HR Management & Compliance

The Results of Our HR Metrics Best Practices Survey Are In!

The HR Daily Advisor’s HR Metrics Survey, conducted in April 2015, sought to gain a better understanding of how metrics are being utilized in the field of human resources. We all know how the C-suite loves to see hard data: Which HR arenas (and what aspects of them) are the most measured? Does HR use metrics to gauge its own performance as a department? What metrics do respondents find to be the most useful?

Some Highlights from the HR Metrics Survey:


    • The most popular metric among participants was turnover, which is measured by 78% of the response pool. An aspect of turnover that is of particular interest to participants is voluntary vs. involuntary turnover.


  • The least-used metrics were cost per hire and quality of hire, both measured by only 28.5% of participants.



  • The majority of participants (62.2%) do not maintain metrics related to the HR department itself (e.g., return on investment (ROI) on new programs, ratio of HR staff to total employees, or job performance following training).



  • 57.9% of respondents track employee engagement or satisfaction, primarily via the results of interviews/surveys or scores on a questionnaire.



  • While participants were almost evenly split when it comes to keeping metrics for training (51% measure it), among those who do maintain metrics, the most popular aspect to track was the type of training offered (e.g., onboarding, skills, management, or whether training was mandatory).



Who Responded?


A total of 604 individuals participated in the HR Metrics Survey, representing a diverse array of industries, business types, and locations. Respondents hailed from all across the United States and also the world, with the largest percentage of participants (19.2%) reporting from companies that have a nationwide presence in the United States. 13.2% of participants identified themselves as being employed at non-U.S. or international organizations.

Of those who identified themselves, the majority (61.3%) represent privately owned, for-profit companies; 20.4% are with nonprofit organizations; 12.1% work in the public sector; and government organizations were represented by 6.1% of the response pool.

Managers made up the largest portion of the respondent pool at 51.0%. Executives (defined as VP level or higher) made up slightly over a quarter of those surveyed at 25.1%, and staff-level employees were included as 11.5% of participants. Supervisors made up the smallest group at 3.7%.

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Cost-Per-Hire, Time-to-Fill, and Quality-of-Hire Metrics


A large majority of participants (71.5%) do not measure cost per hire. Among those who do, the metrics are most commonly broken out by level of the position (which is done by 60.9% of respondents), followed by department or facility (43.8%). Among the other factors by which participants broke out their cost-per-hire metrics were:

  • Recruitment fees/sourcing
  • Special skills
  • Sales vs. nonsales
  • HR operating expense

Respondents were almost evenly split on measuring time to fill, with 49.7% tracking the metric as opposed to 50.3% who do not. Only 18.2% of those who track time to fill break out the metric by compensation level, with a stronger preference shown in the response pool for breaking out by level of position and department/facility. Time-to-fill was also broken down by other factors among 13.8% of participants, including:

  • Exempt vs. nonexempt
  • Advertisement cost
  • Internal vs. external hire
  • Past difficulty in filling job
  • Urgency of hiring

Only a minority of participants measure quality of hire—28.5%. Of these few who track quality, when they break down the metric, they appear to be most concerned with how satisfied the hiring manager is with the new recruit (56.7% look at the metric from this perspective). “Other factors” that influence participants’ analysis of quality of hire included:

  • If the new hire passes the probationary period
  • Certification requirements
  • Percent of required skills met
  • Retention and turnover levels


More Recruiting Metrics


Next, we asked our participants if they tracked any other popular recruiting-related metrics. Internal vs. external recruiting was the most popular, with 52.2% of respondents measuring this factor. Interview-to-hire and offer-to-acceptance ratios were tied at 39.5%, and participants were clearly more concerned with a new hire’s view of the recruiting experience than they were with an average applicant’s view of the process. “Other factors” listed by participants included:

  • Candidates submitted to hiring manager vs. candidates interviewed
  • Potential hires who fail drug screens
  • Sources
  • Onboarding


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Who Makes Up Your Workforce?


A majority (69%) of participants maintain metrics that describe the makeup of their organization’s workforce, and many of them break the measurement out by factors of gender, age, race, department, and level. Other factors listed by participants included:

  • Education
  • Tenure
  • Veteran and/or disability status
  • Nationality
  • Union vs. nonunion
  • Exempt vs. nonexempt


Measuring Complaints and Legal Issues


First, it should be noted that a great number of participants (368, or 60.9% of the response pool) skipped this question altogether—an indicator that only a minority of them keep metrics for complaints or legal issues in the first place. Of those that do, the most common metric is the number of complaints filed by employees.

Other complaints or legal entanglements measured by participants included:

  • Number of union grievances
  • Type of complaint
  • Unemployment cases protested and won/lost on appeal
  • Ethics complaints
  • HR compliance audit reporting


Employee Engagement and Satisfaction


A slight majority of 57.9% responded that they keep metrics relating to employee engagement and/or satisfaction, and they use a variety of methods to track it. The most common way that they measure this is via interviews/surveys (73% use this method), followed by scores on a questionnaire (62.2%). Other methods of measuring engagement and satisfaction that were specified by participants included (among other things):

  • Grievances filed
  • Attrition and internal rotation percentages
  • Engagement activities
  • Employee forums

In tomorrow’s Advisor, we reveal more results of our HR Metrics Best Practices survey, plus an introduction to the premium version of the survey report.