Execs Split on HR Satisfaction

July 28, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Senior executives are split in their evaluation of their human resource (HR) departments - with nearly half dissatisfied or neutral, and the rest (53%) satisfied or extremely satisfied, according to a new survey.

An independent survey of 150 US senior executives released by Accenture (which offers HR outsourcing services) found that among those dissatisfied with their HR departments, response time was the most oft-cited reason. Among those satisfied with HR, personal attention and access to information were most often cited.

According to the survey, more than 85% of executives say they outsource one or more of their HR functions, most frequently:

  • 88% – 401(k) administration
  • 57% – pension administration
  • 40% – recruitment
  • 29% – training and professional development
  • 23% – payroll
  • 10% – health and safety
  • 1% – performance evaluation

The most commonly cited motivations for outsourcing were lower costs (cited by 88%) and access to greater expertise, which was cited by 82% of survey respondents. Two-thirds (66%) claimed they outsource to free up their HR departments to focus on broader company issues, while 64% said they outsource to gain access to more information, and 58% did so to receive quicker responses.

Despite those motivations, the survey found little difference in satisfaction levels between HR services being provided in-house and those being outsourced.

Wirthlin Worldwide, on behalf of Accenture, interviewed 150 senior executives from Fortune 1000 companies between June 11 and June 27, 2003. The survey findings are consistent among all senior executives, regardless of company size, region, and sector, according to the firm.