‘What is good HR?’ A survey preview


During March–April 2014, AHRI surveyed its member database to seek answers to questions about what constitutes good human resources practice.

Who contributed to the survey?

In total, 914 AHRI members responded to the online survey, 73 per cent of whom were female.

Nearly half the respondents (40 per cent) were from organisations consisting of between 100 and 999 employees, around a third (34 per cent) from organisations of more than 1000 employees, a quarter (25 per cent) from organisations with fewer than 99 employees. Of the latter group, approximately 10 per cent were from small businesses employing fewer than 15 employees.

More than half the respondents (52 per cent) were from the private sector, 41 per cent were public sector employees, and 8 per cent were employed in not-for-profits.

In terms of lines of reporting, nearly a quarter of the respondent sample (24 per cent) said they reported directly to the CEO, 23 per cent reported to an HR manager (19 per cent) or HR director (4 per cent), and 21 per cent reported to either an unspecified general manager or unspecified manager.

Nearly half the respondents (46 per cent) had no staff reporting to them, and 40 per cent had between 1–5 staff members reporting to them.

In terms of base salary, 30 per cent of the sample reported being paid between $100k and $150k, with 11 per cent reporting pay between $151k and $200k. A relatively small proportion (5 per cent) reported being paid in excess of $200k. That indicated nearly half of the respondents (46 per cent) were paid in excess of $100k per annum, while the remainder (54 per cent) earned less than $100k.

What do good HR practitioners do?

The respondents were asked to nominate descriptors they would use to indicate what they meant by ‘good HR’. Of the 770 who answered that question, 196 nominated ‘consultative’, 161 nominated ‘’partnering with the business and being strategically aligned’, 121 nominated ‘collaborative’, 119 nominated ‘approachable’, and 95 went for ‘knowledgeable’.

Of the more notable remainder, 93 nominated the quality of ‘empathy’, 89 nominated ‘communication’, and 85 nominated ‘strategic’, with 78 opting for ‘proactive’ and 75 for ‘fair’.

Equal numbers (67) rated ‘professional’ and ‘commercially astute’, with 57 going for ‘flexible’, 55 for ‘supportive’, and 54 for ‘innovative’ and ‘trustworthy’ respectively.

Fewer than 50 respondents mentioned qualities such as business-focused, honest, ethical, customer-focused, and open-minded.

The survey also asked respondents to indicate what they believe are the required capabilities HR practitioners should exhibit at entry-level, mid-level, and senior and executive levels, taking into account the understandings required as well as working knowledge of how to deliver a service, and degrees of expertise and specialist know-how.

Detailed findings of the survey will be published in September 2014 in a research report that will appear for use by members on the AHRI website. The results of the survey will inform the redevelopment of AHRI’s model of excellence, which will be formally announced in November.

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Malachy Purcell

empathy is good but surely there needs to be quite a lot of questioning, challenging, confronting; however delicately it is communicated?

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‘What is good HR?’ A survey preview


During March–April 2014, AHRI surveyed its member database to seek answers to questions about what constitutes good human resources practice.

Who contributed to the survey?

In total, 914 AHRI members responded to the online survey, 73 per cent of whom were female.

Nearly half the respondents (40 per cent) were from organisations consisting of between 100 and 999 employees, around a third (34 per cent) from organisations of more than 1000 employees, a quarter (25 per cent) from organisations with fewer than 99 employees. Of the latter group, approximately 10 per cent were from small businesses employing fewer than 15 employees.

More than half the respondents (52 per cent) were from the private sector, 41 per cent were public sector employees, and 8 per cent were employed in not-for-profits.

In terms of lines of reporting, nearly a quarter of the respondent sample (24 per cent) said they reported directly to the CEO, 23 per cent reported to an HR manager (19 per cent) or HR director (4 per cent), and 21 per cent reported to either an unspecified general manager or unspecified manager.

Nearly half the respondents (46 per cent) had no staff reporting to them, and 40 per cent had between 1–5 staff members reporting to them.

In terms of base salary, 30 per cent of the sample reported being paid between $100k and $150k, with 11 per cent reporting pay between $151k and $200k. A relatively small proportion (5 per cent) reported being paid in excess of $200k. That indicated nearly half of the respondents (46 per cent) were paid in excess of $100k per annum, while the remainder (54 per cent) earned less than $100k.

What do good HR practitioners do?

The respondents were asked to nominate descriptors they would use to indicate what they meant by ‘good HR’. Of the 770 who answered that question, 196 nominated ‘consultative’, 161 nominated ‘’partnering with the business and being strategically aligned’, 121 nominated ‘collaborative’, 119 nominated ‘approachable’, and 95 went for ‘knowledgeable’.

Of the more notable remainder, 93 nominated the quality of ‘empathy’, 89 nominated ‘communication’, and 85 nominated ‘strategic’, with 78 opting for ‘proactive’ and 75 for ‘fair’.

Equal numbers (67) rated ‘professional’ and ‘commercially astute’, with 57 going for ‘flexible’, 55 for ‘supportive’, and 54 for ‘innovative’ and ‘trustworthy’ respectively.

Fewer than 50 respondents mentioned qualities such as business-focused, honest, ethical, customer-focused, and open-minded.

The survey also asked respondents to indicate what they believe are the required capabilities HR practitioners should exhibit at entry-level, mid-level, and senior and executive levels, taking into account the understandings required as well as working knowledge of how to deliver a service, and degrees of expertise and specialist know-how.

Detailed findings of the survey will be published in September 2014 in a research report that will appear for use by members on the AHRI website. The results of the survey will inform the redevelopment of AHRI’s model of excellence, which will be formally announced in November.

1
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Malachy Purcell
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Malachy Purcell

empathy is good but surely there needs to be quite a lot of questioning, challenging, confronting; however delicately it is communicated?

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