Skip to main content
IMA Human Resources Blog

Average Cost-per-Hire for Companies Is $4,129, SHRM Survey Finds

42 days is the average time it takes to fill an open position . . .

The average cost-per-hire is $4,129, while the average time it takes to fill a given position is 42 days, according to the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) new Human Capital Benchmarking Report.

In terms of employee retention, the average employee tenure is eight years, the annual turnover rate is 19 percent and the involuntary turnover rate is 8 percent. These statistics remained stable when compared to last year’s findings.

The report analyzes data collected from the SHRM Human Capital Benchmarking Survey in 2016. The survey of 2,048 respondents measured employment, retirement, compensation, employer-paid tuition and other people metrics. The data was collected from February to April 2016 and reflect fiscal year 2015. Metrics from this report are useful to organizations as they evaluate their own operations and practices and can be customized to meet specific needs.

Among other findings:

  • Tuition: 61 percent of employers offered tuition reimbursement. The average maximum reimbursement allowed for tuition/education expenses per year was approximately $4,000.
  • Compensation: The average annual salary increase was 2.7 percent each year. The average target bonus percentage for nonexecutives was 4.7 percent compared to 10.2 percent for executives.
  • Retirement: Among those companies that offered a 401(k), 402(b) or similar plan (92 percent), an average of 66 percent of employees participated. The maximum employer match was 6 percent.
  • Succession Planning: One-third of companies (34 percent) had a succession plan. The positions most commonly included in an organization’s succession plan included the executive team (76 percent), senior management (71 percent) and middle management (46 percent).
  • Management Responsibility: Those employees in middle management positions had the most direct reports (a median of 8 direct reports) compared to those at the executive level (a median of 5 direct reports).

For more surveys/poll findings, visit Follow SHRM Research on Twitter @SHRM_Research. Benchmarking reports contain metrics in the areas of human capital, health care, talent acquisition, paid leave and benefits prevalence. These reports can be customized by geography, sector, industry, staff size and other factors. The service collects data from SHRM member organizations to produce the benchmarking reports and also draws on other research.

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SHRMPress.