Mindful Metrics

How to build performance metrics dashboards that give you real-time HR reporting

Real Time HR Reporting

Summary - The human resources market continues to grow for tools focused on teams, feedback, and performance management. And this $14+ billion marketplace for HR software is only getting started. As an HR professional, it’s key to select the right KPIs to track success.

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The human resources (HR) market continues to grow for tools focused on teams, feedback, and continuous performance management (just to name a few). And this $14-plus billion marketplace for HR software and platforms is only getting started. CB Insights estimates that the more than $3 billion of venture capital invested in the sector last year is just one reason why the sector will continue to expand.

As an HR professional, you don’t need to be told about the role HR plays in your organization. You know how important it is to have a solid strategy for recruiting and retaining top talent.

Now boards are starting to recognize the importance of this as well. Board members are seeking more input from HR during quarterly meetings, which is helping raise the profession’s profile.

The expectations for reliable data on key HR metrics, though, is growing as well. HR professionals will be looking to add more value during these meetings with data-driven recommendations. As anyone who has attended a board meeting knows, questions can come from unexpected angles. Preparing the data in advance can help grow trust with board members and build your department’s reputation in the organization.

But how do you ensure you’re providing accurate and up-to-date data on the most important HR metrics?

Building a dashboard isn’t enough (though, obviously, it helps!) – you also need to ensure you have selected the right key performance indicators (KPIs).

Here are a few KPIs to get you started with your HR dashboard. You can pull these up at any time on your dashboard, ensuring you’ll always have the right answers when a board member comes calling with questions. You can also break down many of these metrics further based on other dimensions, such as level, location, team etc., so they’ll align perfectly with how your organization is structured.

HR Executive Board

HR Executive Board

This board gives you a general overview of how your company is performing in general HR activities.

Monthly Team Glance

You can’t run your company if you don’t have an accurate portrait of your current employee structure. This will help quickly give you answers on basic questions about where your recruitment efforts stand, how frequently your employees are leaving and how much value you’re getting for each employee.

Suggested metrics:

    Number of employees: How many employees you currently employ

    Number of departures (planned versus unplanned): How many employees are leaving your company, broken down by those who have announced their departure in advance and those who haven’t

    Attrition rate: The number of people who have left in a given year divided by the number of employees you have

    Number of open job positions: The number of jobs you are actively seeking to fill

    Job titles for vacancies in each department: The job titles for positions you are actively seeking to fill

    Number of employees onboarded: How many employees have gone through the process of receiving orientation for the company

    Revenue per FTE employee: How much revenue you bring in divided by the number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees you have


Bringing in top talent is (or should be) a key priority for any organization. These metrics will give you a quick check-up on the state of your recruiting efforts.

    Costs per job recruitment: How much it costs you to recruit a new employee

    Number of applications per job: The number of applications you’re receiving for each job gives you an idea of how popular your company is among job seekers. A lot of applicants means you’re in high demand. A low number of applicants suggests you should look at how you’re marketing job openings to job seekers

    Number of days to fill an open position: Gives you an idea of how quickly (or not) you can recruit a new employee

Employee Satisfaction

Recruiting top employees is only part of the equation. You also need to ensure they’re engaged, satisfied and happy in their jobs. This board gives you an idea of how employees are responding to your company culture and identifies any major shifts in satisfaction levels.

    Key survey results: Gives you a quick sense of the results you’re getting from employee surveys

    Key comments from employee exit surveys: Identifies key themes from the surveys you send out to employees before they leave the company

    Employee comments/accolades: A snapshot of what your employees are saying about you.

    Employee net promoter score: The employee Net Promoter Score answers the question of how likely your current employees are to recommend your company as a place to work to others.

HR Wallboard

HR Wallboard

Dashboards can do more than just check in on key metrics. They also have an important role to play in employee engagement and communication.

Creating a wallboard and placing it on a TV in a common area, such as a lunch room or common area, can go a long way to achieving these goals.

A wallboard can help keep employees informed about:

    Who is a new employee

    Who is on vacation

    Upcoming events and holiday calendar

    Rewards and recognition

HR Employee Stats

HR Employee Stats Dashboard

Looking to drill deeper into your current employee base? This board will give you the ability to identify areas where you’ll need to add more employees and plan for the future.


These metrics will help you identify potential gaps in manpower you’ll need to fill.

    Number of full-time employees: How many full-time equivalent employees you have

    Number of part-time employees: The number of people you employ on a part-time basis

    Number of contractors: The number of people who do work for your company on a contract basis

    Average tenure: The average rate at which employees stay with the company

    Voluntary termination rate vs involuntary termination rate: Gives you an idea of the number of people who leave of their own accord

    First year voluntary termination rate: Gives you a sense for how employees are adjusting after getting hired. A high voluntary termination rate in the first year of employment suggests you need to alter your onboarding policies

    Hiring process satisfaction rate: Usually based on your surveys, this allows you to assess how successful your recruiters are at satisfying potential new employees

    Diversity rate (male to female): Does your workforce skew more male or female?


The hiring process is an essential part of recruiting and retaining top talent. These metrics will help you focus in specifically on how potential employees are engaged with the company.

    Average time to find a new hire: Lets you know if you need to speed up (or maybe slow down) your hiring practices

    Number of candidates interviewed per hire: Not finding quality candidates? Maybe you need to start bringing in more people for interviews

    Acceptance rate of new hires: If candidates are turning down job offers, you need to know about it. This suggests you may need to look further at whether the salaries you’re offering are competitive or other factors, such as the interview process

    Rate of internal job hires: Shows you how many people are being recruited to positions from inside the company. While internal hires have their advantages, a high number means you’re not bringing in too many people with fresh perspectives

    Number of referrals from internally: One of the best sources for ideas on new talent is your own team. If people are choosing not to recruit others to the company, it’s also a sign you may need to look at other employee satisfaction metrics


HR is about more than just recruitment. You also need to consider how you are allocating your current workforce across the company.

    Number of days outstanding/utilized: A high number of vacation days that are yet to be utilized shows you will need to plan for some absences around the office. Depending on your contractual arrangements with employees, it also could signify a financial liability should you need to pay departing employees for unused vacation.

Employee Leave/Absenteeism

Are your employees missing a high number of work days? There’s only one way to find out. These metrics will give you a sense for whether your workforce is taking a lot of sick days – or maybe coming into work even when they’re sick – as well as other reasons for missing work.

    Number of certified illness/uncertified illness/maternity/jury duty days utilised: Breaks down why your employees are missing work. Useful for planning and allocating resources


Overtime can get costly in a hurry. Figure out which parts of the company are utilizing lots of overtime so you budget accordingly and even look at hiring new employees where necessary.

    Overtime: Monthly costs for each department

HR Compensation Tracking

HR Compensation Tracking Dashboard

Employees are one of the largest (if not the largest) expenses a company needs to cover. Track how much you’re spending on your workforce with these key metrics.

Cost of Employee Benefits

Employees don’t just earn their salary – in many cases they also receive benefits that come out of the company’s budget. These metrics allow you to keep track of your spending on employee benefits.

    Cost of employee benefits: Salary, health insurance, pension, employee savings plans etc.

Stock Plan Involvement

This is particularly important for start-ups, which frequently offer stock option plans for employees.

    Per cent of employees participating in stock plan

HR Performance Issues

HR Performance Issues Dashboard

Some matters – such as legal and disciplinary matters – can explode into big problems if you don’t keep an eye on them.

Legal Issues

Legal matters require close attention. Keep track of all pending and current legal issues your company is facing.

    Brief overview and status of each case

Disciplinary Issues

Matters of employee discipline can be unpleasant, but if you don’t deal with them in a timely and direct manner you risk making them worse. This will help you keep track of disciplinary issues at each stage of their existence.

    Brief description of outstanding disciplinary matters

HR Leadership and Performance Development

HR Leadership and Performance Development Dashboard

Nurturing nascent leadership candidates and keeping employees at the top of their fields are essential for ensuring the success of your company into the future. Keep track of their progress with these metrics.

Performance Management

This will help you stay on top of HR’s role in evaluating employees’ performance.

    Number of employees who have completed their required bi-annual performance management report

    HR to FTE ratio: Helps you ensure that the HR department isn’t getting any smaller or bigger than it needs to be

Succession Planning

How equipped is your company to survive a termination, retirement or voluntary departure? Stay in the loop with these key metrics.

    Per cent of employees successfully moving up in the organization: Employees showing a willingness to be promoted and take on new responsibilities is important to the future of your company. It also acts a litmus test for employee engagement, as disengaged employees aren’t likely to show much inclination to move up

    Number of succession plans in place: Don’t get caught without a plan in the event of an unexpected departure

    Identification of critical roles with backup plans: Ensure you know in advance who you can’t afford to lose

Talent Leadership Tracking

Employees with leadership potential need to be identified and then coached.

    Individuals identified and then paired with a mentor with whom they meet monthly for coaching


Training your employees is essential. Without an investment in employee development, you’ll quickly find your company falling behind its competitors.

    Courses offered and/or completed: Gives you an idea of how many employees are putting the effort into training and how many are following through on them

    Percentage of employees trained in company culture: If employees aren’t completing company culture training, it could be an early-warning sign of issues with employee engagement

Similar to many of your team members in the finance department, you are most likely pulling some of this data from a variety of sources. At Klipfolio we see data coming from all kinds of sources – some data in an HR tool, some data in spreadsheets, and some in a corporate data warehouse.

That’s where Klipfolio can help. We can pull all your data into one place to help present it to your board, your exec team and your HR team to help really drive home how your department is performing.

Your organization is unique, so the KPIs your organization wants to track will be as well. Focus on the key stories you want to share with your direct HR team, the leadership team and the entire organization. Each of these different segments will want to see insights from you that will help them more easily understand the key value the HR team brings to the organization.

Are we missing a few of your favourite ones!? Please let us know…

Happy Dashboarding!


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Originally published November 28, 2017, updated Jun, 13 2019

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