XpertHR’s HR Staffing, Costs, and Structure Benchmarks 2013 Report, a survey of over 150 companies employing more than 200,000 workers, has reported that the influence of HR with the C-suite has increased by better than 50 percent within the last two years. The drivers of this change in power were reported to be due to stronger HR leadership, more recognition by top-level executives, greater efficiency in how HR works, and a better understanding of how HR successfully meets challenges. Some additional factors indicating this growing influence in the workplace include rising HR operating costs (reported by 36 percent of respondents), increased activities budgets (33 percent), greater expectation of increased HR operating budgets over the next two years (45 percent) and HR activities budgets (40 percent).
“We found that HR professionals overall are optimistic about the future, especially when it comes to increased budgets and spending,” says Peggy Carter-Ward, head of content at XpertHR. “HR’s influence in the workplace is also increasing, which is an indicator that HR practitioners will be playing an even more crucial leadership role in their organizations’ success.”
The number of HR staff has also remained extremely stable, despite the slow-growth economy, however, at the organizational level, there have been marked fluctuations due primarily to the changing sizes of HR departments (reported by 54 percent of respondents). The most common explanation for decreasing departments was efficiency improvements (21 percent). But even as some HR departments have shrunk in the past couple of years, work volume has remained largely unchanged.