Managers Busier in 2003

June 21, 2004 ( - The American corporate landscape presents a vastly different picture than just a few years ago, according to a new study.

The 2004 Workforce Diagnostic System by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) found, among other things, that managers on average had more direct reports than ever but that the number of workers served by each HR staffers declined.

The number of employees supported by each manager jumped 6%, from 7.02 in 2001 to 7.5 in 2003, while the number of employees served by each HR employee was down 3% in 2003 to 85. The amount of corporate HR investment per employee was up for the fourth straight year to $1,457 – up 22% since 2001. “Because HR is responsible for attracting, retaining, and developing the organizational human capital that impacts organization financial statements, recent financial performance data suggests increased investment in HR is paying off,” researchers wrote in their report.

According to the study, average compensation jumped by almost 18% since 2000 to $61,415. Average employee compensation and benefits expenses were also up for four straight years to their 2003 level of $80,936 from $72,827 in 2002. Similarly, health-care cost per covered employee increased 40% to $6,037 since 2000.

In other HR metrics, human capital ROI increased 13% since 2001 – suggesting a return of $1,480 for every $1,000 invested in employees compared to $1,420 in 2002. Also, for the first time in four years, the time to fill a position increased to 48 days from 43 days in 2002. The offer acceptance rate increased to 94.4% in 2003, from 93% in 2002.

The survey, which collected data from 300 organizations representing a variety of industries, analyzes Human Resource programs and estimates the total value of human capital and return on investment to an organization.