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Personnel controlling: goals, instruments, key figures

Like company controlling, personnel controlling is an indispensable instrument for planning, managing and monitoring human resources company activities. For this purpose, personnel controlling processes personnel-relevant data and determines the corresponding key figures. The results form an important decision-making basis for personnel management or for strategic company decisions.

Do you need support? Download our free checklist for personnel controlling here.

What is personnel controlling?

Personnel controlling is a means of controlling and monitoring all personnel-related procedures, processes or projects using key figures. It can be a discipline of HR or corporate controlling. The term was introduced in the 1980s and encompasses several sub-areas of human resource management.

You can find relevant statistics and key figures for your company in Personio with the reports function.

Personnel controlling simply explained

Personnel controlling deals with personnel work itself. This includes all personnel-related procedures, processes or projects in the personnel department, from planning personnel requirements to recruiting. It provides answers to questions such as: How many employees does a company have? What do they cost? How powerful are you? The second subject area is the personnel themselves: from the number of employees to their functions and costs.

Methods of personnel controlling

Operational personnel controlling

The operational personnel controlling deals with the short to medium-term orientation and serves to support the operational management. It is therefore mainly aimed at regularly recurring processes and provides information on costs, success and benefits of the measures taken.

Strategic personnel controlling

The strategic personnel controlling deals with the long-term orientation and deals with the contributions that the personnel management makes to the implementation of the corporate strategy. The focus is on processes and structures.

Quantitative personnel controlling

Quantitative personnel controlling refers to directly measurable and usable personnel data.

Checklist for targeted personnel controlling

Our checklist supports you in optimally planning, controlling and measuring your personnel controlling.

Which key figures can you include for quantitative personnel controlling?

  • Personnel requirements and structure:Quota of women, quota of disabled people, personnel planning, workforce, gross and net personnel requirements, work capacity, average age of employees, age group analysis, qualification structure, length of service ...
  • Recruitment:(Qualified) applicants per position, placement rate, hiring rate, recruitment costs per entry, productivity of recruitment, recruitment costs ...
  • Personnel deployment: Target hours / actual hours comparison, level of performance, absenteeism rate, sickness rate, overtime rate, annual leave distribution, parental leave, accident rate, costs of downtime, posting and return rates ...
  • Personnel development: Further training time, further training costs, share of personnel development costs in total personnel costs, promotion rate, return on education ...
  • Personnel retention:Personnel costs per employee, fluctuation rate and costs, degree of use and expenditure of the voluntary company social benefit offers, pay group structure, pension entitlement per employee, expenditure for voluntary (additional) benefits ...
  • Personnel layoff: Severance pay per employee, social plan costs per employee, labor court costs per employee, outplacement consulting costs per employee, salary costs per employee during the release phase ...

Qualitative personnel controlling

Qualitative personnel controlling deals with the “soft” factors, e. B. Analyzes of employee satisfaction, motivation, emotional ties between employees and the company or management behavior and working atmosphere. The information and data are therefore not directly measurable and usually have to be collected using indicators.

What are the goals of personnel controlling?

There is a hierarchy of goals in every company. It is made up of a main goal and several sub-goals. While the main goal represents the overriding corporate goal, the sub-goals are assigned to the individual departments. For example, the goals in personnel controlling are among the sub-goals. These are based on the goals of human resource management, the goals of which are in turn based on the corporate goals. For this reason, the goals of personnel controlling always harmonize with those of personnel management. This is the only way to ensure that the main goal is achieved.

The concrete goals in personnel controlling are

  • Information supply
  • Evaluation
  • Planning, management and control objectives
  • Coordination of human resource management
  • Integration of HR work
  • early detection
  • HR transparency

What are the tasks of personnel controlling?

The stated goals simultaneously represent the tasks of personnel controlling. This results in the following areas of responsibility for you as the person responsible:

You provide HR decision-makers with all the information relevant to their work by filtering and processing the necessary data accordingly. Special software solutions for automated processing are ideal here.

As part of the evaluation, you evaluate personnel measures, processes and structures and check whether and to what extent they contribute to the achievement of goals. Your coordination task lies in the design of the planning, control and information supply systems.

These are designed in such a way that the division of labor and the information link between the individual functional areas of human resources and the entire company harmonize. In principle, the evaluation performs tasks from organizational, process and quality management - one reason why this topic rarely falls into the area of ​​responsibility of personnel controlling in practice.

The integration task differentiates between horizontal and vertical integration.

  • Horizontal integration: Personnel controlling links administrative and dispositive components of the subsystems.
  • Vertical integration: Transfer of all relevant information from the administration and disposition systems to the planning and control system.

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Personnel controlling instruments

Personnel controlling has a wide variety of instruments ready that provide meaningful and usable information. These include:

  • Benchmarks and comparisons: This includes various forms of comparison such as target-actual, actual-actual, will-actual or actual-will comparison. Comparisons are used, for example, in the time comparison, plan deviation, plan progress or forecast control. Benchmarks, in turn, are suitable for internal comparisons between individual locations or for external comparisons with competitors on the market.
  • Time series: They are used to describe and forecast trends and developments. This allows you to evaluate the success or failure of measures that have already been taken at an early stage.
  • Human resource due diligenceand HR audits: You can use this tool to identify personnel-related opportunities and risks at an early stage. Are the key positions filled correctly, what is the motivation of the employees or they recognize the reasons for frequent absences due to illness.
  • Employee surveys: This classic instrument provides you with valuable information. You receive meaningful information about the strengths of the company, but also about its weaknesses. The mood of the employees can be verified as well as their loyalty to the company.

You need (this) data

As valuable as the various personnel controlling instruments are, the quality of the results depends on the personnel data used. This means that, for example, selections grouped or summed up beforehand are not suitable.

Rather, for a successful personnel controlling you only need databases in the representation on the person level. However, it must always be taken into account that the focus is not on the individual employee. Personnel controlling always refers to groups of employees selected for a specific purpose or to all employees in the company.

In order to optimize the selection of the data, the following delimitations can be used, which prove to be helpful in current practice.

  • Actual data is all personal data such as anonymized personal data, personnel costs or capacity per employee as well as all data on the current organizational structure. These include, for example, positions or all units within the organization.
  • You need forecast data for future considerations. All future personal data that is already stored in your personnel system is considered reliable. This includes planned departures such as dismissals, retirement or changes in working hours.
  • Forecast data are only used to determine trends. You are unsecured and not tied to clearly defined people. These are events that may be expected, such as unexpected dismissals or maternity leave in the future.

The bottom line is: The higher the probability of events occurring on the basis of the available data, the more reliable the results are as a basis for decisions.

Which key figures can be used to measure personnel controlling?

In order to be able to make decisions or take measures, the results of the collected data must be comparable. This comparison is made using key figures that serve as a benchmark and are calculated from a wide variety of aspects. It must be taken into account that key figures are always based on company goals.
In personnel controlling you collect the following key figures, depending on the goals (the list is only an excerpt of the possibilities):

  • Key figures for personnel requirements and personnel structure such as net personnel requirements, qualification structure or proportion of the disabled.
  • Key figures for employee recruitment can be: qualified applicants per position, recruitment costs, early turnover rate, costs and efficiency of the selected recruitment channels.
  • Key figures on personnel deployment are the fulfillment of target agreements, the overtime rate, work productivity or the average cost per overtime.
  • You collect key figures for employee loyalty in the form of the fluctuation rate, accident frequency, sickness rate, forms of remuneration, profit sharing per employee or company employee pension scheme.
  • Key figures for personnel development are the training quota, annual training time of an individual employee, training structure or return on training.

The calculation of the key figures is uncomplicated in most cases, but requires extensive data collection in advance if the data is not already digitally available.