Study’s details say much about HR’s clout

By BenefitsPro


By Dan Cook

Short of changing jobs every couple of years, it’s generally been difficult for HR professionals to determine how their situations compare to their peers elsewhere in the working world.

Now, thanks to XpertHR, you’ll have some hard data to satisfy your curiosity. While the orders of magnitude may not be surprising, the richness of detail is what makes this survey worth perusing.

The firm’s survey, “HR Staffing, Costs and Structure Benchmarks 2013 Report,” sifted through data from 156 senior HR professionals. The top-of-the-pile results:

Departmental budgets:

Overall, 51.9 percent of HR departments had an allocated HR budget, 41.7 percent had no budget and 6.4 percent did not know if they had a budget. Hmmm…

“Budgets were most common in the largest organizations, where 80.6 percent had an allocated budget, and in the public sector, where 65.1 percent did so,” Xpert said.

Xpert reported results of its effort to drill down on the cost of the HR department across many channels, and how much HR departments were able to spend to do their job on behalf of the company.

Departmental costs included HR staff salaries and the money required to have an HR department. The “HR activities budget” took into account department expenditures on recruitment, training and other activities for the organization as a whole. Xpert divided the operating costs budget by the number of HR staff to achieve “meaningful benchmarks.” Here’s the key data:

Operating costs per HR staff member

Overall, the median cost was $100,000, with an upper and lower quartile range of $132,275 and $73,100, respectively. Large company HR (1,000 employees+) cost less ($86,428) than small (1-249) ($111,110) and mid-sized (250-999) ($95,909). More breakdowns:

Services: $83,155

Manufacturing/production: $132,160

Public sector: $120,000

HR activities budget per employee

The overall median budget was $1,250 per employee, with the middle 50 percent of organizations having activities budgets of between $416 and $2,970. More details:

Private: $863

Mfg/production: $2,183

Public: $1,784

1-249: $1,739

250-999: $1,485

1,000+: $721

Staffing ratios: HR staff to total employees

The overall median ratio was one HR practitioner to every 100 employees, with the middle 50 percent of organizations having ratios between 1:60 and 1:140.

Private: 1:90

Mfg/production: 1:98

Public: 1:125

1-249: 1:60

250-999: 1:124

1,000+: 1:126

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com