20 Common HR Metrics & Their Formulas

How often does your HR department measure its effectiveness? HR metrics and measurements can be powerful in showing us areas where we could improve and better meet the needs of our organization and its employees. They can also help provide meaningful data to help us make good decisions for our business and department.

There are an endless array of HR metrics you can use spanning payroll, compensation, benefits, engagement, retention, training, and more – all of which can provide incredible insight into how your HR function is performing. But, as will be discussed in our upcoming HR Metrics workshop, some measurements are more important than others depending on your organization’s goals, strategy, and the data it can feasibly track, analyze, and use. Four crucial considerations that HR professionals need to consider when using HR metrics include:

  • What metrics are most important to the organization?
  • What data needs to be gathered or tracked to calculate these metrics?
  • How will the data be analyzed and benchmarked?
  • How will the analysis be used for action planning, development/improvement, and problem-solving?

We’ve provided some basic and standard metrics that we find many organizations using to help you get started measuring HR:

Metric Formula
Absence rate # days absent in month ÷ (average # of employees during a month x  # of workdays)
Benefit or program costs per employee total cost of employee benefit/program ÷ total # of employees
Benefits as a percent of salary annual benefits cost ÷ annual salary
Compensation as a percent of total compensation annual salary ÷ total compensation (salary + benefits + additional compensation)
Compensation or benefit revenue ratio compensation or benefit cost ÷ revenue
Cost per hire recruitment costs ÷ (compensation cost + benefits cost)
Engagement or satisfaction rating percent of employees engaged or satisfied overall or with a given aspect of the workplace
Percent of performance goals met or exceeded # of performance goals met or exceeded ÷ total # of performance goals
Percent receiving performance rating # of employees rated under a given score or rating on their performance evaluation ÷ total # of employees
Revenue per employee revenue ÷ total # of employees
Return on investment (ROI) (total benefit – total costs) x 100
Time to fill (average) total days taken to fill a job ÷ number hired
Training/development hours sum of total training hours ÷ total # of employees
Tenure average # of years of service at the organization across all employees
Turnover (annual) # of employees exiting the job during 12 month period ÷ average actual # of employees during the same period
Turnover costs total costs of separation + vacancy + replacement + training
Utilization percent total number of employees utilizing a program/service/benefit  ÷ total number of employees eligible to utilize a program/service/benefit
Workers’ compensation cost per employee total workers compensation cost for year ÷ average number of employees
Workers’ compensation incident rate (number of injuries and/or illnesses per 100 full-time employees ∕ total hours worked by all employees during the calendar year) x 200,000
Yield ratio percentage of applicants from a recruitment source that make it to the next stage of the selection process

Keep in mind that this is merely a sampling of the many metrics you can use to gauge the effectiveness of your HR function. There are dozens more that could potentially be beneficial to track and measure, depending on your organization’s unique needs.  If your organization is looking for additional guidance on HR metrics or benchmarking, consider using ERC’s resources below.

Additional Resources

  • Join us for our upcoming HR Metrics workshop to learn more about HR metrics and how to use them in your organization. Click here to register.
  • Consider using ERC’s Survey Data to benchmark important compensation, benefits, and other HR information.
  • For additional benchmarks and other resources pertaining to HR Metrics, contact hrhelp@ercnet.org.
  • For consulting or project assistance related to setting up HR Metrics in your organization, contact consulting@ercnet.org.
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44 Responses to 20 Common HR Metrics & Their Formulas

  1. Jay says:


  2. Pingback: HR Scorecard: Measuring Turnover and Other HR Analytics | SmartBlog

  3. Thank you for the concise summary.

  4. shumai says:

    how hr metrics link to the HR SCORE CARD?

    • zeeshan says:

      HR Metrics are all these measuring functions that have been describe above here, and HR Score card is a final Report where every HR Functions have been calculated and shown as a score card.

  5. Hussain says:

    absolutely reaches me where i want…
    thanks a lot….

  6. Elizabeth Butts says:

    Thank you! A professional development course I am constantly references metrics – but this is the first time I have found them!

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  8. Katja says:

    Thank you for good article. You list is solid and informative. Bookmarked

  9. George Sneed says:

    These metrics will be very useful to me during this course.

  10. Martin says:

    I like this website and will continue visiting it. Thank you for the postings. They are very handy and enable many practitioners to learn.

  11. A M IQBAL says:

    This is an excellent site for an excellent information about HR metrics. In a nut shell its fabulous.

  12. mc says:

    Very timely. Succinct and to the point!

  13. Devin Harris says:

    Good post. This is a nice set of basic Human Resources Metrics.

    One favorite HR metric of one of our clients is ‘Regrettable Turnover’ (measuring how many people left the organization that were deemed to be effective or high potentials, taking into account performance ratings, peer and manager endorsements, 9-box reviews, etc).

    More info here on HR metric dashboard ideas here:

  14. Indy says:

    Very useful information when establishing calculation principles. Are there any certified courses that you could recommend for this?

  15. zoukstar says:

    Got an exam tomorrow and this has just made my preparations exciting. Thank you.

  16. Michelle says:

    Very helpful in my planning of a HR dashboard

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  25. Clyde says:

    Good summary. I am a little confused, though about the method for calculating cost per hire. Wouldn’t a simple tally of the costs involved in finding someone and bringing them on board (including train-up time) be more applicable?

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  28. Marshal says:

    Its a wonderful writings provides useful information for the HR professionals. It will be more helpful if an example provides for calculation each of the metrics by the formula.

  29. “They can also help provide meaningful data to help us make good decisions for our business and department.”

    I doubt!

    Let’s take “Turnover (annual)” as an example. What information will it give to business? That turnover is high and we need to improve an engagement of employees? Company is saving poor-performers as well.

    Take Apple’s approach to turnover as an example: http://www.bscdesigner.com/apples-turnover-rate.htm

    They don’t care about it much, it is easier find and train more specialists to find high-performers than trying to keep all of them in business.

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