Many times over the last few months, I have been asked, "Which HR metrics can I start with?"
My standard answer is usually, those metrics are unique to your HR department and your company strategy. What I have realized is that some people just need a starting point. Because there are so many HR metrics to choose from it gets very overwhelming. So, if I wanted to start with just 12 metrics, these are the ones I would pick:
1) Revenue per employee (to see trends which will lead to asking "what happened there?")
2) Turnover/Retention by department, supervisor, performance, age, etc.
3) Recruiting: Cost per hire
4) Recruiting: Choose appropriate efficiency measure, response time, time to fill, etc.
5) Recruiting: Average new hire performance rating
6) Total HR expense/total revenues
7) Company and departmental level employee engagement scores
8) Compensation budget variance
9) HR service delivery satisfaction rating
10) Training spend per Full time employee
11) Training: Appropriate results based metric after training i.e. customer satisfaction score
12) % of strategic competencies available in organization
These 12 should get you off to a good start and will produce the classic follow up question, "why is that?" Answering the WHY questions will help you customize your HR metrics to your own company needs.