Any successful business will credit its talented staff as the source of many of its biggest achievements. Indeed, human resources are an essential part of any company, and also represent a major cost.

While being an effective manager that facilitates a positive employee experience is no small task, understanding current HR challenges and opportunities can help. Read on for a breakdown of 50 telling HR statistics that can help managers and business leaders create a better workplace that will benefit everyone.

50 Human Resources (HR) Statistics You Need to Know for 2021

Employee pay and benefits is typically one of the biggest expenses for any company. Knowing current HR trends can help you hire the right people and manage employees in a way that increases retention and reduces costs.

  1. Hiring & Recruitment Statistics
  2. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statistics
  3. Onboarding Statistics
  4. Employee Engagement & Morale Statistics
  5. Employee Loyalty & Retention Statistics
  6. Productivity Management Statistics
  7. Corporate Wellness Statistics
  8. Training & Development Statistics
  9. HR Software & Technology Market Statistics
  10. HR Automation Statistics
  11. Fun HR Statistics

1. Hiring & Recruitment Statistics

Glassdoor research suggests that a well-designed hiring and recruitment strategy can help your business quickly find qualified workers, who are a good fit for your company culture and the specific role.

  • 51% of job hunters prefer finding job opportunities through online listings. While a large number of job seekers use their network of friends and colleagues to find positions, over half of job seekers prefer finding jobs through large online job boards that feature openings from many companies.
  • 53% of people look up company details and reviews on job search websites. Websites, such as Glassdoor, PayScale and LinkedIn, offer insights on what it’s like to work for a certain organization. Just like when they’re making a major purchase, job seekers check reviews on prospective companies.
  • Salary (67%) and benefits (63%) are the most important information to job seekers. These two “what’s-in-it-for-me” features of a role shape their decision about whether to accept it.
  • 55% of 35- to 44-year-olds applied for a job using a mobile device. While many assume younger applicants are more likely to apply for jobs on their phone, applicants of all ages have embraced mobile devices for online job applications.

Sources: Glassdoor/The Harris Poll survey 2018(opens in new tab), Glassdoor Research Report 2019(opens in new tab)

2. Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Statistics

Businesses that employ strong diversity practices have been shown to outperform those who do not, while simultaneously helping bring equality to underrepresented groups.

  • The global workforce is 55.3% male and 44.7% female, cites LinkedIn’s Workforce Diversity Report 2020(opens in new tab). Women have made major strides in the workplace, but remain underrepresented compared to men.
  • 58% of leadership positions are held by men. In the U.S., the nearly 60/40 split indicates a clear opportunity for more progress.
  • LinkedIn’s report also highlights that Black and Latino workers only represent 5.8% of leadership roles in their survey.
  • More gender diversity could add $12 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP). One estimate says the global GDP could grow by $12 trillion if the gender gap is narrowed, and businesses that improve their gender diversity could benefit from that growth.
  • McKinsey’s Diversity and Inclusion Report states that companies with greater gender diversity outperform less diverse companies by 25%. When companies put both men and women in leadership roles, they are 25% more likely to outperform their peer group.
  • Companies with ethnic diversity outperform peers of less diverse companies by 36%: Ethnic diversity practices strongly correlate with improved financial performance. Business executive teams that included ethnic diversity were 36% more likely to financially outperform.

Sources: LinkedIn 2020 Workforce Diversity Report 2020(opens in new tab), McKinsey & Company Diversity and Inclusion Report 2016(opens in new tab), McKinsey & Company 2020(opens in new tab)

3. Onboarding Statistics

Preparing an employee for their responsibilities quickly is important, but cutting corners can lead to poor performance and high turnover.

BambooHR, a company that provides human resources software as a service, highlights that:

  • 25% of companies’ onboarding programs don’t include any form of training. Don’t just hand your employees a computer, keys or other tools and expect them to produce on day one. Most new hires want training while on the job so they know how to succeed in their role.
  • Up to 20% of staff turnover occurs within the first 45 days. When employees leave shortly after starting, it’s possible that the onboarding process missed something vital to that new employee’s success. Hiring and training new employees is expensive, so it’s important to hire well and retain talent.
  • 72% of respondents listed one-on-one time with their direct manager as the most important part of any onboarding process. Managers should dedicate time to one-on-ones during the onboarding process to support new hires and make sure the process is smooth.
  • 70% of say a friend at work is the most crucial element to a happy work life. Starting a new job can be lonely and overwhelming, and a strong onboarding process can help employees build relationships. Half of workers with a best friend at work report feeling a strong connection with the company.

Sources: Urbanbound(opens in new tab), Enboarder(opens in new tab)

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4. Employee Engagement & Morale Statistics

Strong employee engagement can increase loyalty and productivity. Keeping current workers engaged may be challenging, but it’s well worth the effort.

  • 51% of managers are not engaged(opens in new tab); 14% are actively disengaged. Managers have the greatest impact on employee engagement. A manager’s level of engagement affects his or her employees’ engagement.
  • Meanwhile, Gallup’s Employee Engagement poll, states 30% of U.S. workers are engaged in their workplace. Employee engagement matters because it can have a significant impact across an organization’s performance, productivity, retention and even reputation.
  • Companies with high employee engagement are 21% more profitable(opens in new tab). Companies with high employee engagement scores ultimately see the results on their bottom lines. Engaged employees are likely willing to work harder for the company’s success.
  • Engaged workers are healthier workers. Since engaged workers have fewer health issues, these employees are less likely to miss work due to unplanned absences, among other benefits.
  • 33% of workers (opens in new tab)look for a new job because they’re bored. One-third of workers cited that they are looking for a new job because they want a new challenge.
  • 89% of workers believe it’s important to always network for future opportunities. With nearly 90% of workers constantly networking for new opportunities, some attrition is natural across all industries.

Sources: Gallup 2018(opens in new tab), McKinsey & Company 2017(opens in new tab)

5. Employee Loyalty & Retention Statistics

Work Institute’s 2019 Retention Report supports that loyal employees stay around longer, reducing hiring and turnover costs. The report states that:

  • 47% of HR teams say employee retention and turnover is their biggest challenge. Recruitment and corporate culture management round out the top three.
  • An estimated 35% of employees will leave their jobs each year to go work somewhere else. Roughly a third of workers leave a job annually.
  • 27% of workers leave their jobs voluntarily every year. Across all industries, more than a quarter of workers will voluntarily quit every year.
  • Voluntary turnover costs continue to rise. The total costs of voluntary turnover were more than $600 billion for U.S. businesses in 2018 and are only expected to grow.
  • 80% of exit surveys use poor methodology. According to exit survey research, results are often inaccurate if surveys are conducted before the last day of employment.
  • Job characteristics and work environment are the biggest reasons for voluntary turnover. Job characteristics and work environment led the way at 81% and 53%, respectively.

Source: Work Institute Retention Report 2019 (PDF)(opens in new tab)

6. Productivity Management Statistics

Efficient workers are the engine that keeps your business moving forward. Keeping high-performing workers and empowering employees to do their job well will help forward-thinking employers excel.

  • Executives expect workers to work remotely at least one day every week. While just 39% expected workers to spend at least one day a week at home before the COVID-19 pandemic, 55% plan on this after COVID ends, states the COVID-19 US Remote Work Survey by PwC.
  • One-third of workers want to work from home five days a week. Once the coronavirus subsides and allows offices to reopen, 32% of workers(opens in new tab) want five days at home per week, 9% four days per week, 17% three days per week, 14% two days per week and 11% one day per week. 17% would like to work remotely less than once per week or stay in the office full-time.
  • Superior workers are up to 8x more productive. One top performer may be worth as many as eight average performers, particularly when it comes to more complex work.
  • Advanced economies expect worker shortage of up to 18 million. McKinsey Global Institute predicts employers in advanced economies facing a shortage of 16 to 18 million college-educated workers.

Sources: PwC COVID-19 US Remote Work Survey 2020(opens in new tab), McKinsey & Company 2017(opens in new tab)

7. Corporate Wellness Statistics

Wellness can influence worker productivity. Companies that take a holistic approach to employee wellness can improve profitability and retention.

  • $1 invested into wellness intervention programs for high-risk employees yields a 5x result(opens in new tab). Wellness programs that target high-risk individuals are a smart investment for companies with $5 in health care savings to the company for every $1 invested.
  • Overall, $1 of spending on employee wellness, including healthy employees, leads to a $1.50 return on investment. Wellness programs may be costly, but they lead to a positive ROI. This saving primarily comes through lower healthcare costs.
  • Disease management programs offer short-term returns. A two-part disease management and lifestyle program saved employers roughly $30 per employee,(opens in new tab) but 87% came from disease management-related savings. Lifestyle management focuses on health risks like smoking or obesity. Disease management helps employees who currently have a chronic disease.
  • 87% of employees participate in lifestyle management programs. These programs saved employers $0.50 per month, while saving employees $6 per month, on average.

Sources: Harvard Business Review 2010(opens in new tab), Rand Corporation (PDF)(opens in new tab), Corporate in new tab)

8. Training & Development Statistics

Providing employee learning and growth opportunities can help retain workers while making them more engaged and productive. According to LinkedIn’s 2020 Workplace Learning Report:

  • 83% of executives support employee learning. Companies who encourage curiosity see employees engage more deeply in their work, with 73% generating and sharing new ideas.
  • 24% of development professionals don’t measure learning engagement. While the majority of development professionals track engagement among employees throughout their development, a good chunk of the industry doesn’t. Common measures include course completion and learner satisfaction surveys.
  • Most managers find out about learning programs through email. Thirty-two percent of managers discover learning programs from email promotions, more than any other communication channel.
  • Over half of employee learners find opportunities on employee intranets. Employer portals led 56% of employees to learning opportunities.

Source: LinkedIn Workplace Learning Report 2020(opens in new tab)

9. HR Software & Technology Market Statistics

HR software can supercharge your department’s efficiency and insights. A quality enterprise resource planning (ERP) system may include a human resources module.

  • PwC HR Technology’s Survey indicates that 58% of businesses use HR technology to find, attract and retain talent. Digital systems have replaced paper-based hiring processes and automated certain aspects of this.
  • HR leaders expect the cloud to increase their productivity while reducing costs. Roughly 44% of talent managers(opens in new tab) look to cloud solutions to increase efficiency and productivity, while 35% see the cloud as a way to reduce costs.
  • 74% plan on increasing spending on HR technology. Thanks to the savings and opportunities offered by a human resources management system (HRMS), most companies plan to expand their use.
  • There’s a $10 billion global demand for HR software. The growing HR software market is expected to pass $10 billion by 2022(opens in new tab).

Sources: PwC HR Technology Survey 2020(opens in new tab), Grandview Research(opens in new tab)

10. HR Automation Statistics

An HRMS or human capital management (HCM) solution offers many benefits. Gartner’s article “AI Shows Value and Gains Traction in HR” highlights the opportunities of automating repetitive tasks to develop a better employee experience.

  • 47% of companies will use AI-based solutions in human resources by 2022. AI is already something 17% of businesses leverage.
  • 57% of those using AI in HR are looking to improve their employee experience. AI isn’t all about automation and making money. It may also improve your employees’ regular work experiences. Helping automate repetitive tasks can free up employees to work on more engaging work.
  • 41% attribute the success of their HR software to a close relationship between IT and HR. HR and IT can’t work in a vacuum. It’s essential for these two teams to work hand-in-hand to successfully implement a new HR application.
  • 51% look to AI to save costs with HR. Repetitive tasks may be automated with AI, and that can lead to significant savings.

Source: Gartner 2020(opens in new tab)

11. Interesting and Fun HR Statistics

  • The average job opening may attract 250 résumés(opens in new tab) states Glassdoor, but only result in four to six interviews. Just a small number of applicants make it past the first application stage.
  • According to the Open University, 79% of job applicants use social media in a job search. The vast majority of job seekers use social media during their job hunt. They may search across multiple platforms, so HR professionals shouldn’t limit themselves to just one.
  • 70% of interviewees were rejected(opens in new tab) because they were too trendy or fashionable. Yes, you read that right! Dress professionally, but don’t out dress your interviewer by too much.
  • Recruiters spend five to seven seconds(opens in new tab) on a résumé. You don’t get much time to shine, so it’s important to have a stellar résumé that stands out from the pile.

Sources: in new tab), GlassdoorUK(opens in new tab), in new tab)

Human resources is a critical component of any organization, and leaders of this department should adopt an approach of continuous improvement. These HR statistics can help you better understand what your employees and candidates care about and how your company compares to peers, so you can make better decisions moving forward.