HR Performance: Measurement, analysis and optimization guide


In the age of data, the human resources function will not escape. Today, to hold their own against other corporate departments, HR departments need to master the figures and ROI.

This requires concrete measurement of the impact of the company’s various HR activities: recruitment, training, payroll, etc. We’re talking about HR performance. The aim is to demonstrate the performance and efficiency of the human resources function, and how it contributes to the company’s overall success.

But how do you measure HR performance? What are HR performance indicators? How to optimize HR performance? Boost’RH answers all these questions, with case studies, in this article.

HR performance: definition

HR performance reflects the quality and efficiency, both operational and economic, of a company’s human resources function. It encompasses all the resources deployed to improve HR productivity and efficiency. It is assessed using a number of criteria or indicators, such as staff turnover, absenteeism, employee satisfaction (eNPS) or, more generally, the
corporate social climate

Three types of HR performance are generally identified:

  • the administrative performance Administrative performance: efficient management of administrative tasks such as payroll;
  • the operational performance Employee satisfaction: effectiveness of managerial relations and HR practices by measuring employee satisfaction;
  • the strategic performance HR’s contribution to the company’s overall objectives (contribution to the company’s results and productivity).

HR performance is crucial to any organization. The HR function is responsible for the administrative and social management of the employees who represent the company’s lifeblood.

Good personnel management is the starting point of a virtuous circle for the company. Happy, motivated employees are more effective and efficient, and contribute to the attractiveness and overall success of the company.

Conversely, poor HR management can create a vicious circle; hence the importance of doing everything possible to improve HR performance measurement.

Measuring HR Performance

HR Performance Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

A high-performance HR department is one that proves its efficiency through measured results. This requires the implementation of performance indicators (HR KPIs) that can be tracked and quantified. Because of the complexity of the HR function, these indicators can be numerous, so they can be grouped according to the types of performance seen above:

Administrative performance KPIs :

  • Recruitment: cost of recruitment, recruitment failure rate, number of employees hired over a defined period, number of interviews conducted, acceptance rate, recruitment lead time, etc.
  • Training: number of hours of training attended, cost of training per employee, cost of training vs. recruitment of a new employee…
  • Administrative: time taken to process requests, employee satisfaction rate with administrative requests, etc.

Organizational performance KPIs :

  • Employee satisfaction: eNPS measurement, internal surveys, etc.
  • Absenteeism rate
  • Visit turnover rate / turnover of new employees
  • Promotion rate / internal mobility

KPIs linked to strategic performance: these indicators are not solely linked to HR performance, but they do provide an overall view, to be set against the other indicators.

  • Company sales
  • Productivity rate
  • Quality level

To simplify the reading of all these figures, it is advisable to set up monitoring tools such as an HRIS or an HR dashboard. This makes it easier to analyze results and make decisions.

How can these indicators be used to measure HR performance?

Once the relevant indicators have been defined, depending on the company, the challenge is to measure performance in order to continuously improve and optimize. First, a
HR audit
can help you take stock of your company’s performance, the actions you’ve implemented and the measures you need to take to improve it.

Next, regular monitoring must be put in place, with the help of an HRIS or a strategic dashboard that provides a simple overview of changes in key indicators. These tools enable data to be compared with targets, and provide a snapshot of HR performance at all times.

HR Performance Measurement Case Study

A part-time HR manager from Boost’RH worked for a customer, a supply chain optimization consultancy.

The 60-employee firm recruits easily thanks to its reputation and the renown of its customers, but has difficulty in building loyalty.

The timeshare HR Director first carried out an HR audit to understand the reasons behind the low retention rate of new recruits. The audit involved interviews with management and representative employees. After analyzing the interviews, the HR consultant then proposed an action plan and recommendations for the integration of new employees, but also more broadly:

  • integration program to be set up with an astonishment report
  • strengthening local management relations and increasing the delegation of responsibilities to employees
  • expanding the skills development plan
  • communication on company projects and development policy

After implementing these actions, the firm noted a reduction in the number of new employees leaving the company (an HR indicator that had been identified as needing improvement), as well as better overall employee involvement. The latter are more proactive, more motivated by the firm’s projects. This has also helped to improve the working atmosphere. All this contributes to improving the firm’s HR performance.

Analyze and optimize HR performance

Analysis and action plans to improve HR performance

Analyzing HR indicators is the first step towards improving HR performance. Deciphering HR indicators helps to raise awareness of current HR performance and identify areas for improvement.

To improve HR performance, it will be necessary to set up an action plan and measure its effects using performance monitoring charts.

For example, this may involve making the following decisions:

  • Rethinking work organization management, working hours, work environment, team adaptation;
  • Improve internal communication and communicate more about the company’s values, giving more meaning to work;
  • Review recruitment policytraining and career mobility.

Strategies to improve HR Performance

Good communication

Once the action plan has been defined, the company must communicate its objectives. To adopt a change or improve a behavior, communication is always key. Communicating objectives helps to get employees on board in a common direction, get them involved and spread the company’s culture and strategy far and wide.


Automate your HR processes

Time-consuming, low-value-added tasks are a drag on a company’s HR performance. Every company should start by improving administrative performance by automating the most time-consuming HR tasks (payroll, administration, onboarding…) or by
outsourcing certain functions


Calling on HR consultants

Sometimes HR just needs to take a step back and implement a new policy or action plan to improve HR performance.

For this, calling on the skills of a shared HR manager is an ideal solution. The consultant brings a fresh viewpoint to a situation or problem encountered, and thanks to his or her expertise is able to rapidly propose action plans.


Case study of a company successfully optimizing its strategic HR performance

A Boost’RH HR consultant worked for a distributor of components for the construction of industrial equipment. The customer was looking to increase its sales and generate more results. This is where strategic performance comes into play!

After discussing the objective, the consultant proposed an action plan to be implemented. In this situation, he proposed the introduction of a new, more motivating remuneration policy for sales staff.

As a result, variable compensation based on targets has been introduced in place of the year-end bonus. Objectives were clearly defined and communicated to employees.

Thanks to this new, motivating remuneration system, the company’s sales staff were able to increase their individual sales from the very first year, while maintaining their sales margins, and even expand their portfolio of qualified prospects.


In conclusion, HR performance reflects the good fit between the company’s global strategy and its translation into HR practices. This means striking the right balance between administrative, operational and strategic performance, resulting in a more or less rapid return on investment (ROI).

The key to successful HR performance development is the realization that good HR practices must have an impact on business results. Innovative HR practices directly and indirectly improve overall company performance.

Want to improve your HR performance?

EXPERT'S OPINION - Sylvie SM, Timeshare HR Director at Boost'RH Groupe

Sylvie SM

“According to our expert, HR performance is a reflection of a company’s health. It’s an excellent barometer that passes through 6 major chapters:

  • Work content: clarity of instructions, resources made available, autonomy in work…
  • Occupational health: DUERP, premises, adaptation of the work environment…
  • Career paths and skills: induction, individual interviews, skills management…
  • Equality in the workplace: work/life balance, flexible working hours, disability awareness, gender parity…
  • Management: management style, knowledge of the company project (annual), time to discuss work, information on changes, clarity of work procedures, etc.
  • Workplace relations: communication charter, relevance of meetings, breaks, role of governing bodies…

Sometimes all it takes is one little thing to demotivate an entire team. To identify the sticking points, there’s nothing like the outside view and experience of an external HR professional and consultant. In fact, it often only takes a few hours (from a well-constructed audit) to understand where the problem lies and propose corrective actions to improve the company’s performance. Recently, our expert intervened in a company where professional interviews were not being carried out. However, these professional interviews are essential for employees’ careers, and the legislator has laid down a permanent duty of professionalization. They can be carried out by professional external HR consultants, thus going beyond the legal obligation to improve the employee experience.

For our expert, if you had to choose just one indicator to improve HR performance, it would be her favorite mantra: “happy employees = happy numbers”. Human capital is a company’s most important asset. It’s its fuel, its soul, so we have to take the utmost care of it.

To sum up

En 3 Questions

  • What types of HR performance?

    HR performance can be divided into 3 types:

    • administrative performance, which concerns traditional HR functions (payroll, recruitment, training);
    • operational performance, which concerns processes and management;
    • strategic performance, which impacts the company’s sales and earnings. While it’s difficult to quantify HR’s impact on the bottom line, it’s no less certain that HR policies have a significant influence on a company’s business performance.
  • What are HR performance indicators?

    HR performance indicators include traditional HR indicators (turnover, absenteeism, employee satisfaction, etc.) as well as global sales or profit indicators, which are indirectly related to HR performance.

  • How can you improve your HR performance?

    To improve HR performance, it is necessary to keep a table tracking key success indicators (HR KPIs). Depending on the points to be optimized, an action plan will be put in place, either by an external consultant or by in-house HR teams, and the results measured to verify their effectiveness. HR performance is improved through long-term action.