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Oh the joy of measuring headcount.  Sadly, it is one of the hottest contested HR metrics to be trusted in companies without a concentrated analytics initiative. (Source: Thousands of conversations with HR and HRIT professionals around the world).  Interestingly, the disputes are often around the definition of head to count.  In most cases, once attention has been given to the matter, a head is counted if they are an employee of the company at the time the data being evaluated is measured.  Any other definition of a head should likely require a qualifier be attached to the term headcount.

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Much of Talent Management can be summed up by paraphrasing Jim Collins in “Good To Great”.  It’s about getting the right people on the bus and in the right seats on the bus. It is paramount that you build the right paths for your talent pool to ensure that critical roles in the company stay filled and filled with the right people. Here are two  key hr metrics to help you get there:

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Why should we measure employees' birthdates? And, I am not talking about the cake and ice cream day.   That is a day that comes around once a year and although it is a set of numbers, it doesn’t tell you much about your workforce.   I’m talking about the date that raises awkwardness and discomfort. We need to talk about the date of one’s birth.  The day that tells us how old we are.  

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After talking to a lot of people in and around the human resource industry I have found that there is a great grasping for information about what is important to measure, why should you measure them and what do you do with the information once you have it.  So, over the next few articles,  we are going to explore the need for and wonder of, critical hr metrics.

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Regardless of industry or geographical location, executives are sharpening their focus on the value of talent and its impact on productivity and profitability.  Every CEO knows that hiring the best people can translate directly into competitive advantage; they are also keenly aware of the negative impact below average performers can have not only on the bottom line but also on product/service quality, reputation and customer satisfaction – all of which could have lasting consequences for the future of a company.

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The most recent topic of our series focusing on analytics highlighted Return on Investment (ROI) as a traditional performance measure that can be used to compare the economic impact of multiple investment activities.  We encouraged HR professionals to apply it when provided the opportunity to present financial justification of planned or ongoing HR initiatives.

There is another key financial metric, however, that is equally valuable when it comes to understanding the business value of an HR project: Net Present Value (NPV).  

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We all know that business operates according to the laws of limited resources. This means that every activity has a value, and only those corporate initiatives that provide the most value will be considered for investment. In this regard, Human Resource initiatives are in direct competition for scarce resource dollars with other organizational activities, for example:

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Bring up the subject of succession planning and most HR and other executives shudder. These highly intelligent, capable people often labor under the impression that succession planning is such a complicated, multi-step process that they are already too far behind to even begin.

Sound familiar? While succession planning is vital to your company’s future, it doesn’t have to be your nemesis. With the right plan and the right tools it can be accomplished.

As I mentioned in my article in the Fort Worth Business Press, you must consider these five succession planning steps to get you started:

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No one likes regrets.  It’s that feeling that we could have done better.  We should have done something different.  It creates stories that begin with “If only we had…”.

The discomfort of having to admit that we didn’t do things right often leads employers to measure all attrition together and not break the number out to Regret Attrition and Good or Acceptable Attrition. 

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Business decisions, small and large, have far-reaching impact on businesses and the people working within them. Thus, executives and managers are seeking more fact-based decision tools. Yet, in this age of data overload, large numbers of facts can  paralyze the decision makers. How can they wade through the data to make it meaningful? Here comes the responsibility of the technology departments.

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