The HR Metrics Overview
Blog //22-07-2021

The HR Metrics Overview

by Alex Arundale, Chief People Officer, Advanced

As businesses find themselves on the cusp of a new world in terms of working structure, it is clear that HR teams will play a vital role in informing business strategy and developing new company cultures. The past year has demonstrated the effectiveness of allowing HR teams to play a more proactive role in business strategy planning and as organisations prepare for the new future of working, they would do well to lean on their HR teams, drawing upon their expertise to inform their ongoing strategy.

For businesses across all sectors, the effectiveness of any long-term planning will be dictated by the information available. The metrics that HR teams are able to draw upon will go a long way towards determining how successful an organisation’s business strategy might be. Unquestionably, all organisations will have their focus set upon driving productivity and profitability, particularly in the wake of a turbulent year. With that in mind, business leaders need to ensure that their HR teams are being granted oversight of the information they need in order to help their organisations to attain success.

What are HR metrics?

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Human Resource metrics are the key figures and data points which allow organisations to gain insight on their human capital investments. This information is also crucial in enabling business to measure how effective any human resource initiatives may be. Examples of key metrics include cost per hire figures, employee turnover rates as well as overall absence rates.  

Gaining an oversight of this information is vitally important for organisations as it offers them full visibility of their HCM investments and in turn, highlights success stories or areas where change needs to be made. Visibility of this data plays a crucial role in informing the long term business strategy of organisations and means that businesses are free to make more considered investments based upon robust data..

Most common HR metrics

Time Tracking:

One of the most fundamental metrics which HR teams track, is time and attendance,an important yardstick by which organisations can determine the value of individual HCM investments.  Gaining an oversight of absence rates of employees is crucial in enabling organisations to identify patterns of repeat absences- otherwise known as absenteeism, Which if left unchecked can have severe financial consequences for organisations.

Identifying patterns of repeat absence plays a vital role in helping HR teams safeguard the wellbeing of their employees. Rather than being used as a tool to drive disciplinary actions, HR teams should use this information to help drive discussions with the employee around any absence patterns and help identify any underlying factors and offering help, particularly if prolonged absence is in anyway related to the working environment.

Tracking time and attendance metrics also allows businesses to identify patterns of overtime being worked, allowing them to identify employees who are going above and beyond. This can also help avoid burnout by ensuring that any extra work is being distributed evenly and not falling on the shoulders of one employee.

Recruitment:

The search for new talent is a time consuming process for HR teams in any organisation. Having an overview of the proper data is vital In helping HR professionals cut through the morass of admin tasks which comes with recruitment. By having a clear view of existing employee numbers as well as visibility of any vacancies within departments, HR teams are able to focus talent searches in order to ensure that any organisational gaps are filled quickly and efficiently using a talent pipeline.

Information as simple as basic demographics of your people-having an understanding of the age, gender or ethnic makeup of your workforce can go a long way towards informing the hiring process at a very early stage.

Most importantly, these metrics allow businesses to effectively track the value of any new hires. By gaining oversight of the time to productivity for new employees-that being the time it takes from hiring for new recruits to become self-sufficient and productive, organisations are able to inform and refine their onboarding and training processes.

Another vital metric is that of new starter turnover rates. As previously mentioned, the recruitment process is extremely time consuming an HR professionals can ill afford to spend time away from their other responsibilities, constantly returning to the recruitment pool to cover for sloppy practices. By gathering metrics on employee retention rates, organisations arm themselves with the information they need to properly inform the process of talent acquisition, ensuring that they are finding candidates who are the right fit for them.

Employee engagement: 

Having an overview of your employee’s overall happiness and levels of engagement is absolutely vital in enabling organisations to drive forward their future strategies. Your people are at the heart of everything and so logically by safeguarding their wellbeing, you are in turn taking care of the long term health of your business.

Having an eye on your employee retention rate is key in helping you uncover any problem areas within your business. High turnover rates of staff can be an indication of wider issues within the organisation and by having an overview of these metrics, you are able to identify patterns of leavers, helping you establish if the issue is related to specific departments or a company wide concern.

As the wide workforce looks to use a hybrid working model affair, businesses will find their people are spread over a wider geographic location. Without the traditional, rigid structure of the office space, there is a concern for some organisations that they may lose sight of their people and their requirements. These metrics will play a vital role in bridging the gap between businesses and their remote workers. By having clear visibility of your people, HR teams are empowered to be proactive in driving discussions with employees In order to effectively gauge their requirements.

Training and development:

One of the most common reasons for people leaving an organisation is a perceived lack of mobility within the business. Research by CTA tech found that professional development programmes are perceived as among the top benefits for retaining employee’s services. It is clear therefore, that prioritising the training and development of existing staff will be crucial In ensuring that organisations have the stability they need to properly action their business strategy moving forward.

Having clear visibility of metrics regarding the training and development of your people can effectively empower your HR teams to take an active role in cultivating existing employee’s skillsets. Armed with this information, HR teams can drive conversations with employees around their development and by being able to effectively assess the cost of training per employee, businesses are able to set clear expectations around building skillsets.

Having full oversight of the proper information regarding training is a boon for businesses who want to refine the development process and understand just how effective certain initiatives may be. The proper use of metrics can give you all the information you need from completion time, success rates and overall cost efficiency of training.

How to use HR metrics

As with many aspects of Human Capital Management, the purpose of HR metrics is to supplement the function of HR teams and business leaders, providing them with the information they need in order to inform their business strategy and focus on driving success.

Having the information available to you is one thing, but making effective use of it is another matter entirely. Like all data, HR metrics have a value equal to what you ascribe to them and those businesses who are willing to take a proactive approach to harnessing the power of the information provided, will set themselves up for success.

Research by SHRM succinctly defines the purpose of HR is to make businesses better and more informed, defining, refining and communicating company culture and ensuring a seamless, enjoyable employee lifecycle. They note that correct use of HR metrics is unmatched in its ability to inform organisations.

Data is at its heart, a neutral entity and without active participation by organisations, it cannot return any sort of significant value. When gathering proper metrics, businesses need to be mindful of their intent and to ensure that they are aware of how they tend to action any data gathered and most importantly, to avoid creating a false sense of productivity from mindlessly harvesting information.

The strength of HR metrics lies in the power of data to provide valuable insights for businesses. SHRM correctly identify that it is these insights, rather than the data itself which provides value and organisations should focus on refining data gathered and identifying which insights provided are most relevant to helping achieve business goals.

It is all too easy to become lost within a forest of gathered data which is why it is important that data gathered is filtered through to the relevant departments in order to enable them to maintain their focus. For example, employee absenteeism profiles are valuable information for middle management and HR teams but may be seen as a distraction for exec level positions. 

Most importantly, businesses should remember that HR metrics are intended to supplement your long-term business strategy. No amount of data gathered in a vacuum can provide an easy fix for existing problems but having a clear oversight of your people is so vitally important in helping informing your business goals and development. When planning for the future, the insights gathered from the proper use of HR metrics can act as the bedrock of an effective long term business strategy.

Conclusion

We’ve seen that having the proper data at their fingertips is unmatched in empowering businesses to meet their business goals and to drive productivity within their organisations.

At Advanced, we believe in the power of technology to allow businesses do more. Our HCM Software have been designed by experts in the field specifically to help organisations to reach their full potential. Our Cloud HR software is an invaluable tool in helping empower HR teams to achieve the full scope of their role.

As the workforce becomes more widespread, we understand just how vital it is that you keep your finger on the pulse of your people’s needs. Our solutions are here to help you stay in touch with your employees and to never lose sight of the people so vital to the success of your business.

How our HR Software can help you

One single sign on gives HR teams and employees quick and simple access to all HR functionality, whether that be booking annual leave, logging sickness, logging a personal development plan or booking training. Making HR More Human.

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Alex Arundale

Alex Arundale

PUBLISHED BY

Chief People Officer, Advanced

Alex joined Advanced in February 2016 with a track record in senior HR positions. She has been responsible for innovative strategies to lead the company’s talent management.

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