How to Create an Effective HR Dashboard

How to Create an Effective HR Dashboard


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What is HR and how a dashboard can help

How to maximize dashboard engagement

Example metrics and KPIs to consider for your HR dashboard

What is HR and how a dashboard can help

What is an HR dashboard?

Human resources (HR) is the department within a business responsible for functions involving your workforce and the employee life cycle. It's often said in business that your employees are a company's greatest asset. Some examples of HR functions are: hiring, firing, compensation, onboarding, training, and policy development.

Given the breadth of HR functions, stakeholders require a larger picture overview of company's workforce to reference during the decision making process. As such, HR is comprised of an abundant number of metrics and KPIs that are reflective of a specific function within HR. An HR dashboard is a business intelligence tool that provides data visualizations of key metrics and KPIs. The provided overview of these metrics and KPIs enable strategic development of not only the product or service provided, but also of policies and processes for the betterment of their workforce.

What is an HR dashboard used for?

Regardless of industry, every business spends time and capital into HR efforts — from payroll, performance measurements, to goal alignment. HR managers are tasked with uncovering important trends in your workforce. This is becoming increasingly critical as our world shifts to hybrid and remote work environments. To alleviate costs and empower quick action, companies are implementing new HR analytics software to monitor their employee life cycle.

With an HR dashboard, managers can stay up-to-date on their recruitment pipeline, gain insights on employee well-being, track effectiveness of training activities, or even run reports necessary for payroll. All in a single location. Dashboards are highly customizable, and as such, require strategy when creating a well-balanced HR overview that intends to guide decision making among management.

Check out how Explo can be utilized for your HR efforts here.

How to maximize dashboard engagement

Keep your dashboard simple

It's important to give your HR manager access to reliable and insightful data. Remember, KPIs and metrics are tools to make HR's job easier. Don't want to clutter your dashboard with irrelevant information. An overly complicated dashboard and irrelevant metrics will result in low engagement and consequently lower utility. Think of your dashboard in terms of the Pareto Principle: the top 20% of your KPIs/metrics will guide 80% of your business' strategic decision making. For an effective HR dashboard you want to provide an overview of your workforce. Generate the top 20% of metrics and KPIs most crucial to your business, and focus on those few key indicators. Over time, you may encounter a shift in which metrics provide the greatest insight to your decision-makers. This is why it's important to be mindful of what you track, how you track it, and why. Don't be afraid to retool your dashboard elements as your business evolves.

How to choose metrics that mean something

For an HR dashboard to provide actionable information, you'll need to identify your most effective KPIs and metrics. A company's strategy and goals determines which metrics to track. One way to identify metrics is to utilize the SMART goal setting method to put together the top goals of your company. Try to include upper management, as this will ensure efforts align with goals and strategy. The SMART method dictates adding measurability to goals, and as such the process oftentimes reveal which are most beneficial to convert as a metric or KPI. With your SMART goals set, you will decipher their components to create an agreed upon formula for each metric you've built.

Example metrics and KPIs to consider for your HR dashboard

When creating your HR dashboard, there are a handful of common metrics to consider including regardless of industry or business model. Here, these example metrics can be categorized by hiring and employee retention.

Hiring Examples:

  • Time to Fill: Number of days between position opening and candidate accepting the position. This metric may vary by job types, department, qualifications, seniority level, etc. This metric provides insight to the recruitment process.
  • Cost per Hire: This takes into account all costs associated with recruiting, hiring, and onboarding employees. This metric drives refinement of recruitment and training processes. This metric is often consulted when determining whether a position should be filled by an internal or external candidate.
  • Diversity: A great way to monitor your workforce diversity and to meet diversity goals. Breakdown your employees by desired demographics to monitor and meet your diversity and inclusion goals.

Employee Retention Examples:

  • Absenteeism: Divide number of workdays missed by total number of workdays. This metric is best tracked over time to detect patterns of absenteeism as it oftentimes suggests problems in the workplace.
  • Turnover Rate: This can be broken down into Voluntary Turnover and Involuntary Turnover. Voluntary turnover is measured by number of employees who choose to leave divided by total number of employees. Involuntary turnover is calculated as number of employees terminated divided by total employees. A high Voluntary Turnover rate may suggest poor management, work/life balance issues, or even uncompetitive compensation. A high Involuntary Turnover rate may indicate problems within recruitment or training processes.
  • Overtime Expense: Keep your finger on which department, or specific employee, continuously works overtime. This may indicate a short-staffed team, poor management, or low employee efficiency. Excessive and prolonged overtime can drive turnover and absenteeism.
  • Training Expenses per Employee: Total training costs divided by number of employees who received training. When cross-referencing this metric with training efficiency indicators, you're able to determine whether a training method is cost-effective or not.

Need help creating your HR dashboard?

When you're ready to put together your HR dashboard, check out this article on dashboard design by our Designer, Carly. It covers dashboard design from choosing visualizations to the importance of color choice. If you have questions about your HR dashboard, or if you'd like to chat about how Explo can improve your HR analytics experience, reach out to me at

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