Benchmarking Analysis on the Future of HR is here…

October 22, 20158:38 am1716 views
Benchmarking Analysis on the Future of HR is here…
Bloomberg BNA HR Department Benchmarks Infographic

This report, which has been issued annually for over three decades, is a vital source for human resources executives at organizations of all types and sizes, providing benchmarking data and insights required to plan for the future and manage the function more effectively and strategically.

Bloomberg BNA released its HR Department Benchmarks and Analysis 2015-2016 report, the most in-depth source for research and analysis on HR department responsibilities, staffing, expenditures and budgets, influence, priorities and strategic planning.

For decades, HR executives have relied on Bloomberg BNA’s in-depth research and analysis of the human resources function on topics such as staffing, recruiting and retention, job absence, turnover, and labour/management negotiations.

“Improvements in the job market over the past year have led to workforce growth that has outpaced HR department staffing levels,” said Tony Harris, Managing Editor of Human Resource Publications at Bloomberg BNA.  “This means that HR departments are being tasked with supporting more employees, potentially putting a strain on organizational resources.”

Key findings highlighted in the report include:

  • The median ratio of human resources staff to total employee headcount declined to 1.1 full-time equivalent HR employees for every 100 workers served by the human resource department, down from a record high of 1.3 human resource staff members per 100 workers in both 2014 and 2013.
  • Recruitment and retention remain at or near the top of most HR professionals’ agendas, with nearly nine of out of ten respondents saying that hiring and keeping employees are extremely or very important. Controlling healthcare costs was cited by roughly three-quarters of respondents, down from 86 percent four years ago.
  • The median budgeted change in HR department funding is 4.2 percent, relatively flat compared to recent years and well up from the 2009-2011 recession levels, but still far below 1998 to 2007 levels, where median changes were on average 5 percent or higher.

See: What Is the Future of HR?

  • The benefits of economies of scale are substantial for HR departments — on a per capita basis, companies with fewer than 250 employees spend four times as much on the HR function ($3,372 per employee) as organizations with at least 2,500 workers ($816 per employee).
  • HR staff shifts quickly as workforce size increases. Supervisors and managers typically make up well over half of the HR department staff in the smallest companies, compared with about one-third of human resource contingents in the largest organizations (2,500 or more employees).
  • HR funding growth in the non-business sectors has slightly exceeded inflation over the course of the last decade, while growth in per capita expenditures among manufacturing companies and nonmanufacturing enterprises has been more than double the national inflation rate since 2005.
  • Compensation and benefits still sit atop the analytical heap in human resources. Pay and benefits programs are subject to some degree of quantitative analysis and/or strategic planning at nearly nine in 10 responding organizations (89 percent), including 59 percent that conduct regular examinations of their wage, salary and benefits systems.
  • Employee benefits are HR’s bailiwick, usually without assistance or interference from elsewhere in the organizations. The HR department manages all aspects of insurance benefits, unemployment compensation and leave programs and policies at more than seven in 10 surveyed organizations, and a strong majority of companies entrust their cafeteria benefits, pension and retirement programs and flexible spending accounts to human resources alone.
  • Reporting relationships continue to matter; HR’s corporate influence is strongest when its leader answers directly to top brass. Only 25 percent of responding HR executives reported that human resources has ‘‘full’’ involvement in corporate decision-making, the same percentage indicating complete strategic integration a decade ago.
  • The HR department remains much more likely to acquire new responsibilities than to have any tasks or programs removed from its duty roster. About one in four HR departments surveyed in 2015 (23 percent) acquired new functions within the past year, while less than one-tenth (9 percent) relinquished one or more activities during the previous 12 months.

On the whole, HR departments have gained a larger overall share of their organizations’ financial resources over the last decade. Human resources funding for 2015 constitutes a median of 1.4 percent of the surveyed employers’ budgeted operating expenses for the year.

Also read: Top 10 Disruptive HR Technology Trends for 2016

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