Companies Embark on HR Spending Spree

January 16, 2002 ( - The economy may still be in the doldrums, but most companies polled by Towers Perrin plan to step up technology spending in their human resources departments this year.

According to Towers’ latest e-Track survey designed to measure companies’ success on making HR functions self-service on the Web:

  • over three-quarters of respondents say they plan to spend more for general benefits software,
  • while 68% plan wider pocketbooks for training applications, and
  • close to two-thirds of respondents say they will dig deeper for recruiting and hiring systems


Never miss a story — sign up for PLANSPONSOR newsletters to keep up on the latest retirement plan benefits news.

  • almost 60% say their spending will increase for employee-orientation software,
  • almost three-quarters will increase spending on personal employee data systems, and
  • a similar percentage will spend more on HR office-productivity software

Researchers say that less than 3% of those participating said they planned HR technology cuts.

Web already in Wide Use

Asked about current technology use,

  • more than nine out of 10 respondents use the Web to communicate with employees, and
  • just under half, 48% give employees the ability to manage services on their own, such as enrolling in benefit plans or training courses

The Web’s rapid growth stems from companies’ strong belief in their potential to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of HR service, according to Towers Perrin.

For instance, 96% of the survey respondents agree that Web self-service can improve efficiency in both the HR function and the organization overall, as well as improve the quality and timeliness of services to employees.

That’s particularly true, the largest companies who reported the most online success with online HR function

According to the survey:

  • almost 65% of the largest companies, those employing more than 50,000 workers, use the Web for informational and transactional functions,
  • while 41% of smaller companies, those with less than 10,000 employees, use e-HR systems

The Towers Perrin e-Track survey, conducted via the Web, reached 208 business executives across North America.