16 HR Metrics Smart HR Departments Track


Last Friday we talked about some of the principles behind building a great HR dashboard, and today I wanted to share a few metrics I think are worth considering. Ultimately, in choosing your 8-12 metrics, you will have to rely on your own instincts and on feedback from those around you. To get you started, I’ve listed below some of your options—as well as some key metrics I think you should consider—that could bring more insight and life to your dashboard.

Recruitment Metrics:

If your HR group is currently gathering metrics, they’re likely based on recruitment. This would include metrics such as vacancies, average days open, cost per vacancy, cost per hire, temporary staffing, agency costs and search fees. Some companies also track hiring manager satisfaction and candidate satisfaction.


    1. Hiring manager interviews to offers ratio (by manager): Tracking how many interviews it takes to get to an average offer will give you a sense of how efficient recruitment is across your departments, and which managers might need assistance or guidance with their hiring processes.
    2. Yield ratio (percentage of hires by recruitment source): Are you tracking the relative efficiency of your recruitment sources to determine which are most effective and valuable for future investment? Shouldn’t you be?
    3. Employee referral rates by department or business units: One of the key questions NetPromoter uses to determine customer satisfaction scores is: “How likely is it that you would recommend [your company] to a friend or colleague?” Tracking actual referrals gives you a real time answer to this question when it comes to employee satisfaction., and a deep comparative insight about each area of your business.
    4.  Quality of hire:  The quality of hire metric is not an easy one to get at, but Steve Lowisz at ERE.com believes it is one of the most important hiring metrics you can track. He suggests using a formula that derives QoH by averaging job performance rating of new hires, the % of new hires reaching acceptable productivity with acceptable time frame, and the % of new hires retained after one year. I would argue you can also include the amount of recognition that new hires receive, to get a more complete picture of how the hire is regarded throughout the organization.

Retention Metrics:

Retention is another area many HR departments are already tracking. These stats might range from simple average tenure to metrics like 90-day retention rate, monthly or annual turnover rates and average turnover costs. This is also where many companies collect data from exit interviews.


  1. Retention rate of critical employees– It isn’t enough to have a high retention rate, if you’re still losing key talent. Use HCM tools and recognition data to identify and flag your key contributors, cultural energizers and future leaders, and then look specifically at your retention rates among those groups.
  2. High/Low performer retention differential – Likewise, it makes sense to do a comparison of departures by performance review ratings, to determine if there are patterns there that should be addressed.
  3. Resignation rates by department – Parsing resignation data by manager and department can highlight potential issues in a given group or with a given manager.

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