Your human resources department generates a great deal of data related to hiring, training and your overall employee experience. An HR dashboard is one way to visualize that data and use it to the company's advantage. This simple, flexible tool helps you track and analyze relevant metrics to streamline HR reporting and improve decision-making across the organization.
In this blog post, we will explore the significant role that HR dashboards play and discover effective strategies to make the most of them within your organization.
what is an HR dashboard?
An HR dashboard is a business tool that displays important HR metrics and insights. It pulls in data from multiple sources and displays it in an easy-to-understand format. That way, you can track, analyze and report on your company's top key performance indicators (KPIs) in one convenient place.
The primary objective of an effective HR dashboard is to empower HR and management teams with action-driven insights, enabling them to make informed decisions and understand precisely which actions are needed.
metrics you might track with an HR dashboard include:
- number of employees
- job satisfaction
- net promoter score
- absenteeism rates
- employee turnover rate
- employee productivity
- training cost per employee
- percentage of employees with disabilities
HR dashboards aren't a one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, they should be customized based on the specific needs of the target group or persona. By understanding these needs, you can identify the relevant business questions and then determine the most impactful metrics to measure success. For example, the HR team might use individual dashboards to monitor hiring, employee engagement and employee retention. The C-suite may prefer a single dashboard that provides a broad overview of the key HR functions.
benefits of HR dashboards
HR dashboards come with significant benefits, both for your HR department and the organization as a whole.
easy HR monitoring
An HR dashboard allows you to monitor KPIs regularly and establish a baseline understanding of each one — that way, it's easier to spot changes in the data. If there's a problem, you can take corrective action before it escalates. When there's a positive trend, you can investigate the source and capitalize on the opportunity.
With an HR dashboard, you can check the status of critical metrics at a glance. Everything is displayed on one screen, so there's no need to read long documents or log into separate applications to find what you need. Because dashboard widgets are linked to specific sources, it's easy to drill down into the data when necessary.
automated HR reporting
When you set up an HR dashboard, you create links between the software and the data sources. Each time someone opens the dashboard, these connections automatically pull and display the latest information. It's an efficient way to streamline the reporting process, reduce the HR workload and ensure that company leaders can access updated data at any time.
Data visibility improves the decision-making process at every level of your organization. With access to a dashboard, each stakeholder can make informed choices about strategy, opportunities or solutions. HR dashboards also boost transparency and eliminate data silos, which improves information-sharing across the board.
deeper HR insights
HR software often comes with talent analytics, which can help you find correlations that are hard to spot otherwise. By combining different data sources you can delve deeper and even uncover cause-and-effect relationships (based on regression analysis). You might discover that employees who take a specific training course are 25% more productive, for example, or that candidates with a certain degree tend to be most successful. These insights can help you optimize and refine your HR strategy.
common HR dashboards
The dashboards you choose depend on your operations, HR objectives and stakeholder demands. Many companies start with common HR dashboards and customize them with relevant metrics.
This dashboard provides company executives with high-level HR information. It should include metrics that help leaders make strategic and budgetary decisions. Examples include total labor costs, workforce diversity and employee satisfaction.
Does your company have overarching objectives that are related to HR functions? Customize the executive dashboard with relevant KPIs. If the organization wants to increase retention, you might include metrics such as employee satisfaction and employee retention rate.
Diversity is a top priority for many businesses. A diversity dashboard helps you understand the distribution of the workforce according to factors such as:
- educational background
You can also track demographics in relation to new hires, turnover rate and job satisfaction. If your company conducts surveys related to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), add the results to this dashboard; it's an effective way to visualize employee attitudes.
When your company is actively hiring, this dashboard gives your HR, management and executive teams a high-level view of the process. It typically includes at least one widget that summarizes the number of applicants, rejected applications, interviewees and offers for each open position. Additionally, it is crucial to look at the most effective sourcing channels to optimize resource allocation.
Other common HR hiring and recruiting KPIs to consider include:
- number of applications by source
- days to fill open positions
- recruitment cost per employee
- demographic breakdown of applicants
- average time to complete each hiring stage
The L&D dashboard is a snapshot of your company's training and development activities. Make sure to include basic KPIs, including training completion rate by program, department and role. To give users a sense of the overall investment, add training costs and total training hours.
In many cases, L&D metrics are most insightful when paired with information about their outcomes, such as employee satisfaction with the program or employee productivity and promotion rate before and after training.
When you're trying to reduce employee turnover and increase retention, a turnover dashboard provides a quick status update. Include the current and year-over-year turnover rates, as well as the number of departing employees. To pinpoint which employees are quitting, break down turnover by factors including department, location, seniority, gender or ethnicity.
Keep in mind that not all turnover is bad or out of your control. For a more realistic picture, include metrics such as voluntary vs. involuntary and wanted vs. unwanted turnover.
how to create HR dashboards
The process of building HR dashboards varies based on your company's existing tools and data-collection methods. Use these steps as a basic framework, but don't hesitate to adapt them to your needs.
1.define audience and objectives
Before you do anything else, determine who will use the dashboard and what they need it to achieve. If you want to keep the HR director up-to-date, you might want a dashboard that offers a status overview for ongoing department initiatives. A lower-level employee may benefit more from a dashboard that helps them gauge progress for a specific HR program.
2. identify HR KPIs
Select the KPIs that will help you monitor progress or performance for each of your goals and objectives. Each one should be relevant to the specific user. Executives and managers usually need high-level data, while lower-level employees may get more value from granular metrics. Once you have a list, rank it in order of importance. Always remember that simplicity is key. It is far more effective to have a clear focus on 5 KPIs and actively monitor them than to overwhelm yourself with 25 metrics that no one takes action on.
3. choose a platform
Chances are, your company is already using a platform that supports HR dashboards. Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets are two budget-friendly options; they both have native data-analysis tools. However, there are also specialized people analytics platforms like Crunchr that can greatly simplify the process of creating HR dashboards. One of the standout features of Crunchr is its library of pre-built HR metrics and visualizations, allowing for effortless customization to meet your needs.
If you're considering investing in an HR analytics platform, it's crucial to take into account factors such as interactivity, scalability, pricing, and ease of setup. Additionally, be sure to check the list of integrations to ensure that the platform is compatible with your company's data sources.
4. build the dashboard
Take your list of KPIs and add them to the dashboard; this process varies by platform. Don't be afraid to experiment with different formats to find the one that best communicates the data. Then, ensure that the highest-priority metrics are clearly visible in a prominent position. Keep in mind that nothing is set in stone; the layout can evolve over time.
5. set permissions
Using the access controls in your chosen platform, assign one or more users to the dashboard. For data security purposes, it's usually best to limit access to people who truly need the information.
mistakes to avoid when creating HR dashboards
An HR dashboard is a low-risk business tool — it's affordable to create and easy to change. To save time and maximize ROI, avoid common mistakes that can derail your progress.
including too many metrics
An HR dashboard is designed to simplify your KPI-tracking process. Instead of including lots of HR metrics, it's better to exercise restraint. Limit your dashboard to the HR KPIs that truly matter, and you're less likely to feel overwhelmed or miss key information. Every metric should be directly related to something the business wants to change or maintain.
using a complicated layout
When your HR dashboard is too crowded, or every KPI visualization is the same size, it can be difficult to find the most important metrics. Because the dashboard layout is completely customizable, this mistake is easy to avoid — simply create an information hierarchy. Critical KPIs should be larger and near the top of the screen; organize the remaining widgets by order of importance. You can also create KPI groups to keep relevant metrics in close proximity.
skipping data analysis
At the end of the day, an HR dashboard is merely a way to display data. To get the most from the information, you must add a layer of analysis. If your company has a business intelligence platform, the integrated AI can handle this process for you. Alternatively, you can use the data analysis tools in programs such as Microsoft Excel. An effective analysis helps you understand employee behavior, pinpoint desirable traits or identify the most effective learning and development strategies for each role.
With clear objectives, relevant KPIs and a reliable analysis process, HR dashboards can be a valuable asset to your business. Not sure where to start?