13 Best HR & Workforce Metrics Formula Examples

hr metrics, human resource metrics, recruiting metric, recruiting metrics, recruiting formula, recruiting metrics

Best HR Metrics for Human Capital Management

A couple weeks I wrote about HR Metrics being the key to HR’s seat at the executive table given the fact that the HR and recruiting departments are non-income generating, having solid metrics are key to demonstrating to senior leaders and executives how strategic HR initiatives can help affect an organization’s bottom line.  But HR is more than just CPM or cost per hire so while the SHRM task force debates another two years, I thought it would only be fair to share with you some of my favorite human resources measurement examples, metrics, and formulas to help demonstrate and capture the value that your team brings to the table.

Strategic HR Metrics Examples

  • Monthly Turnover Rate = (number of separations during month / average number of employees during month) x 100).

  • Revenue per Employee = total revenue / total number of employees.  This is especially important when evaluating the cost of a lost employee due to voluntary or involuntary turnover.

  • Human Capital Cost = Pay + Benefits + Contingent Labor Cost / Full Time Equivalents.

  • HR to Staff Ratio = Employees / Human Resources Team Members.  This ratio is important since during the recession HR departments have reduced in number dramatically.  HR serves as the internal customer support staff just like call center customer service employees serve as external facing.

  • Return on Investment = (total benefit – total costs) x 100.

  • Promotion Rate =  Promotions / Headcount.

  • Percentage Female at Management Level = Female Management Level Employees/Management Level Headcount.  This formula can also be used when evaluating executives at a female level and other diversity categories like veterans and race.

Human Resource Metrics Examples

  • Employee Absence Rate = number of days in month / (average number of employees during month x number of days).  I have used this analysis to look at employee absence rates for different departments and managers.  Sometimes the best way to determine if their is a culture or manager opportunity is through evaluating the percentage of absences by department or manager.

  • Worker’s Compensation Cost Per Employee = total workers compensation cost for year / average number of employees.


  • Worker’s 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.
  • Overtime per Individual Contributor Headcount = Overtime Hours/Individual Contributor Headcount.

  •  Average Employee Age = Total Age of Employees / Headcount.  This is an important metric in my mind when looking at succession planning and forecasting staffing areas of opportunity as older workers begin to consider retirement.  Also an important metric when calculating benefits cost for your organization.

Some people call leveraging metrics as part of your HR strategy an evidence-based HR practitioner.  I like to think of it as a smart organizational business partner who specializes in workplace analytics to drive these type of business decisions.  Part of being a well-rounded human resource professional who has the entire organization in mind when developing people strategy and other HR programs uses metrics, examples, analytics, and formulas to determine a program’s success or as part of any type of analysis, SWOT included.

Are there any metrics you use on a regular basis that I may have missed?  Leave a comment below, and let’s start a conversation on how you leverage HR metrics as part of your human resource and recruitment department.

Photo credit. 

Posted in
Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell

Jessica Miller-Merrell (@jmillermerrell) is a workplace change agent, author and consultant focused on human resources and talent acquisition living in Austin, TX. Recognized by Forbes as a top 50 social media influencer and is a global speaker. She’s the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource and host of the Workology Podcast.

Reader Interactions


  1. AvatarRichard Melrose says

    The posted “Return on Investment” formula is incorrect.

    ROI = (Gain from Investment – Cost of Investment)/(Cost of Investment)

    The “x 100” only applies when expressing ROI as a percentage. ROI is frequently expresses as a multiplier – e.g. “3.7 x” or “3.7 times” rather than as 370%.

    Note: ROI does not consider the time value of money or any uncertainties, as to the the costs or benefits and, consequently, can overstate the attractiveness of an investment.


      • AvatarRichard Melrose says


        You’re welcome.

        The right set of metrics can bridge between CEO/C-suite perspectives and enterprise talent management practices, to directly connect TM initiatives and people manager behaviors to strategic outcomes.

        There’s plenty of upside (i.e. >10x ROI) available in every company — through the application of systematic processes that cut deleterious employee expenses (e.g. turnover, employee theft, workplace accidents, etc.), while boosting performance (e.g. productivity, innovation, employee engagement, customer loyalty, talent access/retention, etc.).

        As Peter Drucker noted: “What’s measured improves.” Some rather common metrics like “Time to Hire” and “Cost per Hire” have no strategic value, whatsoever.


  2. AvatarDenise Turney says

    Interesting info. As a former HR professional, I can say that you have covered a lot of basis in your article. When it comes to overtime, also good to calculate standard vs. time and a half OT pay. Good info!

    Denise Turney
    Author – Love Pour Over Me

  3. AvatarPaul N Benson SPHR says

    Although it does not represent a “standard” metric, I believe it’s important to capture and report Efficiencies Achieved, or Cost Savings as a result of HR operations, particularly when reporting on a change in operational procedures.

    For example, if you make a change from external to internal recruiting, you report Recruiter Fee Savings Realized vs the Manpower Costs to provide those services in-house. This can be cumulative for the year vs previous year or previous method, or can be reported as a separate costperhire comparison metric. (( If you make a change the other direction, and spend more money, be prepared to find the positive metric – reduced time-to-fill, or improved manager-satisfaction-with-quality-hires, or something positive. If you look at it and can’t find ANY positive, that’s a sign to reverse direction, and at least report that the hypothesis failed, but lessons were documented and learned.))

    Likewise, if you invest resources in a significant change in your “benefits shopping due diligence”, and achieve a significantly lower rate for the same level of benefits, or hold the line on rates but achieve more benefits for the employees, then this should be reported as well.

    Ditto for Workers compensation insurance negotiations, safety efforts, training costs, etc.

    If you are activily seeking changes and cost reductions, you need to report these accomplishments in the metrics of other C-team members. These may not be on-going on a consistent manner, but I would rather report 3 or 4 big “wins” than 12 months of less significant trends.

    Everything we do for savings, goes straight to the bottom line ( well, almost “straight to” according to my previous CFO), so Capture the data on these Wins and publicize it at the Executive meeting !

  4. AvatarDevin 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).

  5. Avatarshirley says

    please i want to know if what are the hr metrics we shoud meassure as an organization

  6. AvatarMike Gentry says

    I would not under ANY circumstances make it a practice to include the age of employees in any reporting mechanism. Coming across this in discovery claim would be a plaintiff lawyers dream.

  7. AvatarMike Gentry says

    Meant to say …Coming across this information in age discrimination case during discovery would be a plaintiff lawyers dream.

  8. AvatarAnushka Chauhan says

    Hello everyone. Our company is planning to get into H.R Analytics. can somebody help me how should I go about it in the initial stages. What factors to consider while developing metrics etc.?

  9. AvatarDick Kraske says

    It might be a good idea to establish the work priorities for positions before diving into metrics especially when supervisors have no in depth knowledge about the functions in those positions and how they contribute to the total mission of the organization.

  10. AvatarDebbie says

    Using a metric to report on EE population age group is an acceptable practice, if the information is used to inform overall employee engagement, recognition and reward, and overall retention. This metric is very important in today’s diverse environment.

  11. AvatarHanae Messaoudi says

    Hello what about the recruitment rate ? is there any formula to calculate it ?

  12. AvatarUmar says

    May someone share with me the exact formula to hire additional strength against relievers, leaves, gazetted holidays. how much additional strength we can hire?

  13. AvatarMark Daniel M. Soriano says

    Hi Guys,

    Thank you for this article. What I want to know (hopefully someone can shed some light on this) is the metrics that top organizations (Google, Facebook, Alibaba, etc.) make use of?

    Currently doing some research and your answer/s will be much appreciated. Perhaps you can also re-direct me to a website that can generate this type of report.

    Or is identifying someone and interviewing him the best way?



    Mark Soriano

  14. Avatarmoney ico says

    Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a
    few of the pictures aren’t loading correctly. I’m not sure why but I think
    its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different
    web browsers and both show the same outcome.


  1. […] the original post: 13 Best HR & Human Resources Metrics Formula Examples HR … Comments […]

  2. […] Recruiting and HR Metrics like turnover, retention, and cost per hire are metrics and analytics that only look at the initial impact of talent in terms of the cost associated with the best talent that joins our organization. Unless you are an individual contributor in an revenue generating role, the impact of talent is hard to define and measure. Metrics like revenue per employee are more effectively at measuring the impact of great talent at your organization, but don’t tell us the impact of an amazing individual who works with operations. The path to their reach and impact is murky at best and so the journey to effectively defining, evaluating and measuring talent continues. […]