Michael Carty Editor's message: Benchmarking - using data to compare policies and practices with those at other employers - is likely to be a day-to-day activity for many HR professionals as they work to achieve key people management objectives. Collecting, analysing and using good-quality data is essential to this process.

HR professionals can use benchmarking data to measure and monitor how their organisation compares on pay and benefits, absence and leave, recruitment and retention and other key HR metrics. Many HR professionals opt to benchmark their organisation’s people data against organisations of similar size or operating in the same sector.

Benchmarking begins with gathering data. Employers can choose from a range of data sources to use in benchmarking exercises. For example, XpertHR Benchmarking users can access interactive benchmarking data on all aspects of the employment relationship, including key HR metrics such as rates of absence and labour turnover, annual leave entitlements and typical ratios of employees to HR staff. XpertHR also has an ongoing research programme covering all aspects of employment practice.

Michael Carty, benchmarking editor

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