What Is Human Resources Benchmarking?

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  • Written By: K.C. Bruning
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2019
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Human resources (HR) benchmarking is the process of measuring an organization’s own HR practices against those of several other companies in the field. The goal is to determine a best practices model for the company. Once the organization has a set of desirable conditions, it can perform a gap analysis to determine where it is falling short compared to best practices. Then it will have the information to create a strategy that can help the organization to reach its goals as they relate to human resources.

One of the most common tasks of human resources benchmarking is to determine which areas will be studied. Some of the elements of HR that are typically put under scrutiny include recruiting, training, and employee relations. Other important areas are retention, employee safety, and payroll. Many companies will also examine the overall effectiveness of various HR departments.


Recruiting and the composition of a company’s staff are a couple of the most important elements typically examined in human resources benchmarking. Some issues to consider with recruiting include the effectiveness of hiring processes and whether the employees hired tend to be good choices. A company may also focus its recruiting efforts in a certain direction. For example, a business may wish to increase the diversity of its workforce or hire workers with a certain level of experience in order to increase the chances of reaching a specific goal. The balance between full-time, part-time, and contract workers and the success of various employee mixes may also be examined.

Analyzing organizational training and development programs is another common element of human resources benchmarking. Typically the goal is to determine which programs are most effective and in which areas instruction is most needed. The process can include an analysis of subject matter, frequency of opportunities for education, and the composition of workers in each program. It can also be useful to estimate the return on investment (ROI) of various training programs.

Overall, human resources benchmarking is an analysis of how various HR departments keep employees engaged, safe, and loyal to the company. This can include everything from ensuring basic safety to initiatives that increase employee moral. It involves daily functions such as maximizing the effectiveness of the payroll process and big picture strategies that are meant to increase the strength of the workforce. Once an organization has completed the human resources benchmarking process, it will often have the tools it needs to improve its performance and meet or rise above the results of other companies.



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