Employee Lifecycle Reporting
The employment lifecycle is complex and has many challenges. Metrics and reports can help understand the process and drive important changes.
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Before: Recruitment and selection reporting
Many organisations find the recruitment process challenging. Many HR teams know by instinct that there are ways to improve their recruitment.
Reporting insights for recruitment can help to identify the source of bottlenecks. For example, compare the average durations of the different stages in the process. Is the problem with a complex approval chain or receiving CVs from agencies?
Comparing elapsed time for CVs from different agencies might appear helpful, but it’s essential to consider the eventual outcome. There’s not much gained from receiving lower quality CVs sooner. The skills required for the role or level of seniority often make a much more significant difference. More importantly, the volume must be reasonably high in order to draw much statistical significance from the data. Comparing individual managers (either with other managers or their own metrics over time) can often show more insight.
Successful hire rates is one of the most useful metrics. Create reports of the count of new hires still employed after an agreed timeframe (e.g. three or six months). Compare this with the number of exiting employees in the same period. There are some subtle issues to be aware of when creating a successful hire report. For example, if a probation period is extended beyond the report’s "success" period, the hire may appear more successful than the reality.
Early stage: Onboarding and new starter reports
Improving the onboarding process for new starters is an area where HR teams can help their organisation. Onboarding metrics offer a range of insights that can help find areas to improve and measure the success of various initiatives.
Measuring post-hire sentiment offers excellent insight into the onboarding process. Feedback from both the new hire and the hiring manager is valuable. Employees can provide sentiment feedback as qualitative and quantitative. Rated questions are obviously easy to report on. Written answers are often harder to analyse. In simple scenarios, reports could include the text and let people review it manually. A more interesting approach is to use AI sentiment analysis. AI opens up reporting on less structured data at a much larger scale.
Read more about employee surveys.
Different roles will naturally have widely differing expectations of how long it should take for new hires to be productive. Existing employee metrics can combine with hire start dates to understand how productivity develops during onboarding.
Consider creating reports on the productivity metrics for teams with new hires in addition to just the new starters themselves. One or more new starters can be a net loss in productivity for their team. Reports help to understand the impact of new hires on their co-workers and how this develops over time.
Recruitment costs and compensation
Reports and dashboards can highlight changes in total recruitment costs over time. They can also drill into the details of the recruitment process to help managers understand and compare costs.
Some costs are specific to individual hires, while others will be shared across recruitment campaigns with multiple starters. Reports help compare planned spend against actual.
Reports can help detect and manage "hidden" recruitment process costs, such as skills assessments and background checks. Understanding the total costs helps support the business case for employee retention initiatives.
Comparing expected salary costs against plans can help future recruitment planning. Ensure the reports include the total compensation cost.
End of probation review
Hiring success can be measured by analysing the outcome of the probationary period. Compare the rates of probation success (and failure) against the count of new hires. Report designers must decide how to include extensions to probation periods.
Create employee surveys at the end of the probation period. These surveys can solicit feedback from both new starters and hiring managers. Feedback gives insight into the recruitment and onboarding processes. Surveys can also include questions on how they perceive company values and their personal goals. Early surveys often provide some of the most useful employee feedback.
During: Mid-employment metrics
Various staff metrics during employment can create a wide range of reports. If you are not already, consider conducting employee surveys. Both ad hoc surveys and those at regular intervals are useful. Consider gathering feedback from employees after different mid-employment events.
Read more about employee surveys.
Most teams run regular performance reviews. Some performance systems have good reporting, but further analysis can enhance these reports. Consider dashboards that compare progress over time. Contrast the performance by departments, roles and seniority level.
Consider adding questions to your performance reviews for more in-depth analysis. Modern AI tools allow reports with much greater analysis. Plain text can be analysed for sentiment, allowing less structured questions than simple rating scales.
Employee event feedback
The employee lifecycle includes events that can occur with varying frequency. Many of these events have potential for analysis.
Simple reports can show the number of these events and the change in frequency, for example, levels of sickness absence. Interval reporting can show average timespans between promotions.
Consider additional surveys from employees (and their line managers) after some events. Return-to-work interviews, post-promotion feedback and post-training comments provide valuable insight. Some surveys can also be scheduled for a time period after the event, such as three months after a recent promotion.
Ad hoc and regular employee surveys
Engagement surveys allow the comparison of feedback by region, team and role level. They also show changes in scores over time. These comparisons are useful after critical events. For example, mergers and acquisitions can often impact engagement.
The standard reports from engagement surveys can be combined with additional data for more in-depth analysis. Length of service might affect sentiment. Employee salary (compared to their peers) is likely to affect their opinion on compensation equality.
In addition to traditional annual surveys, consider less structured pulse-style surveys. Modern technology allows much greater volumes of data to be analysed. Artificial intelligence techniques allow more insight into less structured data. Machine learning can detect correlations that are otherwise hard to spot.
Read more about employee engagement surveys.
After: Exit reporting
Analysis and reports are an important part of the staff exit process. Surveys can collect feedback from former employees (and their former line managers). Reports can inform decisions before termination and future plans.
Redundancy selection and analysis reports
Some of the most important reports to get right are those used when selecting employees at risk of redundancy. Accurate information is critical to a fair and equitable redundancy selection process. Deciding the employees that will leave the organisation relies on correct reporting.
The financial impact of redundancy is important to analyse correctly. Employment costs are usually fair to include when making decisions. It is critical to ensure that the proposed redundancies meet the financial targets.
We all like to think we are invaluable, despite the reality! Data analysis after people leave can highlight interesting (and surprising) results.
Team analysis can sometimes show increased productivity after employees have left. Teams are more productive without their former team members! This analysis informs future hiring decisions around team shape and size.
The suitability for rehiring results can detect useful insights. Consider comparing the levels of rehire by team, line manager and role. This information can highlight required changes to the recruitment and selection process or training issues.
Some of the most honest feedback on company and team behaviour comes from employees about to leave. Opinions are often very open but often suggest useful actions.
Data analysis must consider the natural bias that can exist with data from exit interviews. Ensuring privacy and compliance is important. Aggregate data where required to ensure that privacy remains protected.
Suitable questions include employee’s opinions about their role and team, their experiences and any suggestions for improvements. Some of these questions are harder to analyse at scale, but modern sentiment analysis can again help.
Asking a leaver whether they would consider returning is not always appropriate. There is an implication in this question that might give the employee the wrong expectation. A different way to gather similar information is to ask employees whether they would recommend the company to their friends and family.
Reporting across the lifecycle
In addition to reports and metrics at specific points, reports across the whole lifecycle offer insight.
For example, metrics can show the average length of service by current role or seniority level. Consider reporting on the time between role changes or the average number of promotions.
A demographic analysis of the employee lifecycle can help find insights. The count of role changes by gender or ethnicity can highlight mobility and diversity issues.
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