What is HR reporting?

HR reporting is your secret weapon for managing your workforce effectively.

  • What is HR reporting?

  • What does an HR report look like?

  • What are HR reports used for?

  • Types of HR reports and metrics

  • Benefits of HR reporting

  • What is an HR reporting software?

  • Types of HR reporting software

  • Benefits of using HR reporting software

  • How to choose the right HR software

What is HR reporting?

Human resources (HR) reporting is the systematic process of consolidating various HR data and transforming it into comprehensive reports. These reports serve as a window into an organization's workforce, offering valuable insights into various HR metrics. Metrics range from employee performance and attendance to turnover rates and payroll data. HR reports can provide detailed performance evaluations or broader overviews of HR processes. 

HR reporting acts as a powerful instrument, highlighting areas that may require attention, guiding decision-making processes, and enabling organizations to make data-driven choices that enhance their HR strategies.

What does an HR report look like?

HR reports come in various shapes and sizes, depending on the specific needs and goals of an organization. However, all HR reports share some common elements. These business documents typically include:

  • Header information – the report's title, date, and the period it covers

  • Key metrics – a central component of any HR report, providing data related to the specific HR aspect being reported on

  • Graphs and charts – visual representations of the data, making it easier to comprehend

  • Analysis and insights – interpretations of the data, shedding light on trends, patterns, and areas that require attention

  • Recommendations – proposed actions or strategies based on the report's findings

  • Historical data – comparative data from previous periods, enabling organizations to track changes over time

What are HR reports used for?

HR reports serve a multitude of purposes within organizations. They are used for: 

HR monitoring

HR reports act as an internal record of HR tasks and functions, providing insight into the history and efficiency of HR teams.

Performance evaluation

Employee performance reports offer an understanding of individual and team performance, making it easier to conduct fair and informed performance evaluations. These reports help in recognizing high-performing employees and those who may need additional support or development.

Identifying trends

HR reports are valuable for identifying trends within the workforce. By analyzing historical data, organizations can uncover patterns related to turnover, attendance, and performance. Recognizing these trends enables HR professionals to take proactive measures to address issues or capitalize on positive developments.

Executive communication

HR reports are instrumental in conveying essential HR information to executive leadership. These reports provide a clear and concise way to communicate HR metrics, performance indicators, and strategic insights to senior management. They aid in executive decision-making related to HR strategies and resource allocation.


Payroll reports and attendance reports play a crucial role in ensuring compliance with labor laws and tax regulations. HR professionals rely on these reports to track working hours, leave balances, and wage-related data, helping organizations avoid compliance issues and legal challenges.


HR reports also serve as decision-making tools. They provide the data and insights necessary to make informed choices regarding workforce management, training and development initiatives, and recruitment strategies. These reports guide HR professionals in optimizing HR operations.

Forecasting and budgeting

HR reports can be used for forecasting future HR needs and budgeting resources. By analyzing historical data and trends, organizations can make accurate predictions about staffing requirements, training expenses, and compensation budgets. This enables effective resource allocation and planning.

Types of HR reports and metrics

HR reporting encompasses a wide range of reports, each focusing on distinct aspects of HR management. Let's explore some of the primary types of HR metrics and reports:

Employee performance reports

Metrics evaluated: employee goals, productivity, skill sets, competencies, feedback, and review scores

Employee performance reports provide organizations with a comprehensive understanding of how their employees are performing. These reports shed light on potential barriers to productivity and offer insights into improving overall performance management. Additionally, they can help identify strategies to enhance employee engagement.

Turnover reports

Metrics evaluated: employee turnover rate and total employee headcount for different periods

Turnover reports, often referred to as attrition reports, offer valuable insights into employee retention. These reports provide data on the average tenure of employees within an organization, helping HR professionals gauge satisfaction levels, employee retention rates, and the effectiveness of their hiring decisions.

Payroll reports

Metrics evaluated: number of payable days, expected working days, actual working days, hourly rates, hours worked, and payment discrepancies

Payroll reports are indispensable for managing an organization's financial health. They provide insights into cash flow, contribute to tax compliance, and support efficient compensation management. The data within these reports is crucial for budgeting and tax reporting.

Employee learning reports

Metrics evaluated: course ratings, training costs, learner progress, course categories, trainer ratings, and learning materials

Employee learning reports assess the effectiveness of training and development programs. They help HR professionals gauge the impact of these initiatives on the growth and competence of the workforce. Employee learning reports offer actionable insights for optimizing employee development strategies.

Attendance and PTO reports

Metrics evaluated: leave reports, absenteeism, time spent working, and overtime hours

Attendance and paid time off (PTO) reports are used to track and analyze employees' attendance and leave balances. These reports help HR teams monitor the allocation of paid days off and assess the financial implications of employee absences.

Other HR report types

Additional types of HR reports include:

  • Recruitment reports – Recruitment reports provide metrics related to the hiring process, such as the number of applicants, sources of candidate acquisition, time-to-fill positions, and cost per hire, helping HR teams optimize their recruitment strategies.

  • Compensation and benefits reports – These reports provide insights into the organization's compensation and benefits structures. Metrics may include salary ranges, benefits utilization, and comparisons to industry standards, ensuring competitive compensation packages.

  • Diversity and inclusion reports – These reports track diversity and inclusion initiatives within an organization. The metrics used are workforce demographics and diversity goals.

  • Safety and incident reports – Focusing on maintaining workplace safety, these reports track incidents, near misses, and safety-related training. 

  • Succession planning reports – These reports assist organizations in identifying potential successors for key positions. They include information on talent profiles, readiness assessments, and development plans.

  • Workforce planning reports – Workforce planning reports assist HR teams in forecasting future workforce needs based on historical data and projected growth. They guide decisions on hiring, staffing levels, and talent development.

As evident, each type of HR report serves a unique purpose, contributing to the effective management of an organization's most valuable asset – its workforce. These reports are instrumental in making data-driven decisions, optimizing HR operations, and fostering a healthy and productive work environment.

Benefits of HR reporting

HR reporting brings numerous benefits to HR teams and their organizations. These benefits include:

  • Informed decision-making – HR reporting equips organizations with actionable data and insights, enabling informed decision-making. These reports serve as a valuable guide for HR professionals to develop and refine HR strategies.

  • Increased productivity – By pinpointing areas that require attention and improvement, HR reports contribute to enhanced workforce productivity. HR professionals can identify performance bottlenecks and address them promptly.

  • Strategic planning – HR reports facilitate strategic planning by providing historical data and insights into workforce trends. Organizations can align their HR strategies with broader business goals.

  • Improved compliance – Payroll and attendance reports ensure compliance with tax regulations and labor laws. This minimizes the risk of legal issues and penalties.

  • Enhanced employee satisfaction – By identifying issues related to employee performance, learning, or attendance, HR reports can lead to implementing strategies that boost employee satisfaction.

What is an HR reporting software?

HR reporting software is a technology solution designed to streamline and simplify the process of creating, analyzing, and distributing HR reports. These software solutions automate the collection of HR data, generate reports, and offer tools for even more in-depth analysis. New technological solutions make HR reporting easier than ever, helping companies reap the benefits of having comprehensive HR reports.

Types of HR reporting software

There are two main types of HR reporting software: (1) standalone reporting software and (2) integrated HR management systems.

Standalone reporting software is software that focuses exclusively on generating HR reports. They are highly specialized and offer a wide range of report templates, from payroll reports to performance reports.

Integrated HR management systems are comprehensive HR management platforms that encompass all HR functions, including HR reporting. They typically include a unified, digital dashboard where HR professionals can manage data and tasks. Many HR management systems will feature the ability to generate HR reports as well.

Benefits of using HR reporting software

Using HR reporting software, whether standalone or within integrated HR management systems, has many benefits as well. These tools make HR reports more:

  • Efficient – HR reporting software automates the process, saving time and optimizing the entire process.

  • Accurate – These software solutions ensure data accuracy and consistency, reducing the likelihood of mistakes in reports. Additionally, some software solutions offer real-time data access, enabling organizations to stay up-to-date with their HR metrics.

  • Customizable – Most HR reporting software allows organizations to create custom reports that align with their needs and objectives.

  • Accessible – Software tools make it easy to access and share insights with executives, employees, and HR team members at any time.

  • Secure – Data security is a priority in HR reporting software, ensuring sensitive HR data remains protected.

How to choose the right HR software

Choosing the right HR reporting software is a crucial decision that can greatly impact the efficiency and effectiveness of your human resources operations. To make an informed choice, consider several key factors. 

First, evaluate your organization's specific needs and objectives. What types of HR reports do you require, and what level of customization is essential? Look for software that aligns with your reporting needs, whether it's performance management, payroll, recruitment, or a combination of these.

Then, assess various software's details and features. A compatible HR reporting software should be:

  • User-friendly

  • Customizable for your reporting needs

  • Compatible with your existing system(s)

  • Able to handle the amount of data you require

  • Guaranteed secure to protect your data

  • Scalable to account for business growth

  • Affordable for your budget 

Additionally, companies can outsource their HR teams to HR experts like Remote, who take care of the entire reporting process themselves. With Remote's Global HR Service, companies can onboard, pay, and manage teams from around the world compliantly and with ease. Contact us today to outsource your HR department with Remote, and start employing anywhere.

Expert advice

In summary:

  • HR reporting analyzes employee data for actionable insights.

  • It benefits decisions, strategy, compliance, and employee satisfaction.

  • Different report types focus on specific areas like performance, turnover, and payroll.

  • HR software simplifies and automates the reporting process.

  • Choose the right software based on your needs and resources.

  • HR reporting unlocks valuable data, empowering you to build a better workplace.

Related articles