# Difference Between FTE and Headcount

FTE and headcount are two important metrics that companies use to measure their workforce. These terms are often used interchangeably, but they have distinct differences. In this article, we will define and explore the meaning of FTE and headcount, highlight their differences, similarities, and relationships, provide examples, and discuss their advantages and disadvantages.

## What is FTE?

FTE stands for full-time equivalent. It is a measure that calculates the number of full-time employees that a company has. FTE is calculated by adding up the total number of hours worked by all employees and dividing that number by the number of hours that a full-time employee works in a year. A full-time employee is typically assumed to work 2,080 hours per year, which is equivalent to 40 hours per week for 52 weeks.

Headcount is a measure that calculates the total number of employees in a company, regardless of whether they are full-time, part-time, or contractors. It is a simple headcount of all the individuals that the company employs. Headcount is often used as a simple way to track the growth of a company's workforce over time.

## Definition and Meaning

To better understand the definitions and meanings of FTE and headcount, let's take a look at the table below.

Metric Definition Calculation
FTE Full-Time Equivalent Total hours worked / Full-time hours worked per year
Headcount Total number of employees N/A

As we can see from the table, FTE is a measure that calculates the number of full-time employees that a company has, while headcount is a simple count of all the individuals that the company employs.

## Difference

What is the Difference between FTE and Headcount? The main difference between FTE and headcount is that FTE calculates the number of full-time employees, while headcount calculates the total number of employees. FTE is a more precise measure of the workforce, as it takes into account the number of hours that each employee works. On the other hand, headcount is a simple count that doesn't differentiate between full-time, part-time, or contractor employees.

Another difference between FTE and headcount is that FTE is often used to calculate labor costs and budgeting, while headcount is used to track the growth of a company's workforce. FTE is also used to calculate key performance indicators (KPIs), such as revenue per employee or productivity per employee, while headcount is used to calculate ratios, such as employee turnover rate or employee retention rate.

## Relationship

Despite their differences, FTE and headcount are related and have some similarities. FTE can be used to calculate headcount by dividing the total number of hours worked by the number of hours that a full-time employee works in a year. Similarly, headcount can be used to calculate FTE by multiplying the total number of employees by the average number of hours worked per week and dividing that number by the number of hours that a full-time employee works in a year.

Another similarity between FTE and headcount is that both metrics can be used to calculate employee costs. FTE is used to calculate labor costs, while headcount is used to calculate the total cost of all employees, including salaries, benefits, and other expenses.

## Example

Let's take a look at an example to better understand how FTE and headcount are calculated.

Suppose that a company has 20 employees who work an average of 30 hours per week. The company also has 5 employees who work full-time, or 40 hours per week.

To calculate the FTE, we need to add up the total number of hours worked by all employees and divide that number by the number of hours that a full-time employee works in a year. In this case, the total number of hours worked by all employees is:

20 employees x 30 hours per week = 600 hours per week

To calculate the FTE, we divide the total number of hours worked by the number of hours that a full-time employee works in a year:

600 hours per week / 2,080 hours per year = 0.29 FTE

This means that the company has the equivalent of 0.29 full-time employees, based on the hours worked by all employees.

To calculate the headcount, we simply add up the total number of employees:

20 part-time employees + 5 full-time employees = 25 employees

• Provides a more precise measure of the workforce.
• Enables companies to calculate labor costs and budgeting.
• Can be used to calculate KPIs, such as revenue per employee or productivity per employee.

• Doesn't take into account part-time or contract employees.
• May not reflect the true number of employees that a company has.
• Can be more complex to calculate.

• Provides a simple way to track the growth of a company's workforce.
• Reflects the total number of employees, regardless of their employment status.
• Can be used to calculate ratios, such as employee turnover rate or employee retention rate.

• Doesn't differentiate between full-time, part-time, or contract employees.
• Doesn't provide a precise measure of the workforce.
• May not be useful for calculating labor costs or budgeting.

## Comparison

To compare the advantages and disadvantages of FTE and headcount, let's take a look at the table below.

FTE Provides a more precise measure of the workforce. Enables companies to calculate labor costs and budgeting. Can be used to calculate KPIs. Doesn't take into account part-time or contract employees. May not reflect the true number of employees that a company has. Can be more complex to calculate.
Headcount Provides a simple way to track the growth of a company's workforce. Reflects the total number of employees, regardless of their employment status. Can be used to calculate ratios. Doesn't differentiate between full-time, part-time, or contract employees. Doesn't provide a precise measure of the workforce. May not be useful for calculating labor costs or budgeting.

As we can see from the table, FTE provides a more precise measure of the workforce and is useful for calculating labor costs and budgeting. However, it doesn't take into account part-time or contract employees and may not reflect the true number of employees that a company has. On the other hand, headcount provides a simple way to track the growth of a company's workforce and is useful for calculating ratios, but it doesn't provide a precise measure of the workforce and may not be useful for calculating labor costs or budgeting.

### What does FTE staff mean?

FTE staff refers to the number of full-time employees that a company has. It's a metric that calculates the number of full-time employees that a company has, based on the number of hours worked. It's a way for companies to measure the size of their workforce, without taking into account part-time or contract employees.

### What is FTE vs HCM?

HCM stands for Human Capital Management. It's a term used to describe the process of managing a company's workforce, from recruitment to retirement. FTE, on the other hand, is a metric used to measure the size of a company's workforce, based on the number of full-time employees. While FTE and HCM are related, they are not the same thing. HCM encompasses all aspects of managing a company's workforce, while FTE is a specific metric used to measure the size of the workforce.

### How do you convert FTE to headcount?

To convert FTE to headcount, you need to know the number of hours that a full-time employee works in a year. Typically, this is around 2,080 hours per year, or 40 hours per week for 52 weeks. To calculate the headcount, you simply divide the total number of hours worked by all employees by the number of hours that a full-time employee works in a year. For example, if a company has 10 full-time employees and 5 part-time employees who work 20 hours per week, the total number of hours worked would be:

10 full-time employees x 2,080 hours per year = 20,800 hours
5 part-time employees x 20 hours per week x 52 weeks per year = 5,200 hours

The total number of hours worked by all employees is 26,000 hours. To convert this to headcount, we divide by the number of hours that a full-time employee works in a year:

26,000 hours / 2,080 hours per year = 12.5 employees

In this case, the company has the equivalent of 12.5 employees, based on the hours worked by all employees.

### What is the difference between FTE and FT?

FTE stands for Full-Time Equivalent, while FT simply stands for Full-Time. The difference between the two is that FTE is a metric used to measure the size of a company's workforce, based on the number of full-time employees. FT, on the other hand, is simply a description of an employee's status as a full-time employee. FTE takes into account the number of hours that employees work, while FT only describes the employment status of an employee.

Conclusion

In conclusion, FTE and headcount are important metrics that companies use to measure their workforce. While they are often used interchangeably, they have distinct differences. FTE provides a more precise measure of the workforce and is useful for calculating labor costs and budgeting, while headcount provides a simple way to track the growth of a company's workforce and is useful for calculating ratios. Companies should choose the metric that best fits their needs and goals, based on their specific situation.