HR data round-up October 2011: National minimum wage; HR data visualisation; & using HR data effectively

NationalMinimumWageExperienceXpertHR2011.jpgAt the start of this month, the national minimum wage increase for 2011/2012 came into effect, with the main adult rate of the national minimum wage increasing by 2.5% (from its previous rate of £5.93 per hour), to stand at £6.08 per hour. To mark the occasion of the national minimum wage topping the £6 per hour level, here are five key facts for employers about the UK national minimum wage:

  • Since its introduction in 1999, the adult rate of the national minimum wage has increased by 68.9%, rising from the introductory rate of £3.60 per hour in April 1999 to its current level of £6.08 per hour in 2011/2012. Track the last five years’ national minimum wage increases (XpertHR subscription required).
  • The Low Pay Commission (LPC) estimates that there are 1,077,000 “minimum wage jobs” in the UK (see Figure 2.2 on page 19 of the LPC’s 2011 report). The LPC says minimum wage jobs are “more likely to be: part-time; temporary; held for less than a year; in the private sector; in small and medium sized firms; and in certain low-paying industries and occupations. [...] In private sector organisations nearly 6 per cent of jobs are minimum wage ones but only 1 per cent of jobs in public sector organisations are.”
  • The 2011/2012 national minimum wage adult rate of £6.08 per hour is worth 51.9% of median earnings for individuals aged 21 and over, according to LPC estimates.
  • Nearly two-fifths of employers surveyed by XpertHR in 2011 said that the national minimum wage should be updated every two years (XpertHR Benchmarking subscription required). It is possible that they might get their wish: The Coalition Government has asked the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to consider “the option of two-year recommendations” for future national minimum wage increases.
  • One in ten employers says their experience of the national minimum wage (XpertHR Benchmarking subscription required) since its introduction in April 1999 has been “very positive,” while a further one in five say it has been “quite positive.” Just over half (50.7%) say it has had no impact at all.

This month’s big HR benchmarking questions

Over the past month, we’ve added a host of major HR benchmarking datasets to XpertHR Benchmarking, including the following: managing long-term sickness absence; and Christmas and New Year working arrangements.

Subscribers to XpertHR Benchmarking can drill down into the complete results data from these surveys. Here’s a small selection of just some of the key HR benchmarking questions from some of these new datasets (XpertHR Benchmarking subscription required):

Are you making the best possible use of HR data?

Are you making the best possible use of HR data relating to talent management issues? One in five HR departments is failing to do so, according to the 2011 Talent Management Survey from Sage, based on responses from 200 HR professionals. A further one in three HR departments is only making use of strategic HR data relating to talent management issues “to a small degree.”

The Sage survey argues that HR departments are missing a trick here. It says:

“20% [of HR departments surveyed] said that strategic business analysis does not feed into HR forecasting and they are not yet using data in such a way that it can help HR with strategic planning. However knowing what you’ve got, and what you need, in terms of talent is a core capability for HR departments that want to become more strategic. Organisations should start by assessing whether there are ways in which they can develop a better way of retaining and analysing employee data.”

  • Download the survey findings here.

Data visualisation: A key future competency for HR?

The ability to use data visualisation to tell a clear and compelling story about the facts and figures relating to HR will be a key competency for HR professionals of the future. This is according to Jason Averbook in a post on his Knowledge Infuser blog entitled Vizualize This! It’s time for HR to bring data to life!

Averbook argues that the ability not only to consume but also to create meaningful infographics is increasingly essential for HR. Averbook argues that it’s time for HR to get to grips with “the emerging science & discipline behind data visualization – giving all this information context so that we can make better decisions. It’s important, because it’s going to be one of the critical competencies that separate world-class HR leaders and organizations from the rest of the pack. [...] With good data visualization, we can quickly tell a story, see the big picture, and MAKE BETTER DECISIONS.”

He cites three ways in which “data visualization [can] support HR’s goal to help drive the business and deliver value”: business agility; workforce engagement; and talent and workforce planning.

I’d be very interested to hear if any XpertHR readers have experimented with infographics of their own. Please do get in touch and share your learning points – and any example infographics you’ve created would be of great interest too!

About XpertHR’s HR data round-up

XpertHR’s round-up of HR data for October 2011 is the latest instalment in an ongoing monthly series, highlighting latest HR data releases from XpertHR and other sources, alongside links to news stories and blog posts of direct or indirect relevance to issues around using HR data.

If there are any HR-related data measures you would like to see covered in future XpertHR data round-ups, or if there are any surveys or HR data blog posts that you would like to see highlighted, please do get in touch. You can submit comments via the box below, or contact me directly via Twitter, LinkedIn or Google+.

HR data blog post round-up: October 2011

Here’s our latest monthly pick of top blog posts on HR data issues from XpertHR’s blogs and other blogs:

  • “Better data.” This is “the key to creating a consistent winner, as a sustainable competitive edge requires that you have something valuable AND irreplaceable,” in the opinion of Daryl Morey, General Manager of US basketball team the Houston Rockets. In a blog post for, Morey investigates the critical role played by data in ensuring his team’s success, and argues that “real advantage comes from unique data that no one else has.”
  • Benchmarking annual leave entitlements in 2011 Employers are planning to offer more generous annual leave allowances in order to remain competitive in difficult economic conditions, the latest XpertHR research reveals.
  • Why HR should use data more effectively By Noel O’Reilly, on the XpertHR Employment Intelligence blog.
  • Putting XpertHR benchmarking survey data to the test Earlier this year, XpertHR’s benchmarking survey research programme celebrated its 40th anniversary, the first XpertHR benchmarking survey (under the old IRS brand name) having been published in February 1971. Over the past four decades, the XpertHR benchmarking survey research programme has been guided by strong principles and a commitment to producing quality HR benchmarking data of direct practical utility to the work of HR professionals.

XpertHR data round-up archive

Catch up with all the posts in XpertHR’s data archive series!

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