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Top HR Metrics For The Modern HR Professional

Top HR Metrics For The Modern HR professional
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Summary: With HR moving well beyond its administrative roots to take on a key strategic dimension, certain significant HR metrics are useful pointers to HR performance.

Modern HR Professional

In recent years, the role of HR has taken on a new strategic dimension, representing quite a change from the previous administrative roots and perception. A clear indicator of the popularity of strategic HR is the increased focus on using HR metrics, surely becoming a key part of the overall business strategy of the organization.

Why Are HR Metrics Needed?

For similar reasons as most metrics: to measure employee data and to get an idea of where the business is headed in the future. If a company wants to acquire fresh talent and maximize the capabilities of its existing workforce, it needs strong, comprehensive talent management metrics.

What Are HR Metrics?

Also referred to as talent metrics, these help an organization track its performance with regard to key aspects of its HR data. They look at the human capital of the organization and evaluate the contribution and success of HR initiatives to the overall success of the organization.

Are Companies Measuring HR Metrics?

Research from Oracle in 2019 suggested that most organizations were in favor of using HR metrics. Consider the following numbers from the survey of 1,510 respondents in 23 countries:

  • 51% of HR respondents said they could perform predictive or prescriptive analytics, compared to only 37% in finance, indicating higher data processing maturity
  • 89% of respondents agreed that the metrics could help plan the future of the workforce
  • 94% said the metrics provided real-time insights into the career development goals of their employees

Which Are The Important Areas For HR Metrics?

Below are the key domains and the associated talent metrics that can be used:


  • Most influential sourcing channel
    A company typically leverages more than one channel to get leads on prospective hires, such as job boards, email campaigns, and social media. Because of this, it is imperative to know the channels doing well and those not so. The purpose here is to identify the channel making the biggest contribution to hiring effectiveness, and not just giving the highest number of candidates. Parameters to look at are candidates per channel, quality of performance for each, and post-hire attrition rate.
  • Conversion of candidates interacting with employer brand
    Candidates interact with a company through recruitment marketing emails, employer branding blogs, and other messaging modes and types. Here, the focus is on seeing how many such people apply for a job.

Learning And Development

  • Per-employee training expense
    This is important to track costs of employee development and to make better investments in developing personnel. Full-day training courses often provide insufficient, expensive learning, and continuous learning experiences are often more effective.
  • Effectiveness of training
    This is a tough talent management metric, as it is hard to measure what someone has learned. It helps to set goals for training and analyze whether the candidate has achieved those goals once training is complete. Another way is to look at baseline productivity and see how training impacts it in the long term.


  • Performance and potential
    This is a nine-box grid mapping the performance and potential of a candidate on three levels. The grid uncovers underperformers, valued specialists, emerging potentials, and top talents. It helps to distinguish between desired and undesired employee turnover.
  • Engagement rating
    Directly related to productivity, engagement is an important factor. Even in a stressful and high-pressure work environment, a person is engaged if they are proud of the job and the company. Stress becomes a challenge to overcome, and engagement is also important to judge the success of the team manager.


  • Absence rate
    The ratio of absence days to full-time employment (FTE) is the unscheduled absence rate, a key metric to measure absenteeism. It looks at the percentage of workers absent over a given period and also shows a long-term benchmark. The level may differ on a monthly basis, but over the long term, the rate should be stable and low. If the absence rate is going up, it could indicate a poor work environment, high stress, or an epidemic.
  • Absence rate per manager
    Similar to the above, this looks at the ratio of absence days in a particular team or department to the total FTE of that team or department. It is a good way to identify problem areas in the company; for instance, if particular departments have a continuous issue with high absence rates, they may need focused intervention.


  • Voluntary turnover rate
    Turnover typically is a final step, and people do not often come back to the company. Given how it is said that people leave managers and not jobs, the voluntary turnover rate is an important pointer to problem areas within the company.
  • Retention rate per manager
    This looks to identify managers doing a great job in connecting and engaging with their team members as against those not doing such a great job. The latter could be provided with the requisite support to enable better performance.