Survey shows communication breakdown between HR and business

A survey commissioned by activ8 intelligence has highlighted a startling gap between the opinions of human resources professionals and those in business management roles on a range of issues, including the contribution of HR and overall view of recruitment strategy.

When asked to prioritise the most important deliverables for a human resources department, business and HR directors rated highly strategic goals as the key priority. In contrast, HR managers demonstrated a weaker grasp on strategy, being more interested in ‘bums on seats’ thinking than their colleagues.

Out of the sample of 96 organisations surveyed, 72% of HR assigned a high priority to the statement ‘Anything that gets vacancies filled more quickly’, while only 28% of businesspeople felt this was relevant.

Laurence Collins, CEO of activ8 intelligence: “The results of our survey show conclusively that the human resources profession is chasing its own tail on some major business issues. It’s deeply worrying that 72% of the HR people we surveyed are more concerned with getting people in post than in making sure the right people are there in the first place, especially in view of the fact that our figures show that most businesses don’t see this as a priority.”

Furthermore, business respondents as a whole disagreed with human resources specialists on the importance of reducing first-year attrition rates. While HR placed a high importance on decreasing staff turnover in employees with service less than 12 months, businesspeople were more interested in cutting the cost of bringing staff on board.

HR’s priorities as they saw them were given as follows:

  • Attracting more potential top performers

  • Reduce first year attrition in the new hire population

  • Reduce the overall time to hire; from advert to on-boarding.

Respondents from non-HR jobs gave the following top 3 priorities:

  • Attracting more potential top performers

  • Reduce the overall time to hire; from advert to on-boarding

  • Reducing the cost of recruitment

Laurence Collins explains: “This second figure only compounds the issues that HR is facing – perceived pressure from within businesses toward speedy recruitment is trickling through into poor first-year attrition rates because not enough care is being taken to ensure that the right candidate is placed in the right job.”


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