5 Critical Metrics That HR Leaders Need to be Monitoring


Good decisions are fueled by good data and good data analyses.

The problem is, there’s so much data to collect. How can you know what data to focus on and what data to ignore?

To a large extent, the answer to that question depends on your company goals and priorities. However, there are certain kinds of data most everyone agrees are important to gather and measure. Here are five metrics all HR execs need to be monitoring.

  1. Turnover

    High voluntary turnover can be caused by low compensation, poor working conditions, lack of advancement opportunities, conflict with management, or a toxic culture.

    Of course, people often leave jobs voluntarily for reasons that have nothing to do with job dissatisfaction (such as a spouse or partner relocating for a better job or the employee simply desiring a lifestyle change), but if your numbers are higher than average for your industry it’s worth knowing why.

    It’s also worth tracking higher than average involuntary turnover, which could signal cracks in your hiring process or a need for leadership training.

  2. Time to Fill

    According to the literature, time to fill (i.e., the time from job vacancy to offer) has been creeping upwards in the past few years. The DHI Group’s Measure of National Mean Vacancy Duration, published in December 2015, shows the average number of days to fill at 26.6. A study by Glassdoor reports that number in 2010 as 12.6.

    Respondents to MRI Network’s Recruiter Sentiment Study reported the No. 1 reason for longer time to fill is lack of suitable talent. Some attribute this lack to the skills gap, while others say employers have become more selective.

    The No. 2 reason for longer time to fill is lengthy hiring practices. For example, MRI’s study found that nearly half of companies (49 percent) require three interviews to get to an offer.

    However, there’s a real downside to letting the hiring process go on for too long. MRI found that the top reason for a rejected job offer (44 percent) is another job offer.

    Employers who can find ways to shorten the hiring process—perhaps by automating some hiring tasks — will be in a better position to get the talent they need more quickly than their peers.

  3. Cost Per Hire

    Controlling costs is a priority for all businesses, and cost per hire is a natural area to monitor. Cost per hire typically includes job posting fees, agency fees, relocation expenses, reference checks, drug tests, and signing bonuses.

  4. Benefits to Salary Ratio

    A healthy benefits to salary ratio is imperative. A ratio that’s too low may signal an anemic benefit program that’ll make it harder to attract and retain talent. A ratio that’s too high may signal poor benefit planning or a program that’s simply unsustainable in the long run.

    Whatever your company’s ratio, and regardless of whether it’s high or low relative to your peers, it should represent programs that have been mindfully implemented and maintained and that faithfully represent your organization’s culture and its commitment to its talent.

  5. Engagement Level

    Survey after survey has confirmed employee engagement levels at less than 35 percent nationwide. This is an important statistic for employers, because unengaged workers call out more often, are less creative, are more susceptible to workplace accidents, and are more prone to stealing from the company.

    Fortunately, from the standard annual employee survey to more sophisticated, real-time employee feedback software, resources are available for companies to measure and improve employee engagement.

    Not everything that has to do with the people side of the business can be measured, but HR execs that thoughtfully measure what can be measured will help position their companies ahead of the competition.

    Are you tracking any of these metrics currently within your organization?