A successful company will regularly evaluate its performance in order to continuously improve, and the best way to do that is to benchmark.
Benchmarking is the very well-known practice of measuring your businesses against industry bests, as well as comparing against other competitive companies. The purpose is to discover what the very best performance looks like – be that from a specific company, or as best practice across the board, or even in different industries.
Armed with this newly sourced information, you can identify and fix any gaps in your own business! When carried out correctly, benchmarking will give you a competitive advantage. But even more importantly, it will play a vital role in keeping your current employees happy and motivated.
There are many ways you can benchmark yourselves against your direct competitors:
• download salary guides
• regularly check your competitors job advertisements
• keep an eye on your competitors benefits pages
• monitor industry websites such as the REC or Industry Staff Analysis
• speak to specialist recruitment companies like us
Employees will often embark on benchmarking activities themselves if they feel they are not being offered competitive salaries and benefits. Should they be keeping an eye on competitors and job boards, and you aren’t, it can lead to difficult conversations.
How to benchmark
There are 5 key steps when it comes to successfully benchmarking:
STEP ONE: PLAN
First off, you need to identify exactly what information you need before you begin benchmarking. Are you basing the activity on salary alone? Are you looking to measure your business processes against other companies? To benchmark efficiently and successfully, your objectives need to be aligned first.
STEP TWO: RESEARCH
Now that you know what information you’re hoping to obtain, you can collect as much information as you can. Do this by carrying out market research, conduct interviews and questionnaires, and have conversations with as many people as possible. Make sure everything you collect is recorded in full.
STEP THREE: ANALYSE
Bring together all of your research and collate this in a way that you can easily spot where you are under or over delivering. If you’re under delivering, it’s time to change your ways of working in order to improve and catch up with the competition. If you’re overdelivering in certain areas – that’s a competitive advantage, well done you! Focus on these aspects when writing job ads, or when marketing yourself on social media – and you’ll stand out from the competition.
STEP FOUR: IMPLEMENT
If you’ve identified any problems, it’s time to implement change within your business in order to narrow or completely close the gaps between you and other competitors or industry standards. Make sure your entire team is on board with this activity, or it will be hard to see results. Making real change off the back of benchmarking is not easy – but it is 100% worth it.
STEP FIVE: MONITOR
Benchmarking is not a one-off activity. We advise benchmarking at least once a year, or every 6 months if you have the time and resources. Between benchmarking sessions, things may change but if you’re monitoring the right channels then you can make any necessary adjustments along the way that will keep you in a strong position both internally and externally.
How can we help you?
A key component in a specialist recruiter’s day to day work is analysing the market to understand exactly what salaries, benefits, prices, and processes are considered best practice across the board. A lot of the activity we do day to day is very similar to that of a benchmarking campaign, and we record this information in order to provide it to our clients when needed.
If you’re after some advice, or guidance, or would like us to facilitate an effective benchmarking activity for your business, please don’t hesitate to reach out.