“Imagine the potential for productivity improvement, comparison, and collaboration through the application of common terminology, metrics, and recommended processes.” – Neil McCormick

This article is co-authored by Neil McCormick and Dr. Stefanie Becker.
It’s been many years since John Sumser and I first started talking about the potential benefits of standards in Human Resources. Over the years since, there have been many false starts combined with some significant changes to the landscape of work and workforce.

Today, we see promising, significant activity on Human Resource Management Standards development at an International level. So, I thought it time to highlight these developments to our HR Examiner community. Human Resource Management Standards are a reality and have the potential to assist organizations of all sizes improve performance and workforce satisfaction. Imagine the potential for productivity improvement, comparison, and collaboration through the application of common terminology, metrics, and recommended processes. The input to these standards is truly global with thirty-one countries participating in the development and a further twenty-three countries observing.

Neil McCormick Founding Member HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board

Neil McCormick Founding Member HRExaminer Editorial Advisory Board

The committee developing these Human Resource Management Standards is ISO Technical Committee TC260. The committee states its main objectives and priorities are to facilitate international business by providing guidance on professional practice standards and improve internal processes. Part of the business plan of the TC 260 is to develop educational guidelines, which are voluntary and only give recommendations.

The currently published ISO Standards of TC -260 Human Resource Management include:

  • Guidelines on Recruitment
  • Guidelines on Human Governance
  • Workforce Planning
  • Sustainable Employability Management for Organizations
  • Vocabulary

Standards under development include:

  • Diversity & Inclusion
  • Employee Engagement Guidelines
  • Guidelines for Human Capital Reporting for internal and external Stakeholders
  • Workforce Management

A broad range of metric technical specifications are also under development as support for the standards.

My co-author for this article, Stefanie Becker, is the Head of the Working Group focused on Guidelines for Human Capital Reporting for Internal and External Stakeholders. The work is concluding, and we soon expect this development to be approved as an ISO Standard with the final publication of the International Standard ISO 30414 planned for November 2018.

The creation of these standards has generated significant interest from all potential stakeholder groups and as such I’ve asked Stefanie to tell us about the proposed Standard.

New ISO Standard for Human Capital Reporting (ISO 30414)


Why is the standard important?

Gaining a detailed, enduring understanding of an organization’s workforce activity is critical to improving productivity, workforce stability, and engagement. Human Capital Reporting (HCR) is now a significant asset for organizations. Internal stakeholders are not the only group interested in the detail related to HCR. External stakeholders are increasingly interested in a more detailed understanding of people-related risks and opportunities in organizations including the companies’ tangible and intangible assets. However, there currently is no extensive global standard or regulation for HCR.

With the new ISO standard, ‘Human Capital Reporting for internal and external stakeholders,’ we have created a common international understanding about the elements and content of a comprehensive reporting framework.

The standard provides relevant stakeholders an objective way to meaningfully compare their performance to expectation. As the standard details the terms, methods, and metric used, industry wide comparison is also possible. The standard has been produced to assist SME’s as well as large corporate. The purpose is to provide information that can be meaningful for more effective organizational governance and management, as well as help investors and corporate assess the potential for sustainable growth.

What is the standard about?

The Human Capital Reporting Standard provides information relevant to important business-crucial human capital areas: compliance and ethics, workforce costs, diversity, leadership, occupational health and safety, organizational culture, productivity, recruitment, mobility and turnover, skills and capabilities, succession planning, and workforce availability. All these areas contain specific metrics and reporting recommendations, highlighting what should be reported internally and what should be reported externally. The recommended reporting is also differentiated according to company size.

Why should you apply for the standard?

The internal use of this standard assists organizations to move toward a more data-driven decision-making process across all facets of workforce management. The standard facilitates the ability of an organization to better manage its people and its HR processes. By using the recommended key performance indicators of the standard externally, organization can also fulfill the requirements of investors by offering more transparency about people matters and the most important resource ‘human capital.’

More information about ISO TC 260: https://committee.iso.org/home/tc260

This article is co-authored by Neil McCormick and Dr. Stefanie Becker.


Dr. Stefanie Becker

About Dr. Stefanie Becker

Dr. Stefanie Becker, HR Project Director for HR Strategy and Planning at SAP SE; Head of the working group for the International Standardization Organization (ISO) ‘Human Capital Reporting for internal and external Stakeholders.’ Prior to SAP, she was a research assistant at the chair of Business Administration, especially Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior at the Saarland University (Germany) with research focus on Human Capital Management.



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