Are HR Metrics Relevant?
I’m finalizing preparations for a presentation called “How to Make HR Technology Speak”. The presentation is basically about HR metrics and how to use HR technology to provide them, so part of my preparation is a little research to enhance the information I provide to the audience. As I’m researching, I discovered an article in 2004 by Dr. S., a “recognized expert in the area of HR metrics.” Dr. S. provides a list of 37 different metrics that he thinks are the best choices for large organizations, but no advice on how to develop the formulas. Furthermore, from a financial perspective – there are only 10 of the 37 that remotely measure financial impact and are therefore relevant to the business as a whole. And of those 10, 4 of them seem almost redundant – just rehashes of the same number. The other metrics are – at least to me – measurements relevant to Human Resources and how well they are doing their job.
I think it’s important for HR to remember that being strategic requires a view of the organization as a whole. HR metrics must have relevance to the business in order for the business to give them any respect at all. But relevance is not enough; they must also be reliable and replicable. All three of the legs on the stool are absolutely necessary. Otherwise, don’t bother.