HR covers a lot of territory as the chart shows. No surprise that benefits and compliance are near universal, but it is interesting that 43% are responsible for safety/security, 10% have operational responsibilities, and 15% wear a facilities management hat.
Type of Responsibility
Percent of respondents indicating they have that responsibility
Employment law compliance
Recruiting and staffing
Business ethics/ compliance
Charitable giving & volunteer programs
Social media/social networking
Green workplace, energy efficiency
None of the above
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Of those that outsource any function, the most frequently outsourced function is background/ reference checks at 60%, followed by payroll for 38%. (See chart for details.)
Percent of respondents who outsource that function
Unemployment claims processing
The HR function most frequently provided to employees as a self-service feature is the employee handbook, with 65% of our survey respondents offering that as a self-service. Name/address change is self-service for 48% and time/attendance is online for 62%; vacation/PTO requests are available online for 45%.
It is particularly interesting that 27% are doing performance evaluation as a self-service. (See chart for details.)
Percent of respondents who provide the feature self-service
When asked about their HR staff to employee ratio, the most common answer was 1 HR staffer to 50 employees. (See chart for details.)
1 HR professional per:
Percent of respondents
50 or fewer employees
51- 75 employees
76 to 10 employees
201 or more employees.
No significant changes have been experienced in the last year by 50% of participants in our survey, though 16% of the HR departments have been reduced in size and departmental budgets have been reduced for 15%. ( See chart for full details.)
Type of Change
Percent of respondents
Now shared services
Over three quarters of our survey participants report playing a role in strategic business planning at their organizations with 37% holding a position of influence within the inner circle. HR plays a major role, though outside the inner circle, for 24% and at least 25% of HR departments play a minor role. HR has no role in strategic business planning for 14% of survey respondents.
HR is viewed as a strategic partner by management teams for 29% of survey participants and as a credible business asset for 25%. It’s still viewed as an administrative function, though, for 41%.
HR is viewed as …
Credible business asset
Our survey reveals that HR reports to a variety of executives with 40% reporting to the CEO or owner of the business. Another 22% report to the President or Executive Director and 15% report to the Chief Financial Officer, while 9% report to the head of operations, 7% to the head of administration, and 2% to in-house legal department.
Number of Hours per Week
20 hours or less
21 – 30 hours
31 - 39 hours
40 hours per week
41 - 50 hours
51 - 60 hours
61 - 70 hours
Myriad challenges face our survey respondents. Recruiting leads the pack at 21% with health care second at 16%. Rounding out the top three is employee motivation and retention.
About the Respondents:
Participants—HR managers and directors account for 52% of the survey participants who self-identified, other HR professionals make up 28%, and 20% are in other areas with HR responsibilities. Eighty-five percent of respondents are in exempt positions and 73% have 10 or more years of HR experience.
Number of employees—The majority of our survey respondents provide guidance to small or medium size employers with 59% providing HR services to a workforce of 1-250 employees and another 16% providing guidance to 251-500 employees at their organizations.
Industries—Almost half (48%) of the participants are in service industries; 18% are in agriculture, forestry, construction, manufacturing, or mining; 10% are in wholesale, retail, transportation, or warehousing; and 24% are in real estate, utilities, or “other.”
Organizations—A total of 713 organizations participated in this survey, conducted in August 2012. Of those who identified themselves, 58% are privately owned, 6% are public entities, and 33% are government or nonprofits. Sixty-one percent are located in labor markets with a population that exceeds 500,000.
Exempt vs. Nonexempt—Among our survey respondents, 65% have less than 5% salaried nonexempt employees, 66% have a workforce of at least 50% hourly nonoffice workers and 31% have a workforce that is at least 50% salaried exempt employees.
Looking at this from another angle, the average percentage of salaried exempt employees for those responding to our survey is 37% and 11% is the average for salaried nonexempt. The average percentage of hourly office employees is 20% and 32% is the average for hourly nonoffice workers.
Labor relations—Of the survey participants, 18% have employees that belong to a union with 2% having a 90-100% unionized workforce and 1% having a workforce that is 5% or less unionized.
The majority of HR departments represented in our survey are small with 36.3% being an HR department of one and departments with 2-3 HR professionals accounting for 32.2% of survey participants. Departments with 4-6 comprise another 13.2%, and 4.7% have departments with 7-10 on their staff.
2 to 3
4 to 6
7 to 10
11 to 20
21 to 25
26 to 30
More than 30
Upcoming survey topics include Employee Leave, Holidays, and Benefits.
Thanks to all who participated in the survey!
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