Bloomberg BNA has released its HR Department Benchmarks and Analysis 2017 report.

Issued annually since 1978, the report is a source of information for human resources executives at organizations of all types and sizes, providing benchmarking data and insights required to plan for the future and manage the function more effectively and strategically.

"This year, we have significantly expanded the survey content to include a wealth of data on budgetary information—including how HR departments are spending their budgets—and the roles and responsibilities of human resource specialists," says Molly Huie, Manager of Survey Reports, Bloomberg BNA.

"For HR executives who want to compare how their departments stack up to similar sized organizations, this survey is the definitive resource when it comes to staffing, expenditures, responsibilities, priorities, and influence."

Key findings include:

  • For the second year in a row, the median ratio of human resources staff to total employee headcount is at an all-time high of 1.4 full-time equivalent HR employees for every 100 workers served by the human resource department.
  • Four in five departments have revised HR policies based on recent legislation, with the most commonly cited changes being due to the Affordable Care Act (62%) and overtime rules (48%).
  • Nearly two-thirds of departments (63%) have their own budgets, and the most prominent line items are benefits, employment, and recruiting, training and development, and compensation.
  • The benefits of economies of scale are substantial for HR departments. On a per capita basis, companies with fewer than 250 employees spend six times as much on the HR function ($2,966 per employee) as organizations with at least 2,500 workers ($594 per employee).

The report is based on a survey of nearly 700 human resource professionals representing a broad cross-section of U.S. employers.