HR metrics can be truly useful tools to help you gauge the efficiency of your talent management processes, and find ways to improve them. Here are some tips for how you can do that.
Look at overall process duration times
For every one of your talent management processes, look at the overall process duration. The way you calculate duration will vary by process. For example, for your performance appraisal process, the duration would be the length of time between your process start and end dates; for recruiting, it would be your average days to hire, or the length of time between when a hiring need is identified and a candidate starts in the role.
- Is your overall process duration increasing, decreasing or stable? (Compare data year over year.)
- Is your overall process duration acceptable to you?
Ideally, you want your process duration rate to be stable or decreasing, and optimized to support your business needs. If you see it increasing, that could be a sign of inefficiencies in the process that need to be addressed. But even if your process duration rate is stable or decreasing, you still need to consider the business impact of the process duration and examine whether you could make the process more efficient.
Look at the overall on time completion rates
Another way to gauge and improve the efficiency of your talent management processes is to look at on time completion rates. Start by looking at the overall on time completion rate for the process, then look at the rate for each individual step in the process.
If your overall on time completion rate for a process is not what you want it to be, consider whether the issue is with:
- The overall duration with the process - if you haven't allowed sufficient time for the overall process and all its steps to be completed, your on time completion rate be may low.
- The timing of the process - if the process timing coincides with another significant and time-consuming business process (e.g., strategic planning), participants may not have the required time to devote to the process.
- Engagement with the process - if any participants don't feel they're receiving value from the process, they may disengage and not complete their assigned tasks, impacting on time completion rates.
- Participant's skill at completing process steps - if participants don't feel competent and equipped to complete their process tasks, they may delay or avoid the tasks, impacting the on time completion rate.
Determine the underlying cause of a lower than desired on time completion rate, and take appropriate action to address it. You can get more information or insight on the underlying cause by looking at the on time completion rate for each step in the process.
If the on time completion rate for a particular step is lower than desired, ask yourself:
- Did you allot enough time for the step to be completed?
- Do participants have other conflicting demands on their time that make it difficult for them to complete the step on time?
- Do those who need to complete the task have the knowledge,skill and/or experience to do so effectively?
- Do you need the step? Sometimes things don't get done because they don't provide value to the individual or the organization.
- Do those who need to complete a task understand its value and importance to the organization?
- Do those who need to complete a task know they have to do it? Can they easily access the materials/information they need to complete the task? Do they know the due date?
- Do you provide clear instructions and support materials on how to complete each task/step?
- Are the forms you're using for the step clear and easy to use, supporting the user in efficiently completing their tasks?
If the on time completion rate for a particular step is particularly high, ask yourself:
- Can you shorten the amount of time allotted for the step without impacting the on time completion rate in order to improve the efficiency of the process?
- Are participants giving the activities in the step due consideration and effort, or are they simply "ticking the boxes" to get things done, providing little value?
Take corrective action as needed to optimize the time allotted for each step, and ensure participants:
- have the knowledge/skills/experience required to complete each task/step efficiently
- have clear instructions and fingertip access to all the data they need to complete the task/step
- are receiving value from the step and the overall process
- understand its value to the organization
Check in with users
For each of your talent management processes, ask a sampling of your users what they think of the process and forms.
- Are there things they struggle with?
- Do they have any suggestions for improvements?
- What parts make their job easy?
- What parts make their job hard?
- Are there any barriers to them completing their tasks on time?
- Do they feel they have the knowledge/skills/experience to complete their tasks efficiently and effectively?
Take corrective action as needed.
Look at the data you've collected
Another test of the efficiency of your talent management process is the actual data that you collect from the process. Review the resulting data and ask:
- Does it seem to be reliable?
- Are you able to use it?
- Are you using it? If not, why are you collecting it?
Take corrective action as needed.
Question the status quo
Even if your talent management processes seem to be working just fine, it's a good idea to periodically ask all of these questions. There's always room for improvement.
Sometimes we keep doing things a certain way just because we've always done them that way. It's always good to challenge the status quo. Ask yourself:
- Why are you conducting each talent management process - what's your underlying business goal?
- Are you achieving that goal?
- Is there a better way - how else could you achieve the goal?
Using human resources metrics to drive efficiency
Using the data you've collected about your talent management processes, as well as the data collected by each process, you can get hints or clues about the efficiency of your processes. Taking this data, analyzing it, then formulating and implementing an action plan for improvement will help you continually optimize the efficiency of your talent management processes and the value they yield to your organization.
As part of our Certain to Succeed implementation programs, our implementation consultants work with our customers each year to review the metrics from their processes, formulate an action plan for continuous improvements, and optimize their processes and forms for maximum efficiency. Contact us to find out how we can help you be brilliant at talent management.