HR Metrics that Matter

April 12th, 2013

If you’re an experienced HR manager, you’ve probably had more than one encounter with the following situation: You face a crisis like high turnover or a weak hiring strategy, but every time you present the problem to upper management, they shrug and put you off. Finally, you attach a number to the problem. All at once, the attention and budget resources you need begin flowing your way.

Why does this happen? The answer is two-fold. On the one hand, executives and upper management may have a difficult time making clear sense of general trends supported by anecdotal evidence. They don’t walk in your shoes every day, and as a result, their view of the complete picture is limited. At the same time, HR managers deal in a currency of human behavior, human needs, and human nature, all of which can be challenging to quantify.

But it’s in your best interest to find a way around this and learn to speak in terms of simplified trends and hard numbers. Doing so will help you make your voice heard at the big table and get your department the priority treatment it needs. Start by gathering metrics like these.

Measurements of Hiring Success

The three most important metrics of hiring success usually deal with 1.) time to hire, 2.) length of tenure for each new hire, and 3.) overall quality of hire. You need candidates fast, you need employees who stick around, and you need these employees to be strong contributors. The first is easy to quantify in length of days. The second can be measured with careful records that are maintained as HR teams move through transitions. And the third can be gathered by assessing manager opinions on a weighted rating scale every year. Interview mangers carefully every year during the first five years of a new employee’s tenure.

Measurements of Retention Success
 
Successful retention is often built around three distinct metrics as well, including 1.) Employee satisfaction levels, 2.) Salary rates as compared with market rates in the same geographic area, and 3.) advancement opportunities. Employees won’t stay if they aren’t happy, aren’t being paid fairly, or are outgrowing the company.

Control salary rates by completing regular research and communicating this research clearly with the finance department. Make sure the people who set your hiring budget know exactly what your open positions entail and the accepted market value of this type of work.

As for employee satisfaction and advancement opportunities, maintain and open door policy and clear communication channels, but don’t stop there. Quantify and record all the information your gather from employees about their frustrations with the workplace. And don’t underestimate the value of a meaningful, detailed exit interview.

For more on how to gather meaningful HR data and convert that data into numbers your executive decision makers can understand, reach out the NC staffing experts at PSU.

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