Workforce planning is the cornerstone of any good recruitment plan. Understanding how to translate organizational needs into new hires is the best way to guarantee a strong team with high quality of hire and low attrition rates.

To help you understand how successful your plans are and what you should be working on improving for the future, we’ve put together a list of 12 metrics that will give you insight and guidance into your workforce planning process’ effectiveness.

  1. Headcount
  2. Attrition
  3. Bench strength
  4. Quality of hire
  5. Retention rate
  6. Career path ratio
  7. Tenure distribution
  8. Absenteeism
  9. Voluntary vs. involuntary turnover
  10. Time-to-hire
  11. eNPS
  12. Training ratio
  13. Age race, and gender diversity rations

1. Headcount

Headcount is the easiest metric to measure: how many people are currently employed by your organization?

You can break this down by departments and teams, but the principle stays the same: count ‘em up and you’ve got headcount.

Measuring headcount is useful for workforce planning because it shows you what you already have, so you can use that as a foundation.

2. Attrition

Measuring attrition is critical for workforce planning because it tells you not just how many employees you’re gaining/losing, but how strong your workforce is. Attrition tells you more than retention, because it’s not about who’s leaving—it’s about who’s left.

To plan for future hiring efforts, you need to understand the resources your organization can commit to its employees. A high attrition rate may show that your organization isn’t in the right place to be hiring.

3. Bench strength

Every organization has departures, voluntary or involuntary. To keep the operation from crashing down, you need to be prepared with great people who can fill in.

When planning promotions and new hires, measuring your bench strength will help you understand possible internal mobility and what spots in the organization you need to fill or strengthen.

4. Quality of hire

What’s your workforce planning worth if the folks coming in aren’t sticking around? Understanding your quality of hire will help you learn from past mistakes and build on past successes.

5. Retention rate

Keeping retention high is always top priority for anyone in HR or recruiting. When working on workforce planning, retention is important for resource allocation and hiring for specific teams.

When planning hires for the next year or cycle, understanding your retention history will help you plan smart acquisitions for the company as a whole and specific departments/teams.

6. Career path ratio

Internal mobility is important for workforce planning because, whenever possible, a promotion or lateral move is less expensive (and less of a headache) than recruiting an outside hire.

When you’re planning future hires, working with what you have to fill open positions (especially more senior or urgent-to-fill positions) will help you hire more efficiently.

7. Tenure distribution

Looking to hire senior leadership? Not so fast.

Take a look at your organization’s tenure distribution. Are your people sticking around? Do you have people who can be bred for future leadership opportunities? As people stick around for longer, use this metric to identify future leaders and movers-and-shakers.

8. Voluntary vs. involuntary turnover

One of the most fascinating aspects of retention is voluntary vs involuntary turnover: who wants to leave, and who are you letting go?

If your involuntary turnover is high, then you have a quality of hire problem. If your voluntary turnover is high, however, this is a big indicator of a culture issue—so you have some work to do before you should be recruiting new faces.

9. Time-to-hire

The point of the workforce planning process is to try and get ahead of any urgent needs. Understanding your historic time-to-hire will help make sure no one at your organization is left empty-handed—or with an empty desk.

As your recruiting process grows more efficient (and hopefully your eNPS climbs up), your time-to-hire will shrink and your teams will grow stronger than ever, faster than ever.

10. eNPS

eNPS, the holy grail of employee engagement. Your eNPS score will help you understand if your employees are happy—and if they’ll make recruiting easy by lending a hand.

If your people are happy, chances are they’ll stick around—so a high eNPS score can lead to a smoother, more predictable workforce planning process.

11. Training ratio

Now that you have your new hire set up, who’s able to train them?

Training ratio measures the amount of fully-trained employees you have versus the ones who need more training. If you see that you have a low training ratio, you can work advanced training, courses, and maybe even tuition reimbursements into your resource allocation.

12. Age, gender, and racial diversity ratios

Is your organization as diverse as it could be?

Your workforce planning process has to include an inclusive hiring plan. Before you consider your hiring funnel full, you have to make sure you’ve actively sought out the applicants you want: people who would bring diversity of experience, opinion, age, gender, race, ethnicity, and any other factor to your organization.


From Shayna Hodkin

Shayna lives in south Tel Aviv with two dogs and a lot of plants. She writes poems and reads tarot.