Is there a single-word term for "Number of employees" as in "our company's number of employees"?

  • 2
    'Employees' already indicates a number by fact of it being a plural. Maybe you just want to put a number in front of it? For example, "Our company's 100 employees?"
    – Jascol
    Nov 30, 2015 at 12:12
  • 1
    I mean the total number. Correct me if I am wrong: if you say "our company's employees" then to me it means we are talking about the employees as a collection of individuals, not as a whole. For example to me "our employees are provided with free lunch" means we are targeting employees as individuals : each of our employees is entitled to free lunch.
    – Kenny
    Nov 30, 2015 at 12:20
  • I'm not entirely sure what you mean here re individuals? What is it that you are trying to say? In your example "our employees are provided with free lunch" would suggest all your employees are entitled to a free lunch...
    – Jascol
    Nov 30, 2015 at 13:35
  • Our company's FTE's. (If you want to count half-time workers only half, etc.)
    – GEdgar
    Nov 30, 2015 at 14:07
  • 1
    @DA. while those two things both refer to a collection of 12, this doesn't mean that "employees" means the same thing as "headcount". This can be seen by observing that "Our company's headcount is 12" makes sense wheras "Our company's employees is 12" does not. This is because "headcount" means the number, wheras employee refers to the thing itself. Dec 2, 2015 at 11:24

6 Answers 6


It might be called headcount. Per Wiktionary

  1. The number of people present in a group or employed by a company.
  • 2
    Sure. Except that "headcount" is kind of ugly, isn't it. Nov 30, 2015 at 12:38
  • 7
    ibid. "The one-word spelling headcount tends to have a business jargon feel to it"
    – Kris
    Nov 30, 2015 at 13:39
  • 1
    This seems to be the only truly correct answer. The other answers are terms for referring to the entire workforce, not for the number representing their total. +1 Nov 30, 2015 at 19:17
  • 5
    @smci It is an inverse proportion: when headcount decreases, bodycount rises. Too bad we don't have a better single word for a number of people. Seems like it would have been devised by now.
    – user126158
    Nov 30, 2015 at 21:35
  • 1
    @Kris Headcount is kind of common tongue, imo. I'd hear it in schools all the time. The business jargon for headcount is "FTE", for example "This is a 50 FTE project."
    – corsiKa
    Dec 1, 2015 at 0:20


personnel. Google Books

: a body of persons employed in an organization or place of work. Random House

The Orchestra, which boasts a personnel of 102 musicians, has long been considered one of Europe's finest.

workforce. Google Books

The people engaged in or available for work, either in a country or area or in a particular company or industry. OED

  • 1
    Would "workforce" refer more to the manpower, the capacity to achieve something rather than the number ?
    – Kenny
    Nov 30, 2015 at 15:38
  • 1
    @Kenny You could say "Our worforce numbers in the thousands" or even "Our workforce is 1,800 strong" to suggest a ballpark number, but you'd likely never hear "Our workforce is 1,812."
    – talrnu
    Nov 30, 2015 at 18:18
  • 2
    I hear more of e.g. French workforce is getting old , We need to attract highly-skilled employees for our workforce . I don't usually see it with number. To me it represents the collection as a whole, like "total/general power of the people who work"
    – Kenny
    Dec 1, 2015 at 11:08
  • 1
    Both personnel and workforce, in this context, are collective nouns, and do not represent the count of the people involved. As witness the definition "a body of persons" not "the number of persons". Dec 2, 2015 at 10:24
  • In the given sentence, personnel is still the collective noun, connected to a statement about the number of musicians by the preposition "of". This doesn't make personnel mean "the number of persons", in the same way that "The orchestra boasts a personnel of 102 musicians, including a string section of 10 violins" doesn't make "string section" mean "the number of string instruments". Dec 2, 2015 at 10:28

I think you may use staff:

  • [S, + sing/pl verb] the ​group of ​people who ​work for an ​organization: There is a good ​relationship between staff and ​pupils at the ​school.*

Our company's staff consist of ..(number).. workers/professionals.

  • 4
    To me "our company's staff" has the similar meaning to "our company's employees", which targeting individuals in general (I am not sure how to put it correctly). You can see my comment to Jascol for my 50c.
    – Kenny
    Nov 30, 2015 at 12:22
  • To me, Staff refers to a sub-group of all employees. For example, when I worked at a programming company, there were Programmers, Customer Support people, Executives and Staff. The Staff were Receptionists, Assistants, Travel coordinators, Human Resources... The people who didn't produce a "Product" sold by the company. I think this is a common usage.
    – user126158
    Nov 30, 2015 at 17:18
  • 1
    @nocomprende 's definition meaning "clerical staff" does exist, but in some older American manufacturing companies, "staff" can mean a very different subset of employees. "Staff" can be mean a relatively high position of vice-presidents and middle managers that report to a company president. For a person to be put "on staff" is a promotion and they would now be invited to "staff meetings" consisting of department heads and similar bigwigs. I think this meaning may be similar to how it is used in the military.
    – Mike
    Nov 30, 2015 at 20:55
  • "staff", as given by the quoted definition, is the group of people. This is a collective noun, not a noun carrying the count. Dec 2, 2015 at 10:19

Definition #4 of “payroll” from WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English is close:

Payroll: noun

  1. the total number of people employed by a business firm or organization.
  • 6
    The context would have to be quite specific and unambiguous to advance this interpretation. In most contexts, "our company's payroll" would be more likely interpreted as "our company's total amount of money paid to employees", or one of the other definitions involving monies paid or to be paid.
    – recognizer
    Nov 30, 2015 at 18:33
  • I'd have to agree with recognizer; not every brick in the wall that is payroll is the same size.
    – corsiKa
    Dec 1, 2015 at 0:21
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    I'd also agree with @recognizer. To be the number of employees, you'd say "There are 1,234 on the payroll" (see also this answer).
    – TripeHound
    Dec 1, 2015 at 11:57
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    IMO “on the payroll” in J.R.'s answer comes from Def#1 (a list of employees to be paid, ...)(“My business has ten workers on the payroll”=“My business has ten workers on the list of employees”) & not from Def#4. J.R. does, however, use Def#4 in the example in paragraph 2:“…, then my payroll was expanded by 20%”=“…, then the total number of people employed by [my] firm was expanded by 20%.” To say that “my payroll increased by 20%”=“my [total] payroll [expense] (Def 2) increased by 20%” would require 1)assuming that all workers are paid equally & 2)denying that Def #4 exists.@TripeHound
    – Papa Poule
    Dec 1, 2015 at 16:32
  • To back up @recognizer : the question "What is the payroll of your company?" has an answer expressed in dollars. Dec 2, 2015 at 10:33

Strength is sometimes used to enumerate the number of personnel or staff in an organisation. It is mostly used in a military context, but it can be used in a civilian sense as well.


6: force as measured in numbers : effective numbers of any body or organization

(an army at full strength)


In the UK, you can use "FTEs" or Full Time Equivalents, this takes into account any part time staff, so you can show the equivalent full time man(or women)power in your organisation.

E.g. "Our organisation employs 100 FTEs"

  • 1
    When I worked at Microsoft, I heard FTE used as well, but as Full Time Employee, so it would not in that case be used to count part time workers.
    – Dan
    Dec 1, 2015 at 16:37

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