New HR Standard Addresses Cost-per-Hire


By Kathy Gurchiek February 15, 2012

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has approved the first American National HR Standard addressing cost-per-hire, the first HR standard developed solely through the sponsorship of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The new standard was made available for public use in March 2012.

ANSI—the authorized agent for the U.S. government for coordinating standards development— announced the news Feb. 8, 2012.

“The standard provides a tool for organizations to consistently and comparably determine costs of recruitment through a standard algorithm that includes components addressing organizations’ specific hiring environments and requirements,” stated Lee Webster, SPHR, director of standards at SHRM.

It will provide business leaders with a common approach for calculating the cost of locating, recruiting and hiring talent. As more organizations adopt this approach, organizations will be able to compare the effectiveness of their staffing efforts over time and across business sectors. It is expected to be available free to the public on the SHRM web site during the third quarter of 2012, according to Webster.

SHRM has been working under the auspices of ANSI. In 2009, ANSI designated SHRM as the body to develop national-level HR operating standards. Since then, SHRM has spearheaded several task forces to develop HR standards. Completed standards will address HR areas such as performance management, measures and metrics, and diversity and inclusion.

In February 2011, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved SHRM’s proposal to create global HR standards and approved the creation of ISO Technical Committee 260.

News about the cost-per-hire standard follows the posting for public review of a draft of an HR standard that addresses workplace planning. Posted Jan. 26, 2012, the draft will be open to public comment until early March 2012.

Webster has pointed out in the past that use of HR standards, which define a threshold of performance for organizations, is voluntary but gives HR professionals a common level from which to operate. They differ from HR certifications, which represent what an individual professional should know to be considered proficient in a given HR discipline.

The cost-per-hire standard and others are being developed by volunteer task forces overseen by SHRM to create national- and international-level professional standards for HR operations.

Standards-related questions can be directed to or to Webster at 1-703-535-6047 or

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Human Resource Management Standards


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