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Paul Burrin


Chief Marketing Officer

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10 questions: how well do you know your workforce?


Many young and fast growing companies are expanding and recruiting fast. While these are exciting trends, new challenges are quickly emerging regarding their people. When everyone was co-located in the same office, and everyone knew everybody, knowing your workforce was easy.

Now these companies are bigger – and people are dispersed across different offices and even countries – things are starting to get complicated. When HR’s asked questions regarding the workforce, answers are taking longer to find, and often there’s no consistent view because the information’s kept in various locations. Hence, it may be much harder to quickly answer basic questions.

Below are some examples of what you can ask to assess how well you know your workforce. Why not take a two-minute test to see how easily you can answer them? For each one you answer easily, award yourself 10 points; for each question you’re struggling to answer, award yourself 1 point.

Your final total might suggest how well you know your workforce.

  1. How many people do you have working for your organisation?
  2. Where are they located?
  3. How many are contingent workers or freelancers?
  4. How many people are on vacation next week?
  5. What is the cultural diversity of your workforce?
  6. What percentage of millenials make up your workforce?
  7. How does your retention rate compare to the industry average?
  8. How long does it typically take to hire someone?
  9. Which employees are in your top 10 percentile?
  10. Which employees are flight risks?


80 points +:  Excellent! You clearly have an excellent understanding of some of the basics regarding your workforce. Knowing dispersion, diversity and demographics is fundamental to being able to manage and engage your modern workforce.

But what opportunities exist to enable self-service adoption and support ad hoc analytics projects, while leveraging workforce metrics and data to improve business performance?

51-79 points:  Good job! You have some basic information that appears to be readily available and this is helping you gain some understanding of your workforce. However, you’ve been challenged in some areas and these are probably worth considering in more detail.

Where did you find it hard to answer the question and why is that? What steps can you take to improve your workforce data and apply better analytics?

26-50 points: Congratulations! Your perseverance and final result indicates the need to take a closer look at your organisation. While you know some basic information about your workforce, it’s evident this may be more superficial than desired.

This in turn may be a contributing factor to poor workforce engagement, higher than industry attrition rates or possible challenges in acquiring talent. What steps do you need to take to address these challenges?

10-25 points: Well done! Although your score is low, you’ve identified a critical need for your business. You’re collectively struggling to know you workforce; you probably have all the information needed but it’s scattered and difficult to obtain.

This makes it very time consuming to manually gather, collate and calculate basic metrics or undertake fundamental analysis. How are you going to tackle these fundamentals?

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Paul Burrin

Chief Marketing Officer

Read more from Paul Burrin