HR professionals are ignorant of essential figures

More than a third of HR professionals do not know the number of sick days their staff take, how long they stay in their jobs, or even the cost of recruiting staff, according to research.

Nearly three-quarters do not know how their HR data compares to industry peers, challenging the notion that HR can create a competitive advantage, the study by HR software provider Snowdrop.

More than 460 HR professionals across a range of sectors took part in the survey. The main findings reveal:

HR cannot see its current people issues:



  • Nearly half have no idea of the cost of recruiting staff
  • More than one in 10 do not know how many employees work for their organisation
  • A mere third agreed inducting new staff should be part of the recruitment cost
  • More than one-third do not have software to manage staff information

HR cannot show how their people should be performing:



  • More than a third of HR professionals do not know how many sick days their employees take each year
  • More than two-thirds do not know how their organisations’ absence rates compare with the industry average
  • More than one-third do not know their previous year’s employee turnover and more than two-thirds do not know how they compare to the industry average

HR cannot forecast for the future and identify recruitment and succession needs:



  • More than one-third do not know their employees’ average length of service
  • Nearly one in four do not know how many employees will retire in the next three years

Michael Richards, chief executive of Snowdrop, said: “HR aims to make a real business impact by contributing to strategy and business planning. But to do so, it has to first understand the HR basics.

“Without being able to accurately forecast future business needs, HR will only be able to ‘feel its way’ not fulfil its boardroom ambition.”

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