HR Equations and Formulas

Formula for figuring out how many HR pros it takes to screw in a lightbulb. Flickr-halfbyte

Formula for figuring out how many HR pros it takes to screw in a lightbulb. Flickr-halfbyte

HR is governed by laws and regulations much of the time. However, we also have some nifty formulas that help us do our jobs on a daily basis. Below you will find some interesting resources that should help you with any questions you have. Make sure you subscribe for free updates so that you never miss a hot news item or funny article.

HR Metrics

While human resources has traditionally been more of a “soft” profession, in recent years we’ve begun to learn how to measure our impact on an organization through various formulas. We can study factors like cost per hire, time to fill, employee satisfaction, etc., but those really are just scratching the surface and not digging into the available data. Learn how to make your HR metrics rock.

We should be looking for more useful, practical types of knowledge like HR to staff ratio (i.e. how many HR professionals do you need per employee?), employee turnover cost calculator (i.e. how much does it cost every time an employee decides to leave your organization?), and other hiring, turnover, and absence calculators.

Another great resource is this list of 20 common metrics.

A nicely done formula or equation is pleasant to look at.  The ability to take rows and rows of endless numbers and force them into a format that is easy on the eyes is to be respected.  Heck, even a chart can be interesting if you pick the right one (like this). :-)

Now for the not so serious part of this post…

Know Your Limits

I have spent a good bit of time in the past week or two developing derivatives of calculus formulae that express HR concepts (geek alert).  My favorite so far involves limits.  The limit formula has boundless possibilities for application, and coming up with new concepts is a tricky, yet interesting, way to spend some time brainstorming.

It’s been quite a few years since I had a calculus class, so anyone that can say this better can feel free to chime in.  Limits basically say that as value x approaches a predetermined point, two dissimilar items become equal.  The example my calculus teacher always used was “As the engineer’s grade approaches zero, an engineering degree becomes a business degree.”  In simpler terms, the lower the engineer’s grade, the more likely he/she is to become a business major (obviously he was an engineering fan :-)).  Another easy one would be “As your wallet approaches full, dinner becomes a steak.”

HR Applications

Yeah, I haven’t really figured out a real world application for this yet, but I do think it sounds promising and it could be a fun brain-stretcher to think up a few ideas for it.

Do you have a favorite formula or something else you’d like to know? Tell me in the comments below!


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