Human resources is an often underappreciated but essential component of any organization. After all, HR teams handle recruitment, hiring, employee engagement, payroll, office administration, legal issues, and a litany of other responsibilities that make workplaces thrive. From helping to get the right people on staff to creating a culture that excites people, business HR plays a crucial role in a company’s success.
That said, as employees and the world of business change, HR teams must be ready to adapt as well. Employees in different generations have different expectations, employees in distinct industries want specific support from leaders—the list of unique factors that HR teams work around is extensive and complex. There are, however, some overarching HR statistics and trends that all teams, regardless of industry or company size, should know about.
Here, we break down 30 of the top statistics that all HR professionals need to know.
That number is an almost 4% increase over 2019. When determining salaries for new positions, it’s important to compare them to similar rates in your industry and your market, but knowing the national median income is worthwhile too.
As of August 2020, the unemployment rate was a concerningly high 8.4% due largely to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the national and global economies. While projections show that unemployment will drop, it will still be relatively high for the foreseeable future. For businesses, however, that means there is a bigger pool of talent to recruit from.
Comparatively, the average starting salary for high school graduates without a bachelor’s degree is just over $27,000. When recruiting new entrants to the workforce, make sure your entry-level salaries are competitive.
You would think that when companies post jobs, they’re interested in filling them quickly. But it’s not about filling the role, it’s about filling the role with the right person. The other 70% of companies take anywhere between one to four months to make a hire.
While companies generally move slow on hiring, the talent they’re recruiting will not. The top reason HR teams struggle to find the right people for jobs is simply because there is a lot of competition out there and talent is more likely to gravitate toward companies that work with them during the hiring process.
Think of it from the employee’s perspective: A person who is actively looking for a new opportunity is likely filling out dozens or even hundreds of applications on a week-to-week basis. An easier application will attract more people to your role.
Great people probably know other great people, right? Your company should incentivize referrals, either through a cash bonus for any hired referrals—or other perks, like an additional vacation day.
Conversely, 87% say a positive interview experience can change their mind about a role or company they once doubted.
Speaking of interviews, most prospective employees consider their interview with their would-be direct manager the most important interview. This makes sense, right? They’ll spend most of their time working with that person.
Job descriptions are a key point of controversy between HR teams and prospective employees. There is a clear disconnect between the people writing the job descriptions and those reviewing them.
Every company is different, and your company should strive to embrace a positive culture that is better than other companies’. If you’ve put the time into developing your company culture, be sure to introduce new employees to it.
Worse yet, many companies don’t measure how effective the onboarding measures they do have in place are. This limits accountability and prevents opportunities for improvement in the onboarding process. A simple survey can go a long way.
And if that weren’t persuasive enough, as this statistic shows—onboarding actually works. A clear majority of employees who go through an onboarding process say they benefit from it and are better able to succeed in their roles.
The number of employees who resign in the first three months on the job is nothing to scoff at. Instituting a positive onboarding experience that integrates new employees into the company culture can help improve retention.
In fact, company culture can go so far as actually making employees accept salary cuts. You shouldn’t actively be looking to cut employee salaries, but if the company hits tough times, employees who truly love where they work will accept pay cuts to stay on.
Empathy in the workplace is a trending topic in the HR world. People want to work in empathetic workplaces that are understanding when unexpected life events happen and work to give to employees as much as they get from them.
No, 46% is not a great number. As we just mentioned, employees want to work in empathetic environments and a major component of empathy is accountability and support.
Employees are more engaged and enjoy their jobs more when they feel like they’re putting their expertise and abilities to good use.
Recent research has found that 23% of employees feel burned out more often than not, a concerning phenomenon in our workforce. The top three contributors: unfair compensation at 41%, unreasonable workload at 32%, and too much overtime or after-hours work at 32%.
People want work-life balance. Simply adding a week to your company’s vacation policy could contribute to a huge boost in employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention.
While a slight majority of employees would stick with their employers for more vacation time, a strong majority expect employers to support a work-life balance.
Improving communication between employees, managers, and leaders help organizations get the most out of everyone.
Workplaces are slowly becoming more diverse but most HR leaders believe diversity in leadership positions helps promote empathy in the workplace, which leads to happier, more engaged employees.
Not only that, but the vast majority of CEOs believe that empathy is directly linked to financial performance. Ergo: Increase diversity, increase empathy, increase revenue.
Most CEOs feel that the critical skills they deem crucial for their companies are not as available as they’d like.
While HR leaders widely tend to say that their companies are focused on employee engagement, only 43% of people in non-HR roles say the same.
The gig economy is booming, with millions of people relying on short-term, contract, or alternative work to make ends meet. The numbers become even starker when you consider that an astonishing 40% of American workers are in non-full-time roles.
While some people work in the gig economy out of pure necessity, a majority of full-time workers also choose to get involved to make some extra money.
Interest in the gig economy remains high, but only 29% of the total American workforce has an alternative work arrangement as their primary job.
Employers and individuals are at odds when it comes to the gig economy. While employees start side hustles because they aren’t making enough money, many employers feel they can only hire contract workers.
The world of business is constantly changing and HR teams must be on the forefront of navigating those changes.
Between staying up to date on the gig economy, increasing diversity and empathy in the workplace, and improving employee engagement initiatives, HR teams have their work cut out for them in 2020 and beyond. That said, hopefully, these HR statistics and trends will help you find your way forward with confidence.
Read more helpful business-related statistics and data:
Nick Perry is a freelance writer based out of Boston. After working in Hollywood and Silicon Beach, he launched his own small business and frequently referenced Fundera’s resources. Now, he’s a contributing writer at Fundera. Nick has written extensively about small businesses, ecommerce, the restaurant industry, and entertainment. His work has appeared on Entrepreneur, Digital Trends, Toast’s On The Line, and more.