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HR Statistics & Trends

Stay up-to-date with the latest HR statistics and trends to keep HR flowing smoothly in 2024

Updated: April 2, 2024

Human Resources (HR) is essential in every business. Not only do HR managers focus on employee engagement and employee onboarding, but they also help foster new skills and assist with career development. Additionally, when HR teams work together, they can help ensure that the future of work is bright for their organization. The HR department plays a vital role, but they are often overlooked.

Professionals who work in HR have many important responsibilities, and it’s essential to stay up-to-date on the trends to ensure those responsibilities can be completed most efficiently. Below, we look at the most recent human resource statistics and trends to help HR leaders and C-suite executives make informed decisions about HR in their businesses.

Key Takeaways

  • 78% of HR leaders are prioritizing maintaining morale and employee engagement.
  • 73% of HR leaders feel the term “Human Resources” is outdated.
  • 62% of workers would consider turning down a job if managers do not support DEI initiatives.
  • Nearly 60% of workers say they’re confused about their job roles and reporting structures.
  • 75% of Millennial and Gen Z workers planned to quit due to a lack of learning opportunities.
  • Over 1 in 10 HR employees at tech companies are using ChatGPT to craft employee terminations.
  • 85% of recruiters say AI will replace some parts of the hiring process.

HR Statistics

Those in HR positions help nurture employees and foster a positive work environment. Yet, 73% of HR leaders said their teams focus primarily on processes rather than individual workers. Whatever their focus, many HR professionals enjoy their jobs.

  • 57% of HR leaders say they love their profession.
  • 91% of HR professionals are excited about the future of HR.
  • 39% of HR leaders believe employees know what HR does.
  • More than 60% of executives view HR as a primarily administrative role.

While many have positive feelings about HR, many are also concerned for the future.

  • 66% of HR leaders are concerned about what lies ahead.
  • 62% of HR professionals are considering leaving the profession.
  • 86% have inflation concerns.
  • 80% are worried about labor shortages.
  • 72% of HR leaders have mental health concerns.

Some HR professionals have also mentioned that a lack of technical proficiency within their teams is a daily challenge; however, only 21% feel this way. In addition to concerns and challenges, HR workers have dealt with change:

  • 91% of HR leaders and 96% of C-suite executives have noticed that the role of HR has changed dramatically over the past five years.
  • 32% of HR leaders and 40% of C-suite executives believe HR’s role will continue to change.
changing role of HR bar graph

Change is inevitable, but these obstacles do not stop HR professionals from working to improve their businesses and employee experience.

  • 78% of HR leaders are prioritizing maintaining morale and employee engagement.
  • 61% are prioritizing finding ways to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

HR leaders are also actively seeking to increase diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. Employees are also pushing for more DEI efforts.

  • 78% of companies have made it an initiative to hire diversely.
  • 34% of job candidates say they require prospective employers to offer DEI programs or affinity groups before accepting a role.

Indeed and Glassdoor also found that 62% of workers would consider turning down a job if they thought the manager did not support DEI initiatives. With employees willing to reject jobs because of a lack of DEI efforts, it’s more important than ever that business leaders take steps to embrace diversity and inclusion.

Job seekers are looking for more than DEI efforts, however.

  • 73% of job candidates say competitive wages play a big role in whether or not they accept.
  • Yet, only 37% of employers plan to offer competitive wages.

In fact, wages have been slowly decreasing since the pandemic, according to the latest data from the Indeed Wage Tracker. During the pandemic years, wages were raised dramatically, hitting a peak of a 9.3% increase in January 2022.

  • In October 2023, wage increases were 4.2%, up from the prior year but down from 4.8% in July 2023.
  • Employers only budgeted for a 4% salary increase in 2024.

Should posted wages continue to slow at the same rate, Indeed predicts they will return to their pre-pandemic pace before the middle of 2024.

Another area job seekers desire in a job is learning opportunities, and many younger workers are leaving their jobs if they do not receive them.

  • Almost 75% of Millennial and Gen Z workers planned to quit their jobs in 2023 due to a lack of learning opportunities.

The lack of learning opportunities is an interesting situation many face, especially since many of these workers have been with the same company for a decent stretch of time.

  • About 44% of Millennial and Gen Z workers have been with the same employer for three years or more.

Providing learning opportunities is beneficial for both the employer and the employee. Younger employees who have been with the same company for three or more years can bring lots of value to a business, but if they leave due to a lack of learning opportunities, it can hurt operations.

Despite some job seekers turning positions down or leaving their current roles, total employment is 3% above its February 2020 pre-pandemic peak as of October 2023.

HR Onboarding Statistics

Onboarding new employees can be time-consuming, but it is vital to do well. If an employee’s onboarding process is not done well, they may feel unprepared and confused about their role.

  • Nearly 60% of workers say they’re confused about their job roles and reporting structures.
  • Yet, only around 40% of executives agree that this challenge exists.

To ensure your employees know what they are supposed to do, you must create an onboarding process that fully informs the new hires, providing enough time for them to learn the role. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure onboarding begins at the right time.

  • 47% of HR professionals said their onboarding programs start when the candidate accepts the job.
  • However, the average time-to-hire has increased from 21 days to 41 days.
  • Top talent can be taken off the market within 10 days.

The hiring process takes longer now for most candidates than it has before. So, it makes sense that many HR leaders begin onboarding as soon as the candidate accepts the role.

Expectations for HR in 2024

As we enter 2024, HR leaders are shifting their view of HR. Sage surveyed over 1000 HR and C-suite executives to see what thoughts they have on HR for 2024.

  • 73% of HR leaders feel the term “Human Resources” is outdated.
  • 85% of C-suite executives agree.

The Head of People at TCC Global, Eszter Lantos, told Sage, “There is a move away from ‘Human Resources’ […] A more appropriate name would now be a ‘People function.’ It’s an old-school view to look at people only as resources rather than as individuals with their own values, challenges, and gifts.”

Daphne Logan, Senior VP of People and Culture at Start Early, expressed a similar perspective: “I’ve shifted away from ‘Human Resources.’ I use ‘People and Culture’ now because that is a truer description of who we are and our work.”

Many HR professionals have reported that the past few years have been a challenge, which could be a contributing factor to this drive to redefine HR. SHRM asked HR leaders about their recent workloads:

  • 91% of HR professionals said the last few years have been challenging.
  • 84% said they felt stressed regularly.
  • 81% said they personally felt burned out.
  • 62% said they were considering leaving HR.

Unfortunately, many predict that stressors will continue throughout 2024. Most HR leaders list several factors that will act as barriers to success in 2024.

  • 92% of HR managers stated that the amount of work they will have will be a barrier.
  • 90% say limited budgets will be a problem.
  • 89% say the lack of resources will be a barrier.
  • 87% say not having the right skills on their teams will be a barrier in 2024.
  • 83% cited lacking the right HR technology as a challenge heading into 2024.
  • 93% are also worried about the turbulent economy.

This year has plenty of concerns and obstacles for HR workers to navigate. To adapt and survive, both HR leaders and C-suite executives say that HR’s role will change “a great deal” over the next five years.

When asked what the top priority for HR in 2024 should be, HR leaders and C-suite executives felt a little differently about the topics.

HR Leaders Percent C-Suite Percent
Talent management 35% Talent management 35%
Diversity, equity, and inclusion 22% Diversity, equity, and inclusion 16%
Financial Growth 13% Financial Growth 21%
Employee health and wellbeing 21% Employee health and wellbeing 15%
Efficiency and productivity 18% Efficiency and productivity 17%

HR leaders place more value on talent management and less on financial growth compared to C-suite executives. This difference shows how the two groups see the function of HR in business.

Despite prioritizing different areas, both HR leaders and C-suite executives know that the role of HR is bound to change in 2024. They are expecting many challenges, and in order to succeed, some things will need to be increased:

  • 42% of HR leaders say they need increased upskilling in HR.
  • 40% say they need more people with technical know-how in HR.
  • 37% say they must invest in specialists (e.g., DEI specialists).
  • 34% of HR leaders say they need increased wellbeing initiatives to prevent burnout.

The Future of HR and AI

HR leaders, along with the rest of the world, are faced with the rise of artificial intelligence (AI). Many people wonder how AI will transform the way businesses operate, and HR is no exception.

  • 82% of business leaders expect AI to significantly or even extremely impact their business.
  • Our recent research also found that over 1 in 10 HR employees at tech companies use ChatGPT to craft employee terminations.

Already, people are using AI more than ever before. In fact, 50% of HR workers currently use some form of AI at work, compared to just 32% the previous year. Interestingly, Oracle did a study and found that 64% of people are more willing to trust a robot than their manager and have turned to one for advice.

With so many people embracing AI, HR leaders are looking forward to seeing how it will be implemented into HR operations. Nearly 67% of HR professionals believe using AI will benefit and positively impact the recruitment process.

A study by Tidio asked HR professionals how they thought AI might impact HR and their jobs.

  • 44% of people think AI will free up time for recruiters.
  • 41% believe AI will provide valuable insights during the recruitment process.
  • 39% think AI will make the recruiter’s job easier.

However, some professionals have reservations about using AI in recruitment.

  • 35% of HR professionals think AI would overlook unique and unconventional talents.
  • 26% believe using AI will destroy the HR industry.

Despite these reservations, 85% of recruiters say that AI is useful technology and will replace some parts of the hiring process. In fact, some think AI will soon be advanced enough to make decisions and replace people, but not everyone is excited about that.

  • 79% of recruiters believe AI will soon be advanced enough to make the hiring and firing decisions.
  • Only 43% of job candidates have the same opinion.
  • 56% of applicants don’t want AI to make hiring and firing-related decisions.
  • Yet, only 22% of recruiters think that way.
ai in recruitment bar graph

Even though HR professionals and job seekers are split on using AI in the hiring process, some think it is already being used.

  • Over 70% of Millennials believe that AI, in some form, was used during their recruitment.

Some HR professionals do not favor using AI to replace people throughout the recruitment phase. Yet, that amount is relatively low.

  • Only 15% of HR professionals believe humans are irreplaceable and necessary throughout the entire process.
  • 25% of HR leaders think having an AI make recruitment decisions is completely unfair.
  • Also, around 23% fear AI will replace them, and they’ll lose their jobs.

Interestingly, this concern is greater for the younger generations than for the older generations

  • Over 29% of HR workers from Gen Z believe that AI will replace them during the hiring process and are worried about the future of their jobs.
  • Yet, just under 19% of Gen X and older share this concern.

Whether for or against using AI during recruitment, you’ll need to be aware of the three main dangers using AI could present. Awareness of these dangers will enable you and your team to work around them and ensure recruitment is handled appropriately and fairly.

  • 21% chance of AI overlooking atypical qualities and experiences.
  • 18% chance of algorithmic bias.
  • 16% chance of candidates manipulating the AI to get the job.

In fact, 90% of people think that applicants can manipulate AI to get the job they want. With enough technical know-how and understanding of how AI works, people can easily manipulate the algorithms. These are aspects to keep in mind if you are considering using AI to help in decision-making processes.

How AI will Affect Jobs

Integrating AI into businesses and everyday life is bound to reshape the world, creating a new type of labor between humans and machines. The World Economic Forum (WEF) believes this shift will disrupt 85 million jobs on a global scale between 2020 and 2025. However, they also predict that it will create a large number of jobs in new sectors.

  • The WEF predicts that the evolution of AI and automation will create 97 million new job roles globally.

Yet, this change will disrupt 44% of workers’ skills between 2023 and 2028. This disruption is also up nine percentage points from the last five-year projection, meaning that the rapid growth of AI is significantly impacting the world.

Much of the workforce will need to reskill to handle this dramatic disruption.

  • Executives worldwide estimate that 40% of their workforce will need to reskill over the next three years as AI and automation are implemented.
  • This percentage translates to about 1.4 billion people of the 3.4 billion in the global workforce that will need to be reskilled.

The majority (87%) of executives expect jobs to be augmented by generative AI rather than completely replaced. But, this percentage varies by industry:

  • 73% of executives in marketing feel this way.
  • 77% feel this way about customer service roles.
  • 97% of executives in procurement agree.
  • 93% of those in risk and compliance expect jobs to be augmented by AI.
  • 93% of executives in finance feel the same.

However, a study by Stanford found that generative AI tools like ChatGPT are actually becoming less accurate. Fully relying on these tools too soon could lead to issues. Therefore, 73% of leaders say they will keep a close eye on their tech, ensuring that the systems are secure and free from algorithmic bias.

Employee Perspective on Work

HR is designed to focus on the employees, helping them through the onboarding experience, settling them into their new roles, and ensuring they receive payments and benefits correctly. Therefore, it’s important to understand how employees generally feel about HR to ensure you can properly address issues.

In recent years, more employees have higher expectations for their work experience and how they feel while working there.

  • 90% of people believe how they feel while at work matters.
  • 46% of people say they have increased expectations for happiness at work.
  • Yet, only 49% of workers say their company measures happiness and employee wellbeing.

Focusing on how employees feel at work and ensuring that they receive fair treatment actually improves performance.

  • Workers in companies with high fair treatment perform at a level that’s 26% greater than those who don’t.
  • Yet, only 22% of HR leaders say their workplace has a high degree of fairness.

It’s clear that the employee experience is essential. Not only does it improve performance, but it also affects retention. Employees told McKinsey their top reasons for leaving a position when it comes to their experience at work:

  • 35% of employees rated uncaring leaders, inadequate compensation, lack of meaningful work, and a lack of career advancement as the main reasons for leaving a job.

The Indeed & Glasswork Trends Report also found that higher pay was a reason that 31% of men and 30% of women wanted a new job.

Another aspect that could impact employee retention is how different groups prioritize work.

  • 45% of employees prioritize impactful work.
  • Only 23% of executives feel the same, according to IBM.

People want to feel like the work they’re doing matters, and business leaders should work to ensure their employees understand why their work is important and impactful.

If the HR department believes that an employee might be considering leaving, there is a possibility that you can do something to help them stay.

  • 52% of employees who quit their jobs said their manager or company could have done more to keep them.
  • However, only 1 out of 3 (33%) former workers actually spoke with their boss before quitting.

Impactful work and fair treatment are vital for employee wellbeing, and you can implement them in different ways into your work model. For instance, utilizing the benefits of remote and hybrid work can increase productivity and satisfaction.

  • 40% of workers say that remote work increases engagement and productivity.
  • 86% of employees want to work from home at least 2 days a week.
  • However, only 3% of white-collar workers wish to return to the traditional work week of 5 days in the office.

Many companies allow employees to work remotely at least some of the time. According to HR leaders, only 4% of businesses require all their employees to be at the workplace full-time.

Work schedules are one thing small business leaders need to consider when it comes to retaining and attracting talent. But there are many other factors that attract candidates.

  • 48% of American job seekers considered attractive perks and benefits (e.g., gym memberships, paid time off, etc.) as the most important factors.
  • 47% valued convenient commute times.
  • 46% of candidates valued high compensation when looking for jobs.
  • 43% wanted a good work-life balance.
  • 41% wanted to work from home at times.

Additionally, the length of a job application can impact talent acquisition. One study found that 60% of job seekers quit in the middle of filling out online job applications because of the length and complexity of the form. Similarly, more than 48% of job seekers find not getting feedback the most frustrating part of applying for a new job.

Finally, how a candidate is treated during the interview is also important.

  • 95% of candidates believe how they’re treated during an interview reflects how they’ll be treated as employees.

While the main role of HR begins after the employee is hired, the stages beforehand are just as important. Early experiences often influence job satisfaction and performance management.

HR Trends

As time goes on, the trends change as people adapt to the new inventions and expectations of the workforce. HR is no different. It’s important to know the latest trends and where they may be headed so you can take steps to prepare.

SHRM asked HR leaders what tech their organizations are adopting in the coming year:

  • 51% said their company is adopting virtual assistance.
  • 52% said their company is getting a global HR system.
  • 54% of HR workers said their companies are adopting automation.
  • 56% said their company is getting mobile HR systems.
  • 59% said their organization is adopting people analytics, cloud HR, or employee self-service.

Additionally, many believe that HR will take a leading role in many different areas over the next three years:

  • 65% of HR leaders say that HR will take a leading role in employee health and wellbeing.
  • 60% say it will do so in talent management and workforce planning.
  • 58% say so for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • 58% say it will take a leading role in employee experiences.
  • 56% say the same for the skilling/upskilling of the workforce.
  • 56% also say HR will play a big role in the company being seen as a good place to work.
  • 56% of HR leaders also say HR will lead in company culture.

However, one workforce trend will end up affecting HR in an interesting way. The Congressional Budget Office projects that workers aged 65 and above will grow from 17.5% in 2023 to 20.9% in 2035. This aging population means the labor market will shrink in the coming years.

Indeed predicts that the aging population will pull down the US labor force participation rate.

  • By 2030, the US labor force participation rate is predicted to drop below 63%.

As the participation rate decreases, experts estimate that there will be around 85 million job vacancies worldwide due to a lack of skilled labor.

Additionally, the prime age population (those aged 25-54) is predicted to decline across multiple countries. In the US, the prime age population is projected to decrease to about 37.2% by 2050.

Interestingly, the prime age population isn’t the only thing that has seen a decline. Indeed reports that job postings have decreased in some of the top industries

  • Software Development job postings declined by 51.3%
  • Information design & documentation declined by 44.3%
  • Mathematics job postings declined by 40.1%
  • Human Resources positions were down by 35.3%
  • Media & Communications declined by 35.0%

The Bottom Line

Human Resources play a prominent role in a company. Their efforts help increase the number of engaged employees, ensure the job descriptions are correct, and manage onboarding. However, some HR professionals are becoming overwhelmed with the amount of work they need to complete.

Around 84% of HR leaders said they felt stressed regularly. Another 72% have mental health concerns. However, with AI rapidly improving and plenty of HR software available, these professionals may soon be able to remove some of the stress. That is, once teams are upskilled adequately on the new technology.

Despite some stress, 91% of HR professionals are excited about the future of HR. Many feel that HR will soon change, taking on similar roles but shifting perspectives. These changes may prove to be beneficial in maintaining a steady workforce in the coming decade. Many organizations predict a decline in the prime age population in the workforce, meaning that there may be many job openings that are hard to fill for a while.

Being aware of these changes will help HR leaders and executives prepare for the future and ensure their businesses are ready.

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