Some of you asked for a chart on the revenue per employee that I projected a superstar generates by industry in the recent post The 80/20 of Hiring: How Your Next Superstar is Worth More than $20 Million.

Here it is!

revenue per superstar employee

Data Source: Ongig Research; Article: Your Next Superstar is Worth More than $20 Million

You can use this to justify some extra recruiting/HR budget — if you can hire just one superstar in your industry, you can more than pay for your annual recruiting budget! But remember I’m biased: I would invest those HR/Recruiting dollars into recruitment marketing platforms like Ongig!

For you privately-held tech companies (note: tech is right in the middle of the pack in terms of productivity), you can replace revenue with “market value” and be in the same ballpark — e.g. of your first 100 hires, one of them should move the needle for you by $32M in valuation in 12 months. They would typically do this by building a kick-butt product, attracting other star performers, selling the early “logo accounts”, etc.

As a reminder, the assumptions of this data are:

  1. It uses revenue per employee from the S&P 500 companies.
  2. It assumes you hire 100 people at average compared to the S&P 500 in your industry (if you hire fewer than 100 people, the #’s would be lower and if you hire more than 100 then the #’s go higher!).
  3. It assumes the Pareto Principle (80/20 rule) taking 3 levels deep.

Note: Some people call the Revenue per Employee metric the “personnel productivity ratio”. 

The graphic above is one of 75 slides from The Digital Strategies of Talent Attraction research report. Ping me at if you’re interested in other data from the report. It’s killer.


About the Author — Rob is the Co-founder & CEO of Ongig, the first-ever Employer Branding SaaS that allows employers to attract the best talent in the world faster (including by letting candidates and employers make comments to each other in an open dialogue!). Yelp, Autodesk, GoDaddy, and BMC Software are among the early customers of the Ongig SaaS.

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