HR staffs, budgets experienced modest rebounds in 2012

While staffs and budgets among human resources department did slightly recovery in 2012, these improvements did not make up for cuts and freezes that happened during and after the recession, according to a new survey by Bloomberg BNA.

Still, after two consecutive years of HR departments cutting employees, work force gains in HR were higher than staffing reductions by 10 percentage points this year. While HR budgets have improved over the past few years, they remain shorter than figures prior to the recession.

Another 21 percent of respondents say they added staff positions from 2011 to 2012, and just 11 percent of respondents report that they made cuts. This is a significant change as only two years ago 32 percent of respondents reduced HR staff while 13 percent brought in more HR employees. Twenty-two percent of respondents say they experienced less HR funding this year, a decrease from 37 percent in 2011, and 11 percent of respondents say they saw HR budget cuts totaling to more than 5 percent, down from 24 percent in 2011.

This year the median budgeted change in HR budgets jumped 3.2 percent for a 2 percent from 2011 and 2.2 percent in 2010. Although this figure is moving in the right direction, the median budgeted change in HR department funding in 2006 and 2007 was higher than 7 percent.

Forty percent of respondents say changes regarding their departments' responsibilities within the past year were changed with 34 percent of respondents gaining at least one new initiative and 6 percent of respondents dropping some activities.



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