8 Top Level KPIs for Startup HR Departments

Key performance indicators are often used to measure the health and success of sales and marketing teams, but have you thought about top level KPIs to measure your HR department? Here are 8 to get you started.

1. Consistent Employment Brand Represented throughout the Interview Process

The interview process is a candidate’s first real interaction with your organization and therefore their first impression. And we all know what they say about first impressions – you only get one shot. Make sure to present a consistent brand throughout the interview process as this is usually indicative of the internal health of the organization.

2. An Interview Process that Not Only Screens for Job Fit, but Culture

Your interview process should include questions that assess a candidate’s fit with your culture and even more so, their fit with your company’s values. You might have a great candidate skill-wise on your hands, but if you hire someone that won’t mesh with your values, culture and others on the team, you’re only setting yourself and the candidate up for failure.

3. Onboarding Process

You need to work to create an effective employee onboarding process for new hires from start to finish. This includes everything from communication to a warm and organized “day one” to efficient computer and software provisioning all the way to time to meet with staff and leadership. Onboarding should also include benefits education and enrollment and painless payroll set up. At the end of employee onboarding, you need to ask yourself Has the organization re-recruited this new employee?’ and your answer should be a resounding yes!

4. Performance Management

Define and implement a process so employee goals are clearly defined and team members are made aware of these goals. This should include common top down goals so everyone at the company (or within an organizational unit) knows what they’re working towards together. And the most sophisticated HR teams will truly have performance management metrics that tie back to compensation.

5. Fair & Consistent Compensation System

This one is pretty straightforward (hopefully). Employees at similar levels and in similar roles should not be at drastically different pay grades.

6. Employee Development

You might have a rock start team, but there’s always room for improvement. When it comes to employee or professional development, what programs are you offering, internally and externally, that help employees learn, change and grow within their roles and within the organization?

7. Leadership Development

Leaders within the company should use the same general practices, methods and language in order to establish a common theme and practice that can be referenced and repeated. Ask yourself if you’re developing future leaders in order to have sufficient succession planning in place to secure the future growth of the company.

8. Best Place to Work or General Employee Engagement Data

And last, but certainly not least, the most important KPI of all! Do employees feel as if their organization is the type of place they’d refer their friends to? If the answer is no, you have some major work to do.

Setting KPIs for your HR department will help to align the team and really move the focus to what’s most important. At the end of the day, everyone needs to know what they’re working towards, why and how, and implementing KPIs will help to streamline your team’s progress towards its goals.


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Katie Lindahl Smith
Katie Lindahl Smith
Founder & Career Coach

Katie Smith is Founder and Coach at Careerable, a career development firm whose mission is to help individuals and organizations find their personal definitions of professional success. Prior to Careerable Katie worked at Salesforce and ExactTarget where her primary areas of focus included onboarding, career development, leadership development, performance management and college recruiting.
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