Although comparing yourself to others may go against what your mom always taught you, it’s exactly what you should be doing. This time around, though, don’t focus on who has the fake Converse All Stars and whose parents bought them the real deal. Instead, focus on how much companies are paying their employees, what industry trends are showing up and other HR practices. This kind of comparison, called benchmarking, can make the difference between successful hiring practices and an HR department that could use some help.
Benchmarking is a method that many HR professionals and departments utilize to get an idea of how their practices measure up in comparison to others in the industry. It’s a valuable way to learn about best practices, industry trends and areas in which you could improve. It’s best when used before the hiring process ever starts. It can help to amp up your recruitment strategy so that you see a difference from start to finish, from filling positions quicker to improving employee retention rates.
Here are four strategies for using benchmarking to your advantage:
One of the great things about benchmarking is that it allows you to compare your practices and standards with that of another company or person without being under scrutiny from others. When looking at salary ranges, hiring processes and more, keep in mind what your companies’ salary ranges and hiring processes are and productively compare them. Rather than making an obvious comparison, such as “Company X pays their engineers more than we do,” take a look at what the underlying reasons are for the difference and what pros and cons are associated with the difference. It’s one thing to see there’s a difference, it’s another to understand the difference. That’s where the real power is in benchmarking.
Identify strengths and weaknesses
When you see where you differ from others and look beyond the obvious differences, you’ll be able to see where your company excels and where you could improve. This can be eye opening and can help you to hone in on and prioritize what changes need to be made and what value you bring to the table for employees that others don’t. Playing off your strengths in comparison to other companies can be a competitive advantage for you during the recruiting process.
Make note of best practices
As many strengths as you find your company has, you’ll likely find a lot of companies excelling in their recruiting and HR practices. Throughout your benchmarking research, make note of companies who do a certain process really well and try to identify common best practices throughout. Take a look at the hiring process and interviewing tools they use to identify the best candidate. Though you may not be ready to implement all the best recruiting practices right away, you’ll have an idea of what changes to make when the time comes.
A major upside to this type of benchmarking is that you get a behind-the scenes look at how companies manage their recruiting and hiring. It’s not only a time to get educated but also a time to be inspired by the success of others. Before you begin your research, think about areas that your company could use some improvement in, as well as areas you feel are exceptional. Throughout your benchmarking research, focus on what others are doing in those areas that you aren’t and whether or not they are successful in them. As hard as it may be to remain unbiased throughout your research, focus on keeping an open mind and be willing to admit that there may be a better way to do things.
Does your HR department plan to do any benchmarking research this year? Whether the answer is yes or no, tell us why in the comments section below.