Just as there are different types of HR Audits there are different types of HR Standards.

Cascio & Boudreau (C & B 2014) described four types: practice standards, measurement standards, feasibility standards, and predictive standards.  I'm not convinced that covers the field or even that these are the right labels. Thoughts?

C & B 2014 make the point that HR Standards must be feasible at scale; ie they must be feasible to apply across a wide array of firms. With 98% of firms having less than 100 employees, and 89% fewer than 20 employees HR Standard developers must not design standards that only suit large organisations (think about the ISO Workforce Planning standard in this context, or the Australian Workforce Planning standard: too complex?). The South Africans designed their 13 national standards to apply to all organisations, no exceptions. This means they are far less complex than the 43 pages of cost-per-hire!


Standard: ISO (..  slightly modified) 'a document that contains descriptions of what technical experts in HR believe by consensus are acceptable or required practices or outcomes in that field.  What the Australian Universities' HR Standards project described as 'what we expect to see'. Standards are voluntary but if well developed and they add value, they should be adopted by leading organisations.

HR Practice Standards: these describe procedural expectations and outcomes [C & B 2014]

HR Activity Standards: what the Australian University project called HR Practice Standards. They are 'what we expect to see'.

HR Measurement Standards: see, for example, ANSI cost-per-hire as an example [C & B 2014].

HR Feasibility Standards: Standards whose objectives is to describe common practices or measures that are feasible across many organisations [C & B 2014]. Hmm, not sure about this one, thoughts?

HR Predictive Standards: A standard (practice or measurment) that has evidence linking it to measures of current or future organisational performance. Again, not sure about this one.

Questions: What is the difference between a standard and a guideline? Is cost-per-hire a standard or a definition?

From the general literature on standards

Basic Standard

Standard that has a wide-ranging coverage or contains general provisions for one particular field
NOTE: A basic standard may function as a standard for direct application or as a basis for other standards.

Terminology Standard

Standard that is concerned with terms, usually accompanied by their definitions, and sometimes by explanatory notes, illustrations, examples, etc.

Testing Standard

Standard that is concerned with test methods, sometimes supplemented with other provisions related to testing such as sampling, use of statistical methods, sequence of tests

Product Standard

Standard that specifies requirements to be fulfilled by a product or a group of products, to establish its fitness for purpose
NOTE 1: A product standard may include in addition to the fitness for purpose requirements, directly or by reference, aspects such as terminology, sampling, testing, packaging and labelling and, sometimes, processing requirements.
NOTE 2: A product standard can be either complete or not, according to whether it specifies all or only a part of the necessary requirements. In this respect, one may differentiate between standards such as dimensional, material, and technical delivery standards.

Process Standard

Standard that specifies requirements to be fulfilled by a process, to establish its fitness for purpose

Interface Standard

Standard that specifies requirements concerned with the compatibility of products or systems at their points of interconnection

Standard on Data to be provided (eg Data Quality Standard)

Standard that contains a list of characteristics for which values or other data are to be stated for specifying the product, process or service
NOTE: Some standards, typically, provide for data to be stated by suppliers, others by purchasers.

Performance Standards

Standard that contains a precise statement of the requirements for an acceptable level of performance.