IPMA-HR developed the following definition for benchmarking: A comparison of similar processes across public and private organization to identify best practices to improve organizational performance. The characteristics and attributes of benchmarking include measuring performance, systematically identifying best practices, learning from leading organizations and adapting best practices as appropriate.
IPMA-HR's benchmarking goals are to identify, measure and share the best practices of leading HR organizations. This information is made available so member organizations can compare their practices to benchmark HR organizations and identify opportunities for improvement.
The primary purpose of the benchmarking project is to provide human resource practitioners with tools, models, skills, methods and data to improve the effectiveness of their HR programs for their customers. This is not an awards program but a chance for professionals to learn and share information.
In addition to providing summary HR information, a key goal of the benchmarking project is to identify "best practices" in HR, enabling users to learn from leading organizations and adapt and adopt the most successful approaches. The HR Benchmarking Committee analyzes respective survey data to identify best practice organizations in different subject areas that are surveyed. Rarely can a program or solution seamlessly transfer to every organization and identifying best practices can be somewhat subjective. What distinguishes the IPMA-HR benchmarking project, however, is the identification of successful HR models that HR professionals can learn from and perhaps adopt in their agencies.