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How To Measure HR Performance
Through KPIs (Free Guide Included)

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Hacking HR Team
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Posted on January 08, 2024

Human Resources Key Performance Indicators measure how well your HR department achieves its goals and objectives. HR KPIs help you track and optimize your processes, such as recruiting, retention, performance, engagement, learning, diversity, and well-being. They also help you align your HR strategy with your business strategy and show the value and impact of HR to your stakeholders.

But how do you choose the right HR KPIs for your organization? How do you collect, analyze, and report your data? How do you create a scorecard that helps you monitor and improve your HR performance?

In this blog post, we will answer these questions and more. We will show you the benefits, challenges, and good practices of using HR KPIs. We will also provide HR KPI examples you can use or adapt for your scorecard. Finally, we will give you tips and tools to help you get started or advance your HR analytics journey.

What are HR KPIs, and why do they matter?

Human Resources Key Performance Indicators measure the performance of your HR activities and processes. They help you quantify your HR functions' efficiency, effectiveness, and impact. They also help you evaluate the progress and outcomes of your HR initiatives and interventions.

HR KPIs matter because they enable you to:

  • Improve your HR efficiency and effectiveness: They help you identify and eliminate waste, errors, and inefficiencies in your Human Resources processes. They also help you optimize and automate your HR workflows, reduce costs, and improve quality and consistency.

  • Enhance your HR decision-making and problem-solving: HR KPIs help you make more informed and objective decisions based on data and evidence rather than intuition and gut feeling. They also help you identify and solve problems using data to diagnose the root causes, test hypotheses, and evaluate solutions.

  • Increase your HR innovation and value creation: KPIs help you discover new insights, opportunities, and trends and apply them to design and implement new or improved HR policies and practices. They also help you demonstrate and communicate the value and impact of HR to your stakeholders by using data to measure and report on the return on investment (ROI) and the strategic contribution of HR to your organization's goals and performance.

How to choose the right HR KPIs for your organization

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to choosing HR performance indicators. The right KPIs for your organization depend on several factors:

  • Your HR strategy and objectives: Your KPIs should align with your objectives and reflect the outcomes and results you want to achieve. For example, if your goal is to improve employee retention, you might choose turnover rate, retention rate, or employee satisfaction.

  • Your business strategy and goals: Your HR KPIs should align with your business strategy and goals and support your organization's overall vision and mission. For example, if your business aims to increase customer satisfaction, you might choose the following KPIs: employee engagement, customer service skills, or net promoter score.

  • Your data availability and quality: Your HR KPIs should also depend on the data you can access and the reliability and validity of the data. For example, if you have data on employee performance, you might choose HR KPIs such as performance rating, productivity, or quality. If you don't have data on employee performance, you might select training hours, feedback, or recognition.

Infographic showing a step-by-step guide to choosing the right KPI's for your organization.

To choose the right HR KPIs for your organization, you can follow these steps:

1. Define your HR objectives and questions

  • What are the specific and measurable goals you want to achieve with your HR functions? What key questions do you want to answer with your HR data?

2. Identify your data sources and systems 

  • What sources and systems contain the data you need for your HR objectives and questions? How can you access and integrate them?

3. Select and prioritize your HR KPIs

  • What metrics best measure your HR objectives and questions? How relevant, meaningful, and actionable are they? How feasible and achievable are they with your data and resources?

4. Set your HR KPI targets and benchmarks 

  • What are the desired or expected values or ranges for your HR KPIs? How do they compare to your current or past performance, industry, or competitors?

5. Review and refine your HR KPIs

  • How well are your HR KPIs working for you? How accurate and reliable are they? How useful and valuable are they? How can you improve them?

How to Create an HR KPI Scorecard for Your Organization

An HR KPI scorecard is a tool that helps you monitor and report your HR KPIs. It visually represents your HR data, showing your performance and progress. It can help you:

  • Track and analyze your HR KPIs over time and across different dimensions, such as departments, locations, or groups.

  • Compare and contrast your HR KPIs against your targets and benchmarks, such as goals, standards, or averages.

  • Communicate and share your HR KPIs with your stakeholders, such as managers, employees, or customers.

To create an HR KPI scorecard for your organization, follow these steps:

1. Choose your HR KPI scorecard format and layout

  • You can use different formats and layouts, such as tables, charts, graphs, or dashboards.

  • How do you want to display your HR KPIs? What are the best ways to visualize your HR data? 

2. Populate your HR KPI scorecard with your HR data

  • You can use different methods and techniques, such as calculations, aggregations, or filters.

  • How do you want to organize and present your HR data? What are the best ways to summarize and highlight your HR data?

 3. Customize and enhance your HR KPI scorecard with your HR insights

  • You can use different elements and features, such as colors, icons, or annotations.

  • How do you want to interpret and explain your HR data? What are the best ways to add context and meaning to your HR data?

 4. Update and maintain your HR KPI scorecard with your HR actions

  • How do you want to use and improve your HR data?

  • What are the best ways to act on and implement your HR data?

  • You can use different functions and tools, such as alerts, notifications, or automation.

Infographic with basic steps to create an HR KPI Scorecard

KPI Examples for Different HR Domains and Functions

The use of Human Resources Key Performance Indicators applies to various HR domains and functions: recruitment, retention, performance, engagement, learning, diversity, and well-being. Here are some HR KPI examples for each domain and function and their definitions, formulas, and sources.

1. Recruitment

Recruitment is the process of attracting, selecting, and hiring the best candidates for your organization. There are specific KPIs to help you measure and improve the quality and effectiveness of your recruitment process and outcomes. Here are some recruitment KPI examples:

  • Formula: Total recruitment cost / Number of hires.

  • Example: If a company spends $10,000 on recruitment costs and hires 20 new employees, the cost per hire is $10,000 / 20 = $500. 

  • Formula: Sum of days to hire for each hire / Number of hires.

  • Example: If a company posts a job on January 1st and the candidate accepts the offer on January 15th, the ‘Time to hire’ is 15 days.

Quality of hire: The value and performance of a new hire (based on various indicators, such as retention, productivity, or satisfaction.)

  • Formula: (Performance rating + Retention rate + Hiring manager satisfaction) / 3. 

  • Example: If a new hire has a performance rating of 4 out of 5, a retention rate of 90%, and a hiring manager satisfaction of 80%, the quality of hire is (4 + 0.9 + 0.8) / 3 = 0.9 or 90%.

2. Retention 

This is the process of keeping and engaging your existing employees. There are specific KPIs that help you measure and improve the retention rate and reduce the turnover rate of your employees. Here are some retention HR KPI examples:

  • Formula: Number of employees who left / Average number of employees x 100. 

  • Example: If a company has 100 employees at the start of the year and 15 employees leave during the year, the turnover rate is 15 / 100 x 100 = 15%.

  • Formula: Number of employees who stayed / Number of employees at the start of the period x 100.

  • Example: If a company has 100 employees at the start of the year and 85 employees stay until the end of the year, the retention rate is 85 / 100 x 100 = 85%.

  • Formula: Average score of employee satisfaction survey.

  • Example: If a company conducts an employee satisfaction survey and the average score is 3.5 out of 5, the employee satisfaction is 3.5. 

3. Performance

It is the process of setting and monitoring your employees' and teams' goals and expectations. Performance indicators help you measure and improve your employees' and teams' performance and productivity. Here are some performance HR KPI examples:

  • Formula: Sum of performance scores for each employee / Number of employees.

  • Example: If a company appraises the performance of its employees and the average score is 3.6 out of 5, the performance rating is 3.6.

  • Formula: Output / Input

  • Example: If a factory produces 1000 widgets in 10 hours, using 20 workers and 50 units of raw materials, the productivity formula would be: Productivity = 1000 widgets / (20 workers + 50 units of raw materials + 10 hours)

4. Engagement 

Creating and sustaining a positive and supportive work environment and culture for your employees is called Engagement. Some HR KPIs help you measure and improve the engagement and well-being of your employees. Here are some examples:

  • Formula: Average score of employee engagement survey.

  • Example: If a company conducts an employee engagement survey and the average score is 4 out of 5, the employee engagement is 4.

  • Formula: Percentage of promoters (score 9 or 10) - Percentage of detractors (score 0 to 6).

  • Example: If a company conducts an eNPS survey and 50% of the employees give a score of 9 or 10, 30% give a score of 7 or 8, and 20% give a score of 0 to 6, the eNPS is 50% - 20% = 30%.

  • Formula: Average score of employee well-being survey.

  • Example: If a company conducts an employee well-being survey and the average score is 4.2 out of 5, the employee well-being is 4.2.

5. Learning

It’s the process of providing and facilitating the learning and development of your employees. Learning HR KPIs help you measure and improve the learning and development of your employees. Here are some Learning KPI examples:

  • Formula: Total training hours / Number of employees.

  • Example: If a company provides 200 hours of training to its 50 employees, the training hours per employee is 200 / 50 = 4 hours. 

  • Formula: Average score of training evaluation survey.

  • Example: If a company evaluates the training effectiveness of its employees and the average score is 3.8 out of 5, the training effectiveness is 3.8. 

  • Formula: (Benefits - Costs) / Costs x 100.

  • Example: If a company spends $10,000 on training and generates $15,000 in benefits, the training ROI is ($15,000 - $10,000) / $10,000 x 100 = 50%. 

6. Diversity

It’s the process of ensuring and promoting the diversity and inclusion of your employees. Diversity KPIs help you measure and improve the diversity and inclusion of your employees. Here are some examples:

  • Formula: Number of employees in each diversity group / Total number of employees x 100. 

  • Example: If a company has 40% female employees, 30% ethnic minority employees, 20% employees over 50 years old, and 10% employees with disabilities, the employee diversity for each group is 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10%, respectively.

  • Formula: Number of new hires in each diversity group / Total number of new hires x 100. 

  • Example: If a company hires ten new employees and 4 of them are female, 3 of them are ethnic minorities, 2 of them are over 50 years old, and 1 of them has a disability, the diversity hiring for each group is 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10%, respectively.

  • Formula: Number of employees who stayed in each diversity group / Number of employees at the start of the period in each diversity group x 100.

  • Example: If a company hires ten new employees and 4 of them are female, 3 of them are ethnic minorities, 2 of them are over 50 years old, and 1 of them has a disability, the diversity hiring for each group is 40%, 30%, 20%, and 10%, respectively.

Cultivating a Culture of Continuous Improvement through HR KPIs

The power of HR KPIs extends beyond mere measurement; it lies in their ability to foster a culture of continuous improvement and learning within the organization. This section explores how HR KPIs can be instrumental in building a learning-oriented workplace.

1. Encouraging a Feedback-Driven Culture:

2. Setting Dynamic, Evolving Goals:

3. Learning from HR Data Trends:

4. Promoting Cross-Functional Learning:

Innovative Ways to Embed Learning through HR KPIs

  • Gamification of KPIs: Introduce gamification elements in tracking and achieving KPIs, making the process more engaging and motivating for employees. This strategy can transform mundane tasks into exciting challenges.

  • Regular KPI Workshops: Conduct workshops where teams can analyze their KPIs, discuss challenges, and brainstorm solutions. This not only demystifies KPIs but also encourages a collaborative approach to problem-solving.

  • Integrating KPIs into Personal Development Plans: Align individual employee goals with HR KPIs, making personal development part of the broader organizational growth narrative.

  • Celebrating Improvements and Learning: Recognize and celebrate when teams or individuals make improvements based on KPIs. This recognition can reinforce the value of continuous learning and improvement.

Moving Forward

HR KPIs are powerful and valuable metrics that can help you measure and improve your HR performance. HR KPIs can help you track and optimize your HR processes, such as recruitment, retention, performance, engagement, learning, diversity, and well-being. HR KPIs can also help you align your HR strategy with your business strategy and demonstrate the value and impact of HR to your stakeholders.

However, HR KPIs are not easy or simple. They require having the right and enough data, skills, and culture and following the best practices and principles of HR analytics. They also require having a clear and specific HR objective and question and choosing the relevant and meaningful HR KPI.


Learn More about Human Resources KPIs

To learn more about HR KPIs and how to get started or advance your HR analytics journey, we have an excellent resource, a free ebook, A Guide to People Analytics: HR Metrics that Matter. This guide will give you more tips, tools, and templates to help you master HR analytics and achieve better employee and organizational outcomes. It is a must-have for anyone who wants to optimize their HR analytics process and create more value and impact with HR data. 

Download your free ebook now and start your HR analytics journey today!

Download A Guide to People Analytics: HR Metrics that Matter

Cover of the Ebook titled 'A Guide To People Analytics. HR Metrics that Matter.'
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