Benefits and Compensation

HR Department Survey Results–How Does Your Department Compare?

What Is HR Responsible For?

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

Employee benefits

93%

Employment law compliance

90%

Recruiting and staffing

89%

Compensation

87%

Unemployment benefits

85%

Workers’ comp

79%

Retirement plans

72%

Training/development

68%

Recognition/incentives

68%

Business ethics/ compliance

59%

Talent management

57%

Payroll

58%

Company events

53%

Safety/security/loss prevention

43%

Corporate/internal communications

42%

Relocation

34%

Charitable giving & volunteer programs

29%

Social media/social networking

16%

Facilities management

15%

Operations

10%

Green workplace, energy efficiency

6%

Other

7%

None of the above

0.5%

 


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Who Is Outsourcing What?

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.)

Function

Percent or respondents who outsource that function

Background/reference checks

60%

Payroll

38%

Unemployment claims processing

28%

Workers’ comp

27%

Benefits administration

23%

Training

5%

Recruiting/staffing

3%

 

What Functions Are Offered Self-Service?

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.)

Feature

Percent of respondents who provide the feature self-service

Handbook

65%

Time/Attendance

62%

Benefits

49%

Name/Address Change

48%

Vacation/PTO

45%

Performance Evaluation

27%

Other

6%

What’s the HR Staff to Employee Ratio?

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

33%

51- 75 employees

17%

76 to 10 employees

14%

101-150,

15%

151-200,

8%

201 or more employees.

13%

How Have Departments Changed?

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

No Change

50

More automated

23

Size reduced

16

Budget reduced

15

More Outsourced

5

Now shared services

3

Is HR a Strategic Partner?

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.

How Is HR Viewed?

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 …

Percent of respondents

Administrative function

41%

Strategic partner

29%

Credible business asset

25%

Window dressing

2%

Other

3%

To Whom Does HR Report?

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.

How Many Hours Do HR Managers Work?

Number of Hours per Week

Percent of respondents

20 hours or less

1%

21 – 30 hours

2%

31 – 39 hours

5%

40 hours per week

21%

41 – 50 hours

53%

51 – 60 hours

16%

61 – 70 hours

3%

70+ hours

1%

What Big Challenges Lie Ahead?

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.

Department Size

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.
 

Number in HR Department

Percent of respondents

1

36.3%

2 to 3

32.2%

4 to 6

13.2%

7 to 10

4.7%

11 to 20

6.4%

21 to 25

2.7%

26 to 30

0.6%

More than 30

2.7%

0

1.2%

Upcoming survey topics include Employee Leave, Holidays, and Benefits.
Thanks to all who participated in the survey!