following set of metrics will allow you to find out if your EVP is strong enough to attract the right fit:

  1. Number of applicants per opening
  2. Average number of applicants per vacancy
  3. Prospects conversion rate
  4. Average time to hire
  5. Completion rate for applications
  6. Recruitment funnel effectiveness (as a ratio of successful applications per funnel stage)
  7. Applicants demographics
  8. Job referral percentage (percentage of applicants referred by internal staff)
  9. Organisation external rating (through platforms such as Glassdoor)

Optimising your recruiting efforts: recruitment metrics

The process of recruiting prospects is a costly one. Reviewing and boosting its effectiveness should be high on your priority list. Try measuring and tracking:

  1. Satisfaction rates during the recruitment process (also known as candidate experience)
  2. Cost per hire
  3. Overall recruitment costs as a ratio of company performance
  4. Sourcing channel effectiveness
  5. Sourcing channel cost
  6. Hiring Fill rate
  7. Applicants per hire
  8. Offer acceptance per hire
  9. Internal vs external hiring ratio
  10. Percentage of open positions (or total number of vacancies)
  11. Ratio of open positions vs total number of positions within the company

Getting onboarding on track: onboarding metrics

Considering that 20% of staff turnover happens within the first 45 days of a new employee starting work, it’s worth ensuring that your recruitment programme generates follow-through. Here’s how to check your onboarding is up to scratch:

  1. Turnover rate within the first 90 days
  2. Turnover rate within the first 180 days
  3. First year attrition
  4. Voluntary turnover rate within the first 90 days
  5. Voluntary turnover rate within the first 180 days
  6. New hire failure rate
  7. New hire employee satisfaction
  8. Onboarding training completion rate
  9. Time to productivity
  10. Quality of hire (using performance ratings)
  11. Hiring manager satisfaction
  12. New candidate job satisfaction

Retaining talent within the business

Once your talent pool has been with you for a while, your focus should naturally shift from attracting great people to keeping great people. But this is easier said than done, as most of your people will be at various stages of their careers, and therefore have different sets of expectations and requirements.

Employee engagement metrics

The below will ensure you are able to spot and react to drops in staff motivation levels, allowing you to step up your talent retention efforts:

  1. Employee happiness / satisfaction
  2. Engagement rate
  3. Employee turnover rate
  4. Employee retention rate
  5. Employee recognition (frequency, type)
  6. Employees most likely to leave your organisation (flight risks)
  7. Employee benefits participation rate

Tech company Microsoft, for example, uses HR data to ‘(…) profile key leavers and develop initiatives to help them retain those likely leavers’. But once you have identified your flight risks, the challenge remains to understand their needs and follow through with the kind of motivation-generating initiatives that will turn them into company advocates.

Employee wellbeing metrics

The pandemic has highlighted how difficult it can be to keep a good balance. Between home and work, people are being pulled in many directions at once and mental health has become a key area of focus for many organisations. Here’s how to measure and quantify your staff’s wellbeing:

  1. Sentiment analysis
  2. Happiness score
  3. Anxiety rating
  4. Job satisfaction rating
  5. Manager support rating
  6. Colleagues support rating

Measuring professional development: career progression metrics

Helping your employees’ professional development is a great way to help them feel engaged and motivated, thus supporting your talent retention efforts. But how can you even begin to track career progression? A few stats come to mind:

  1. Time since last promotion
  2. Average duration in position
  3. Promotion rates per team / department
  4. Employee performance (also known as goals and objectives tracking)
  5. Performance ratings
  6. Pay and rewards

Learning and development: L&D metrics

Rolling out learning and development throughout your business can be done in different ways. From focusing on high potential candidates to determining a set budget per head, here is how to measure the effectiveness of your L&D initiatives: 

  1. Training investment per employee
  2. Training take-up rate
  3. Training completion rate
  4. Time to completion  
  5. Training impact on performance and promotion

Diversity and inclusion metrics (D&I)

D&I is one of the most powerful ways to futureproof your business. Many organisations have benchmarks in place to ensure the make-up of their company, and their senior leadership team, is representative of their customer base:

  1. Percentage of diversity new hires
  2. Diversity hires in management positions
  3. Percentage of women on the leadership board
  4. Percentage of BAME on the leadership board
  5. Social demographics of employees
  6. Gender pay gap statistics
  7. Employment status (full-time vs part-time)
  8. Average age
  9. Average salary

Management and leadership metrics

It is often said that people quit their bosses, not their jobs. Monitoring the performance of your team leaders using the below may help you identify opportunities for additional training and coaching:

  1. Retention rate per manager
  2. Absence rate per manager
  3. Leadership metrics (such as management profiling)

Organisational culture

A toxic culture can be extremely damaging for the business and your talent retention efforts. Keep an eye on it using a few KPIs:

  1. Qualitative survey data on internal culture
  2. eNPS – Employee Net Promoter Score

Organisational performance

Whilst focusing on keeping employees motivated and engaged is essential, your senior leadership team may be interested in slightly more revenue-related data, including:

  1. Headcount
  2. Revenue per employee
  3. Profit per employee
  4. Cost per employee
  5. Employee productivity rate (as a ratio of company revenue over number of employees)
  6. Absence rate
  7. Overtime tracking
  8. Overtime costs
  9. Type of employment contract
  10. Total salary

HR productivity

Monitoring the rest of the business is essential, but keeping an eye over your own HR function shouldn’t be neglected either. Make sure you can demonstrate the impact of your projects and initiatives using the following:

  1. Cost of HR per employee
  2. HR costs vs revenue
  3. Ratio of HR professionals per employee
  4. Employee surveys results
  5. Employee surveys participation rates 
  6. Programmes’ success rates (such as coaching or mentoring)
  7. Performance improvements linked to HR initiatives
  8. Compliance (mandatory training, health and safety)
  9. Average response time (tickets open with HR)
  10. Average resolution time (tickets open with HR)
  11. HR complaints by category (such as harassment)
  12. Legal costs
  13. Settlement costs

Turning ex-employees into advocates

Employees leaving is an inevitable reality. But employees leaving quickly, in high numbers or feeling dissatisfied should set alarm bells ringing. Here is how to spot those trends:

  1. Turnover rate (split by team or department)
  2. Turnover rate for high performers (talent turnover)
  3. Turnover cost
  4. Resignation rate
  5. Resignation drivers
  6. Voluntary vs involuntary attrition (split by those who left voluntarily to retire, pursue educational opportunities or move on to another job versus employees who were asked to leave)
  7. Exit interview qualitative data

Which data sets to track?

Whilst this list may seem a bit overwhelming at first glance, there is good news. You don’t have to track and measures all of the above.

Depending on your organisational context, your culture and your goals, objectives, some sections may be more relevant than others. The key is to find out which ones by having regular conversations with the rest of the business. Align your goals with your organisation’s core strategy and that will allow you to identify the most urgent issue to focus on in order to have the biggest impact on your company performance.

Having a data-driven mindset is essential in today’s world of HR, but big data is only useful if you can monitor and track the metrics that relate to the particular results you are hoping to achieve within your unique organisation.

If you’d like more information on how to set up the right KPIs for your business, feel free to book a meeting with us directly or you could download our whitepaper on creating a brand-new HR strategy from scratch.


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