HR teams growing but frustrated by amount of admin work

As HR departments grow and spend more capital on what they do, they are frustrated that businesses still put an emphasis on the administration over strategy.

This is according to XpertHR’s 2020 HR Roles and Responsibilities Survey which found that a fifth (20 per cent) of HR’s time goes to administrative tasks, the joint-most time consuming activity with business consultancy.

Also, despite the growth of HR analytics, 62 per cent of businesses lack sufficient meaningful data to measure HR performance. Still, only 5 per cent of HR’s time is spent on analytics.

The typical HR department now has one HR practitioner for every 63 employees (1:63). This has fallen since 2007 when the ratio stood at 1:118.

Noelle Murphy, senior HR practice editor at XpertHR said:

We have seen the HR function transformed since our HR Roles and Responsibilities Survey began 18 years ago. But some things remain surprisingly and frustratingly similar and familiar.

Despite the emergence of new technologies and the more widespread use of HR information systems, HR teams still find themselves bogged down in administrative work that could or should be automated. Too many HR departments still don’t have an identifiable budget. And too few have the data they need to demonstrate the value that HR adds.

Even so, most HR practitioners regard their department’s work as every effective, or at least above average.

MHR Analytics, a specialist provider of business intelligence and analytics found that 45 per cent feel their people data could be used in a more efficient way and 35 per cent find it hard to progress with analytics due to a lack of skills.

Laura Timms, product strategy manager at MHR Analytics said:

The boom in analytics technology is already forging big changes in the HR profession – a trend set to grow in the coming years. Yet for the average business, implementing analytics is not always an easy task, with common barriers including cultural resistance, data silos, or a lack of internal data analytics skills.

We also know that larger companies do more HR analytics. Our research showed 48 per cent of companies with less than 50 employees said they weren’t doing any reporting or analytics, compared to only 6 per cent of those with more than 250 employees.

XpertHR’s survey was based on 260 HR practitioners working for large companies.