Is Your HR Department Using Its Time Most Effectively?

Study Provides Window into Allocation of HR Department Resources

February 08, 2021

Scottsdale, Arizona – Recruiting, sourcing and selection get the lion’s share of attention from HR departments at organizations of all sizes, according to WorldatWork’s Study on HR Organization Structure. And while analytics is becoming a hot area in HR and companies are adopting sophisticated platforms to generate insights, HR departments are devoting a minimal amount of time to people analytics. The survey provides a comprehensive overview and serves as a benchmark of how HR departments allocate resources to various functions. HR personnel headcounts and job responsibilities by role in recruiting, well-being, people analytics, development/training, compensation, and benefits were evaluated at organizations. (Journalists: email for a copy.)

Sample Findings:

  • Companies with fewer than 500 employees are likely to have 1.8 people spending at least a few hours of their time each week on recruiting, sourcing and selection; organizations with 10,000+ employees are likely to have more than 29 people spending a few hours a week supporting the effort.
  • Resources devoted to people analytics do not correspond with interest in this growing field. HR departments of companies with 10,000+ employees allocate on average 5.1 people to spend a few hours per week on these initiatives.
  • As organizations increase in size, resources devoted to personal well-being do not scale accordingly. Regardless of organization size, well-being is likely to only have one to two people supporting the effort.
  • Among “specialist” titles analyzed, Total Rewards professionals emerged as the least likely to focus on a single function. The role demands attention to multiple HR functions, with the exceptions of recruiting and training.
  • 63% of organizations say they are doing a very good/good job at addressing workplace equity including removing bias from core processes, addressing pay equity and creating an inclusive and diverse work environment.

“Analytics must be a top priority in HR,” says Scott Cawood, CEO, WorldatWork. “It is incumbent upon HR professionals to learn and leverage analytics to help their organizations perform and compete in our data-driven, on-demand and fast-moving organizations. Having a grasp of how to strategically use data and analytics to drive hiring decisions, and to increase employee engagement, productivity, and retention, offers HR a different way of adding tremendous value. Further, as organizations grapple with the consequences of the pandemic on their workers, personal well-being will require a significant increase in scope and effectiveness by HR to cultivate a culture where people perform at their absolute best. A genuine commitment to well-being will likely be the differentiator in your ability to retain top talent.”


WorldatWork collected survey data over 27 days ending on 12/16/20. A total of 892 responses were received, representing organizations of different sizes and across multiple industries. The demographics of the survey sample and the respondents are similar to the WorldatWork membership as a whole. The typical WorldatWork member works at the managerial level or higher in the headquarters of a large company in North America.

About WorldatWork

WorldatWork is the leading global nonprofit organization for professionals engaged in the critically important practice of total rewards. We serve those who are responsible for cultivating inspired, engaged, productive and committed workers in effective and rewarding workplaces. We guide them in the design and delivery of total rewards programs with our education and certification; idea exchange; thought leadership; knowledge creation; information sharing; research; advocacy; and networking.

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