hr grows in influenceAbout half of HR professionals in the nonprofit sector said that their HR function’s influence had increased over the past year, says the 2014 XpertHR HR Staffing, Costs and Structures in the Nonprofit Sector Survey. XpertHR surveyed senior HR professionals in 260 nonprofit organizations, which together have 991 HR practitioners and 84,886 employees.

As HR’s influence rises, so does its workload. With 21 percent of organizations seeing an increase in staff over the past year, the most common reason for a change in HR staff numbers was growing workloads (57 percent). In fact, although listed as an option, not one organization mentioned a decrease in HR workload.

Among organizations experiencing a decrease in HR staff numbers, the most common reason given, efficiency improvements, suggests that fewer people are being expected to do more work. About one-third of respondents said their HR budgets are increasing and expect budgets to continue to increase in the upcoming year.

Slightly more than one in three respondents said that their organization has a documented HR strategy. Where such a strategy exists, 73 percent said it was developed as an integral part of the overall organizational strategy, while just 18 percent said it was developed as a follow-up exercise once the overall organizational strategy was adopted. Less than one in ten said that their HR strategy was developed independently of the overall organizational strategy, suggesting a potential disconnect from, or lack of integration with, the organization.

Overall, about 20 percent of organizations have formal measures of HR effectiveness in place, while 40 percent do so through informal measures. However, as the size of organization increases, it is increasingly likely to measure the effectiveness of its HR department and to use formal measures to do so. A substantial minority make no attempt to measure the effectiveness of what they do.

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