HR data round-up May 2012: The changing ratios of HR to employees

XpertHR’s HR data round-up for May 2012 looks at: how ratios of HR professionals to employees have changed over the past decade; gender pay trends for IT professionals; latest additions to XpertHR Benchmarking; plus our regular round-up of recent blog posts on HR data issues.

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How have ratios of HR professionals to employees changed over the past decade?

To coincide with XpertHR’s 10th anniversary, we’ve put together a special report entitled 10 years of HR roles and responsibilities (Complete the form to download the report). This report looks at trends in the work and composition of UK HR departments over the past decade, and includes analysis of how ratios of HR professionals to employees have changed over this period.

Recession brings abrupt change in HR: employee ratios

Key findings on how HR: employee ratios have changed over the past decade include the following:

  • Across the whole economy, the general trend has been for a gradual decrease in the median number of employees to each HR professional (although there has been some fluctuation).
  • Over its first six years, XpertHR’s annual benchmarking survey of HR roles and responsibilities found that the ratio of HR practitioners to employees consistently remained above the level of one HR practitioner to every 100 employees.
  • However, the 2008/2009 survey – which coincided with start of the recession – recorded an abrupt fall in this ratio, from 1:118 in 2007/2008 to 1:87 in 2008/2009.

Focus on HR: employee ratios in 2011/2012


XpertHR Benchmarking subscribers can access the complete results data from our 2011/2012 survey of HR roles and responsibilities, which provides extensive benchmarking data on ratios of HR practitioners to employees in 2012 (XpertHR Benchmarking subscription required).

Latest findings on HR:employee ratios in 2012 include the following:

More from XpertHR on HR roles and responsibilities

  • 10 years of HR roles and responsibilities Complete the form to download our benchmarking report on how the HR function has changed over the past decade.
  • HR Roles and Responsibilities 2011/2012 XpertHR Benchmarking subscribers can access and drill down into the complete results data from our latest HR roles and responsibilities survey, which is based on responses from 334 HR practitioners, covering a combined workforce of 360,604 employees.
  • XpertHR HR Department Benchmarker How does your organisation’s HR department compare with other organisations? Answer the questions in XpertHR’s HR department benchmarker to see how your organisation’s HR department measures up against the latest XpertHR Benchmarking data on HR roles, responsibilities and budgets.
  • HR roles and responsibilities: The 2012 XpertHR survey XpertHR’s detailed written analysis of the latest HR roles and responsibilities survey findings.
  • The shrinking HR department An overview of some of the key findings of this survey.

Latest additions to XpertHR Benchmarking

The past month has seen the addition of a number of major HR benchmarking datasets to XpertHR Benchmarking, including the following:

Check out the complete list of around 150 HR benchmarking survey datasets available via XpertHR Benchmarking.

Gender pay trends in the UK IT profession in 2012

Gender equality in the IT profession looks to be a long way off. Women are in the minority in the UK IT profession, and can expect to earn only 88.9% of the average annual basic salaries paid to their male counterparts. This is according to latest analysis of data from the XpertHR Salary Surveys Computer Staff Salary Survey..


The survey reveals the following:

  • The UK IT profession is 78.8% male in 2012. This figure has hardly changed over the past decade.
  • Female IT professionals are not only in the minority; they also learn lower basic annual salaries than their male counterparts at all job levels (see chart above).
  • The average annual basic salary for female computer staff is worth 88.9% of the average annual basic salary for male computer staff.
  • The gender pay gap is widest in the IT job functions with the highest concentration of women.
  • Find out more about the XpertHR Salary Surveys Computer Staff Salary Survey.

How XpertHR benchmarking survey research can help you

XpertHR is a leading provider of HR benchmarking survey research, with a history stretching back to the early 1970s. Over the past four decades, our approach to HR benchmarking survey data has been consistently guided by strong principles and a commitment to quality, accuracy and relevance.

These principles also inform the XpertHR Benchmarking service, which unlocks the complete findings of XpertHR benchmarking survey research. It enables subscribers to access the full depth and breadth of XpertHR benchmarking survey data for the first time.

  • Read our introduction to XpertHR benchmarking survey data and the survey research programme that supports it. We also look at what you can get out of it today.
  • Equal pay: the 1971 survey The first ever IRS survey research article appeared in the second edition of IRS Industrial Relations Review and Report, in February 1971, and looked at the perennial issue of equal pay and the gender pay gap. Its findings remain pertinent today. You can download a PDF copy of it here.

HR data blog post round-up: May 2012

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

  • What Splunk IPO Says About BigData in HR A very interesting article from Bersin, which includes the following nugget: “[When it comes to HR's use of data analytics,] the limitation is you. Only 6% of HR organizations feel that they have excellent analytic skills internally and most have not yet invested the time it takes to build a holistic analytics function. And our studies have shown that ultimately the talent analytics team should be part of the entire company-wide analytics function – because data about people, behaviors, customers, and products all relate to each other.” How does this resonate with your organisation?
  • Data Point #9: Employer Loyalty Isn’t Dead? Wait. What? A great post from leading US HR blogger China Gorman, looking at data from MetLife on trends in employee benefit provision. The survey suggests that there is “a widening gap between employer and employee perceptions of company loyalty towards employees.” She says that, in common with many others, she had assumed “that the issue of employer loyalty was dead.” But the MetaLife data suggest the risk of a “loyalty gap,” which HR and executives would do well to take action to close.
  • Barclays looks behind employee survey results to find deeper truths “HR teams generate a lot of data from employee opinion surveys (EOS) but it isn’t always obvious how to interpret results.” In this extremely interesting post, my colleague Noel O’Reilly looks at some of the key points from a recent article on Personnel Today, which reported on “how Barclays UK Retail bank looked beyond the headline results of EOS data and found some concerns were not being addressed by the survey.”
  • The real meaning of ‘frozen’ salaries in law firms An excellent piece of data journalism from Robina Clough on the blog of legal recruitment firm Edwards Gibson. Here, Robina takes issue with recent headlines suggesting that lawyers are being hit by pay freezes. Robina highlights the “lockstep model of remuneration” used by many commercial law firms, and explains why the realities of this remuneration model mean that “whichever way you look at it, the headlines of ‘frozen salaries’ or ‘well below the average’ increases are a misrepresentation of the current plight of the modern City lawyer.”

About XpertHR’s HR data round-up

XpertHR’s round-up of HR data for May 2012 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+.

XpertHR data round-up archive

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

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