Global HR 8 min

HR analytics and reporting guide: Definition, benefits, uses, and more

Written by Barbara Matthews
June 17, 2024
Barbara Matthews


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85% of business leaders experience decision distress. If this sounds like you, the key lies in measuring the right data to make an informed decision.

To unlock the full potential of HR analytics reports, it’s important to understand their different functions and benefits in the workplace. 

In this article, we break down what HR analytics and reporting are, why they matter, and how you can use them to improve your business.

What are HR analytics and reporting? 

Also referred to as people analytics, HR analytics is the process of identifying, collecting, and analyzing the HR data stored within a Human Resource Information System (HRIS). This information offers actionable insights that help you make well-informed decisions and achieve desired goals. 

HR reporting, on the other hand, is the system used to consolidate, organize, and present these critical metrics to managers and other stakeholders. By breaking down key issues and trends, these reports help highlight areas of success and opportunities for improvement. 

When used together effectively, HR analytics and reports are a powerful way to drive better business outcomes.

What are the benefits of HR analytics and reporting? 

HR analytics and reporting play an important role in effective Human Resource Management (HRM) planning. They should be user-friendly, easy to digest, and and easy to share.

Benefits of HR analytics and reporting

Disengaged employees lead to approximately 1.9 trillion USD in lost productivity in the US. Evaluating HR analytics is a great way to proactively identify and address weaknesses before they affect your bottom line. For example, by recognizing skill and knowledge gaps among employees, you can offer career development programs for certain employees.

HR analytics also unlock new ways to support employees, helping you retain the best talent out there. These incentives also offer a competitive edge in recruitment efforts.  

In addition, analyzing HR metrics helps optimize your HR department’s performance. HR reports point to notable trends and opportunities, which can be leveraged to refine company procedures. For example, you can improve your hiring process after data indicates this process needs adjustment.

What are HR reports used for? 

HR analytics reports can have many different purposes in the workplace.

What are HR reports used for

Strategic planning 

You can use HR reports to evaluate organizational performance, helping your company stay on track with its strategic planning and goals. 

For instance, annual HR reports offer a comprehensive view of HR operations and workforce dynamics throughout the year. Annual HR reports typically cover achievements and challenges, highlight trends, and break down HR policies and outcomes. 

Strategic HR reports also drive continuous workforce improvements. You can compare data to previous years and the industry average, helping you measure ‌success and plan for future decisions.

Employee performance monitoring   

You can also use HR reports to measure employee performance. This information can showcase employees’ core skill sets and contributions, and how they contribute to company goals. 

By leveraging this data, your company can identify top performers and those who may need additional training. It also points to potential barriers and ideas for enhancing performance management. 

Employee performance can be monitored at a department, team, or individual level. Trackable metrics include hours worked, accomplishments, and revenue generated.

This information can be especially useful for managers when they offer feedback to team members. In some cases, managers can even use employee performance data to offer promotions and other incentives to encourage better performance.

Headcount tracking   

A headcount report can help you measure your company’s turnover and retention rates. This data offers a snapshot of the total employee count after hires, terminations, and transfers. 

With more clarity on the number of employees in each department and role, you can look into factors that may influence turnover and strategize ways to boost retention.

Headcount reports can help your organization reach specific workforce goals, like preventing overstaffing or lowering labor costs. This data is also useful for visualizing employee mobility trends; you can see which departments are losing the most talent or reaching full capacity.

Training and development enhancements 

Offering employees training and development opportunities is critical to maintaining an engaged workforce. HR reports are a great way to assess your programs’ effectiveness and contribution to overall company growth.

For example, these reports evaluate the impact and scope of training programs. Metrics might include participation rates, completion statistics, training costs, and post-training improvements.

 HR analytics reports on training and development

With this data in mind, you can fine-tune your training strategies to better support employees’ needs and achieve their organizational goals.

Recruitment strategy improvement

Measuring recruitment metrics can help you gauge your effectiveness in attracting, selecting, and hiring candidates.

Recruitment reports highlight strengths, weaknesses, and the impact of your hiring strategies. You can learn the deeper reasons behind specific recruitment issues, such as lower-than-usual acceptance rates or an extra-long hiring process.

Examples of key metrics to focus on include job application trends, top candidate sourcing channels, candidate behavior trends, time spent evaluating candidates, and the rate of offer declines. 

These reports can also support overarching company goals. For instance, collecting data on the diversity of a candidate pool can help you measure your company’s progress toward building a more inclusive workplace. 

Risk management  

When hiring an international team, it’s common to partner with a professional employer organization (PEO). However, this isn’t a foolproof solution to staying compliant with local regulations. Using HR reports is a good way to cover your bases for risk management.

For example, compensation reports help you coordinate payroll and benefits in a compliant manner. In addition to verifying that all team members are fairly compensated, you can catch potential liabilities early on.

For instance, data might show that certain employees are working overtime without compensation. With this information, you can quickly take the appropriate steps to resolve the issue and implement measures to prevent it from happening again.

HR KPIs you should be tracking 

Most HRIS systems allow you to categorize metrics as key performance indicators (KPIs). You can then review KPIs to make strategic decisions. 

HR KPIs to track

A KPI is a number that directly impacts overall business outcomes. Take a look at our article on HR metrics for examples of HR KPIs you should be tracking.

Using HR data with your remote and/or international team 

If you’re hiring remotely or internationally, you need to stay manage payroll and stay compliant under different local laws. Further, you need to approach HR analytics and reporting differently than office workers when managing a global team. This means paying more attention to the right metrics. 

How to use HR data with your remote team

For instance, make sure to closely monitor employee compensation and benefits to remain compliant with local regulations.

The lack of visibility that often comes with remote work also makes it important to track data on employee productivity, engagement, and absenteeism.

The tools you use matter when you manage a global team. Standard HRIS platforms have many benefits but aren’t usually built for remote or international hiring. 

A global HRIS like Remote HR Management helps you keep your HR data from all locations into one system, providing a comprehensive view of the workforce. When managing a distributed team, choose a tool that can consolidate your global HR data.

What does the future of HR analytics and reporting look like? 

38% of HR leaders are already implementing generative AI or planning to do so for their HR process.

HR analytics and reporting future predictions

With generative AI, predictive analytics can be used to anticipate future outcomes, like identifying which employees are most likely to leave or grow within the company. AI tools also automate key HR tasks, such as evaluating employee feedback or monitoring performance metrics.

In sum, prioritizing HR analytics helps you make smarter decisions for boosting revenue based on reliable data. For example, by using HR analytics and reports, you can reduce the risk of mass layoffs by knowing when to slow down hiring beforehand.

Streamline HR reporting with Remote 

HR analytics and reporting help you analyze key metrics to improve employee satisfaction, strengthen business processes, and drive better business outcomes. 

If you manage a distributed workforce, navigating HR data can be particularly challenging. It’s important to take extra steps to ensure you’re tracking the right information across multiple locations. This is where a global HR platform can go a long way.  

Remote HR Management helps you manage employee benefits, compliance, taxes, and payroll in one unified platform. To learn more about how Remote can help simplify your HR processes, chat with us today. 

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