HR metrics

Best practices in HR metrics

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”

Albert Einstein

Why are human resources metrics so important?

  • To demonstrate how HR programs are supporting organizational goals
  • To inform effective, holistic business decisions
  • To optimize HR programs

Measuring efficiency vs. effectiveness

HR analytics typically fall into one of 2 areas:

  • Measures of efficiency
  • Measures of effectiveness

Both are vital to impactful HR programs.

Measuring efficiency

Efficiency metrics for HR programs help to measure:

  • cost effectiveness
  • productivity

The goal is to help HR optimize their programs.

Measuring effectiveness

  • Metrics are tied to the organization's strategy
  • Demonstrate how people programs are contributing to the achievement of organizational goals and results

The goal is to help managers and leaders make better decisions and improve performance.

3 critical metrics focus areas

According to HR expert Cathy Missildine-Martin, metrics in these 3 areas are critical for all organizations:

  • Goal alignment
  • Employee performance
  • Quality of hire

Gathering data is only the start

Best practice human resources analytics involve:

  1. Gathering robust, reliable data
  2. Analyzing that data for trends, changes, interrelationships, etc.
  3. Researching the root cause or contributors to data
  4. Recommending actions
  5. Measuring results

Metrics should lead to insight

Your HR metrics should lead to insight that drives better decision-making and business results.

Articles on HR metrics

6 common questions about HR metrics answered

HR analytics expert Cathy Missildine-Martin answers some of your most common questions about HR metrics.

Does your talent data measure up?

Read how the real value comes in translating metrics into actions that advance the strategic objectives of the organization.

How CarVal Investors has created a high-performance culture through its performance management strategy

Discover how investing in talent management can improve your bottom line with this engaging infographic for financial services organizations.

Developing and implementing an effective talent management strategy plan

This reference article can help you formulate your talent management strategy so you know which metrics are vital to gather and analyze.

Using metrics to improve the efficiency of your HR processes

Explore ways to use the HR metrics and data you collect about and through your talent management processes to review and optimize them for efficiency.

Start with good data: making sure performance ratings and scores are well calibrated

Learn how to increase inter-rater reliability and ensure the performance ratings and scores you gather in your talent management process are well calibrated and fair.

The balanced scorecard: where does your HR and talent management strategy fit?

Learn the basics of the balanced scorecard and the importance of human resources and talent strategy mapping, to ensure success in each area.

The ROI of talent management data and analytics as the strategic game changer for HR

Learn the business importance of talent management metrics and get tips on how to get started.

Downloadable resources on HR metrics

Making talent management metrics matter

Learn how to put talent management metrics in the context of those that will help you drive business decision making and organizational success.

Developing metrics to evaluate HR's contribution to the achievement of organizational goals

Dr. Christopher Lee explains how to develop and use the right metrics to prove HR's impact on the bottom line.

Five steps to a more intelligent HR function - measuring, analysing and improving people performance

Bernard Marr explains how to design a more intelligent HR function, and shares practical examples of innovative HR indicators that deliver tangible business results.

HR's 5 most important roles in managing talent

Cathy Missildine-Martin explores the need to shift from efficiency tracking metrics to more analytical strategic metrics that truly support effective business decisions.

Five things HR can do better with a big picture of talent management

Dr. Katherine Jones, looks at the top five things HR leaders can do to ensure success using integrated talent management, including making your metrics matter.

Talent management strategy template

This template walks you through the steps required to create an effective talent management strategy and determine the HR metrics you should track.

HR metrics success stories

New England Organ Donor Bank

At NEOB, they're using metrics to more effectively align training and development programs, and measure their impact.

SNC-Lavalin O&M

Read how SNC-Lavalin is using HR metrics to better understand the depth and breadth of their talent pool and drive engagement and retention.


WHPacific uses a variety of qualitative and quantitative metrics to measure employee and organizational performance.

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