To manage a team effectively, you need to utilize data to recognize trends, identify best practices, and understand what isn’t working. Here are a few HR metrics you should be tracking and what they mean.

HR metrics to track

Cost per hire

How much does it cost your business in time and money to hire one person? This includes the cost of putting job ads out, the time/money cost of all the people who need to interview a candidate, any assessments and testing purchased, and how much it takes to onboard them.

Cost vs revenue

Look at how much one employee costs to maintain versus the overall revenue of the company. This would include salary, but also overhead costs such as office rental fees, electricity bills, hardware and software they need, and any transportation fees.

How long does it take to onboard a new employee

Beyond the simple monetary fee, take a look at how long it takes to efficiently onboard a new employee. Measure how successfully each employee is brought up to speed, and how long it takes at minimum to most effectively onboard someone.

Average response and issue resolution time

When someone lodges a complaint with HR, take note of how long it takes for your team to respond and resolve the issue. Your goal is to get response time as low as possible, meaning your team answers promptly and effectively. You should also aim for quick resolution time. If they’re taking too long to address an issue, find out why.

Offer acceptance rate

This metric could indicate how well you’re selecting good candidates in the first place. If someone who isn’t a great fit doesn’t take a job offer, that isn’t on them–that’s on your HR team for not finding out they’re a poor fit candidate earlier in the process.

How many people were fired within their first year

This metric shows you whether you need to reevaluate your hiring or onboarding process. If multiple new hires aren’t successful and are fired within the first year, there’s something wrong with HR. Either they are recruiting poor candidates in the first place, or aren’t equipping new hires properly for success.

Where your best and worst candidates come from

Are they referrals, from a particular job site, or applying directly on your website? Look at where your best and worst candidates are finding you, double down on your high-value channels, and eliminate or reduce effort into your low-value channels.


This metric is important because each day an employee doesn’t come in costs your team in productivity and efficiency. Even if you dock pay for unapproved leaves, the people left in the office may be stuck waiting on something from the employee who’s absent, and clients could be left hanging.

Job satisfaction

How happy are your employees with their work, work environment, management, benefits and compensation? Measure how satisfied your teams are, and identify areas for improvement.

Turnover and retention rate

Look at how many employees quit within the first year, and overall. Break it down by star employee retention rate, and low performer retention rate. Despite the belief that overall retention is desired, you should aim to retain your top employees and put processes in place that will weed out poor fit employees. In other words, if someone isn’t great for the company, you shouldn’t aim to retain them.

Salary increase vs revenue increase

Analyze salaries of your employees versus your company’s overall revenue, as well as how much revenue one employee brings in on average. Look at any trends and correlation between the two to find the salary sweet spot.

Cost to terminate employees

It costs time and money to hire and onboard a new employee, but also to terminate them. Measure the resources it takes on average to fire an employee, from dealing with a knowledge transfer, conducting an exit interview, any severance pay needed, or other factors.

Key indicators of a top performer

Learn what makes your top employees your top employees. You can do this by evaluating their work ethic, behaviors, values, skills, and education. HR professionals can also talk to their supervisors, colleagues, and teams they manage to identify what they’re doing right. You can also opt to use benchmark assessments to compare your top performers and see where they line up.

Advancement opportunities

Does your company offer enough opportunities for advancement to keep your team engaged? If your employees can’t see a future for themselves there, retention rates will fall.

Effectiveness of HR tools

This includes assessments, internal help desk software, and any rewards programs you provide. Take note of how effective they are and the return-on-investment for them.

Succession planning

Look at how many employees successfully were promoted to management level. Does your team do better when leadership is promoted from within, or brought on externally? You should also take a look at the key indicators for a good leader on your team, so you can plan accordingly.

What HR metrics are you tracking?

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick