60 HR Statistics for 2024 to Help You Improve Your Team

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Introduction

HR statistics help you understand if your human resource practices are keeping up with shifting employee priorities, the rise of technology, and ever-changing market conditions. Without them, it can be tricky to know if you’re investing in the right HR strategies and where you stand versus competing organizations.

However, with so much information out there, it’s challenging to find trustworthy statistics. Benchmarking with the wrong data can backfire—leading to poor decision-making, low employee satisfaction, high turnover, and other problems.

That’s why we’ve put together 60 powerful, reliable, and relevant HR statistics for you. Using them will help you make data-driven decisions, get leadership buy-in, identify strengths and areas for development, and adjust your HR practices for maximum success in 2024.

Key Stats

  • 50% of job seekers wouldn’t work for a company with a bad employer reputation, even for more money.
  • On average, women still earn about 17% less than men.
  • 50% of all employees are expected to need reskilling by 2025.
  • 90% of companies with office space want employees to return to the office by the end of 2024, but 98% of workers still want some form of remote working arrangement.

60 Must-Know HR Statistics for 2024

Here are the most important HR statistics to consider today.

HR Business Integration

This data looks at the dynamic between business and HR in today’s environment, specifically focusing on how companies manage and perceive their HR roles.

Ideally, a company should have 1.4 HR representatives for every 100 employees.

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In reality, the HR-to-employee ratio is much higher—about 3.4—for smaller businesses. This decreases for medium businesses, with an average ratio of 1.22, and is lowest for large businesses, which have 1.03 HR professionals for every employee.

57% of company executives said they outsource their HR functions.

In addition to IT and Finance, HR is among the most outsourced business functions. 79% of shared service centers provide payroll services, 57% offer HR analytics and reporting, and 57% support companies with recruiting and staffing administration.

HR Functions Performed by Shared Service Centers

70% of chief executive officers expect their heads of HR to be key players in business strategy, but only 55% believe they’re doing so.

More leaders are recognizing the importance of HR in meeting overall business objectives rather than being a purely administrative function. However, there’s scope for HR professionals to improve when it comes to strategic HR management.

Hiring and Onboarding

The statistics below focus on the time and resources required to recruit and onboard new employees and what factors help to attract and retain new hires.

It takes an average of 44 days for companies to fill open positions, about 40% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

With unemployment levels declining, candidates are more choosy about what offers they accept. This, combined with messy and bureaucratic hiring processes, has increased the time it takes to fill open roles.

The average cost per hire is $4,700, but many employers believe the real cost could be up to four times the candidate’s salary.

30-40% of this comprises hard costs, such as job advertising, recruitment agency or headhunter fees, online testing, travel reimbursements, background checks, and other tangible expenses.

The remaining amount can be attributed to soft costs, such as time spent by internal staff on recruitment processes, the impact of vacancies on productivity, and the potential loss of business opportunities due to unfilled positions.

86% of candidates research company reviews and ratings before applying for a job, and 50% wouldn’t work for a company with a bad employer reputation, even for more money.

This points to the importance of building a strong employer brand and creating a positive employee and candidate experience in today’s hiring and HR landscape.

Around two out of three job applications are made using mobile devices.

45% of job seekers use their smartphones at least once per day to search for new roles. Overall, the current generation of candidates prefers to apply for jobs through their smartphones. This also works better for those who don’t have laptop access.

92% of employers use social media and professional networks to hire talent.

This makes sense considering today’s workforce consists largely of millennials and Gen Z employees. But that’s not all, 71% of employers even use social media to research and screen applicants, and 55% have found content that deters them from hiring someone.

48% of candidates say their biggest frustration during an application process is being left in the dark.

This is followed by lengthy applications (35%), having to manually enter job fields even after uploading a resume (33%), a lack of acknowledgment of application receipt (31%), and having to customize documents for every role (25%).

Top Frustrations During the Application Process

29% of new hires felt their onboarding process didn’t prepare them for the job, and around 30% of employees quit their new jobs within the first 90 days.

Candidates’ application and onboarding experiences matter. 68% said it reflects how they view the company overall, and 51% of employees want HR to check in with them for up to a year after they join a new company.

40% of new employees believe their job is misaligned with how it was described during the interview process.

With a mismatch of expectations, many onboarding processes are set up to fail. Employees feel misled, and for many, this first negative experience can be a deal breaker.

Organizations that implement a formal onboarding program see 50% better retention and 62% more productivity among new hires.

This is again a testament to the importance of establishing a strong onboarding program and creating a positive experience for your recruits.

Compensation and Benefits

Below, you can find important information about how employees are paid and what benefits they’re offered.

In 2023, the average annual nationwide salary in the US was $59,428.

Meanwhile, the average hourly rate across the country was $28.34.

Employers are planning smaller salary increases in 2024.

Companies are projected to raise their salary increase budgets by 3.5% in 2024, compared to 3.8% in 2023. This may go down even further if economic conditions decline.

On average, women still earn about 17% less than men.

Data suggests that till the end of 2022, women earned just 82 cents for every dollar earned by men. The gap was even wider for rural women of color, with rural Black and Hispanic women making 56 cents for every dollar earned by rural White men.

Here’s a summary of employee benefits offered in the US in 2023:

Percentage of Workers with Access to benefits

Except in the case of paid family leave and flexible work schedules, a higher percentage of private industry union workers receive benefits compared to non-union workers.

Payroll

Here are some key statistics about payroll and common payroll errors to look out for.

43% of private employers make bi-weekly payments—the most common pay schedule in the US.

Bi-weekly payroll comprises 26 payroll cycles, paid every other week for 52 weeks. 27% of employers use weekly pay periods, and 19.8% pay employees semi-monthly—with 24 payroll cycles, twice a month for 12 months. The least common is monthly payments, made by about 10.3% of employers.

73% of companies outsource some aspect of payroll and make fewer payroll mistakes as a result.

Companies that run payroll in-house make twice as many errors (an average error rate of 11.4%) than those using third-party payroll solutions (an average error rate of 6.1%).

Roughly one in three employers make payroll errors each year, leading to costly penalties.

Small businesses make even more mistakes. 40% of small businesses pay an average of $845 in payroll penalties to the IRS. The top two payroll errors are misclassifying employees and incomplete or inaccurate records.

Training and Development

The below data provides insight into how companies and employees perceive the importance of training and development, including current offerings.

Employee training expenditure increased by $200m in 2023 compared to 2022.

Companies valued training and development and spent more to improve their programs in 2023.

50% of all employees are expected to need reskilling by 2025.

This is largely due to the adaptation of technology and constantly evolving skill sets used in the workplace. Critical thinking and problem-solving are expected to grow in importance by this time. 89% of learning and development professionals believe that developing skills for today and tomorrow will help employees navigate the evolving future of work.

Organizations that offer comprehensive training programs see a 218% higher income per employee compared to those that don’t.

This is likely a combination of improving employees’ hard and soft skills. Studies indicate that due to training, 51% of employees feel more confident, 41% believe they have better time-management skills, and 33% even claim that it helps them get a pay rise—incentivizing them to do a better job.

Only 52% of employees think their employer’s training program is up to the mark.

This could be due to several factors. For instance, a mismatch in what employees want to learn and what training employers provide, different preferences in training formats, or a lack of outcomes, such as promotions, mobility, and pay rises after training programs.

27% of employers believe that workforce development is the responsibility of managers and employees, specifically through on-the-job training and coaching.

Meanwhile, 23% believe it’s the role of internal training departments, while 16% think employer-sponsored apprenticeships are the way to go. Further, most companies prefer company-led training to external solutions.

Only 31% of employers provide mentorship and sponsorship programs to improve employee development and the overall employee experience.

There’s certainly scope for employers to improve their offerings through mentorship or sponsorship (receiving senior leader support with promotions, pay raises, and mobility).

68% of employees prefer to receive training in their workplace and 58% have a preference to train at their own pace.

These stats indicate that employees want the flexibility of remote learning, like e-learning, as well as in-person guidance and support. This signals the importance of a blended learning approach. However, only 27% of companies currently use a variety of training methods.

Employee Engagement and Retention

These HR statistics focus on employee turnover rates, engagement levels, and the underlying factors that determine these numbers.

The latest reported average turnover rate in the US is 3.6%.

Of this total, about 2.3% comprises employees quitting, while 1% is attributed to firings and employee layoffs. These statistics remained about level through 2023.

In 2023, 37.1% of quitters left for higher pay—making this the top reason for voluntary resignations.

Following this, 18.6% of employees left for the ability to work remotely, and 13.4% moved on for better career advancement opportunities. Quitting due to low pay and a lack of career advancement have been among the reasons for voluntary departures since 2021.

In 2023, the number one way to improve employee retention was by providing learning opportunities.

94% of employees claimed that better learning and development opportunities kept them committed to their company. Internal mobility was another way to retain talent. 75% of those who made an internal move said they were likely to stay with the organization, compared to 56% of those who didn’t make an internal move.

Only about a third of employees feel engaged at work.

The latest data shows that only 32% of employees feel engaged. 18% are actively disengaged, meaning they’re not simply unhappy at work but acting on this unhappiness. This figure is up 4% since 2020.

Engagement levels fell by 4% each for younger employees under the age of 35 and women and 5% for employees who wanted remote jobs but were working on-site full-time.

Job types also had an impact on engagement levels. Project managers, individual contributors, and healthcare workers were among the groups with the biggest fall in engagement levels.

Unclear expectations, lack of a connection to the company’s mission, and fewer opportunities to learn and grow were among the top reasons for declining engagement levels.

These are indicative of a growing disconnect between employees and employers. Other reasons for disengagement included not feeling cared about at work and fewer opportunities for employees to work on projects that align best with their strengths and interests.

Employee Recognition

This data relates to the importance of recognizing employees and their contributions at work.

Employee engagement and performance are 14% higher in companies with defined recognition programs compared to those without.

There’s a strong correlation between making employees feel valued and how engaged they are at work. 37% of employees claim that more personal recognition would motivate them to produce better work more often.

Employees who feel recognized at work are 2.6 times more likely to think promotions are fair.

They’re also 2.2 times more likely to drive creativity and innovation and twice as likely to go above and beyond in their roles.

A genuine “thank you” from company leaders and senior managers can increase employee engagement and commitment to their jobs by 69%.

Recognition from senior leaders matters and plays a huge role in driving employee performance.

35% of bosses use purely non-monetary means to recognize their employees, and 17% don’t provide any recognition at all.

This includes thank-you notes, verbal praise, and acknowledgment during meetings. 34% use a combination of monetary and non-monetary recognition. The least common way to recognize employees—at 14%—is through only monetary incentives, such as gift cards or bonuses.

How bosses recognize employees at work

53% of employees want more recognition from their direct managers.

Moreover, they want the recognition to be thoughtful and personalized. Thus, managers must get to know their employees and appreciate their efforts in an authentic and specific way.

41% of employees also want more recognition from their coworkers.

In addition to desiring recognition from their direct managers and senior leadership, employees are driven by recognition from their immediate team members and other peers. 52% of employees said if they had a recognition platform to appreciate their coworkers, they would use it at least once a week.

Performance Management and Feedback

The information below pertains to employee goal-setting, feedback, and the overall approach companies use to manage performance.

21% of employees set goals only once a year and never look at them again.

16% of employees don’t set goals at all. A lack of clear expectations and goals reduces employee engagement and productivity.

48% of employees feel trapped by out-of-date goals by the end of the year.

Only a quarter of employees said they’re able to adjust their goals with changing circumstances. 49% of employees said they can only adjust their goals at fixed periods, such as quarterly, biannually, or annually. 10% said they’re never able to adjust their goals.

81% of companies have a pay-for-performance philosophy.

This means they make pay-related decisions based on individual performance to drive higher productivity. However, very few organizations guide their managers on how to do this effectively.

82% of HR leaders found their current performance management process ineffective and only 38% found that it keeps pace with business needs.

Traditional annual performance management practices seem to be less effective as workforces evolve. 81% of HR leaders plan to make changes to their processes.

Companies with higher performance management utility see 24% better workforce performance.

To increase “utility,” ensure employee goals are business-driven, employee-owned, and centered around their everyday work and tasks.

96% of employees believe that receiving regular feedback is a good thing, but 23% are unsatisfied with the frequency of feedback they receive from their managers.

About a third of employees say they need to wait about three months to get feedback from their managers. A lack of frequent feedback makes it difficult for employees to apply their learnings in time and make improvements to their performance.

64% of employees think the quality of feedback they receive should be improved.

17% say the feedback isn’t specific enough. 83% of employees appreciate receiving honest feedback, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative. Managers need to provide specific, actionable, and timely feedback to employees.

57% of financially secure workers seek feedback and use it to improve performance, compared with only 45% of those who are struggling financially.

This means feedback alone isn’t the solution for engaging employees. They also need to be well paid to increase engagement and performance.

Employee Wellness and Work-Life Balance

This next set of statistics looks at how employees feel about the importance of wellness, well-being, and work-life balance.

About a third of employees are highly concerned about their emotional well-being or mental health.

25% of employees rate their mental health as “fair” or “poor.” More than half of workers believe that offering mental health benefits has become more important than ever. 40% also think financial wellness programs are increasingly significant.

29% of employees are highly concerned about their workplace well-being.

About 44% are moderately concerned. This makes employee well-being among the most important priorities for employers today.

About 60% of employees face issues balancing work and caregiving responsibilities.

This is even higher (at 75%) for caregivers who are responsible for their dependents’ daily living or instrumental in activities of daily living.

92% of employees said it’s very or somewhat important to them to work for a company that provides support for mental health and values employees’ emotional and psychological well-being.

Support could be in the form of employee assistance programs, mental health days, access to counseling, free use of meditation apps, and more.

95% of employees said it’s “very” or “somewhat” important to them to work for a company that respects them and also draws the line between work and non-work time.

This further emphasizes the expectation that employees have when it comes to employers respecting them and setting boundaries that support better work-life balance.

More than three-quarters of employees were “very” or “somewhat” satisfied with the support for mental health and well-being received from their employers.

About 60% even “strongly” or “somewhat” agreed that they have regular access to mental health resources. Also, 72% of employees “strongly” or “somewhat” agreed that their company supports them with developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Here are some HR statistics on the importance of DEI to employee satisfaction and business outcomes.

Diverse organizations have a 19% higher innovation-related revenue than non-diverse organizations.

Of this, gender-diverse organizations are 15% more likely to perform better than non gender-diverse companies. Ethnically diverse organizations are 35% more likely to perform better than those that aren’t. This data also has implications for attracting customers who prefer to engage with diverse companies.

47% of millennials place a high value on working for a diverse company and look for diversity in their workplace.

Attracting and hiring diverse candidates has become a high priority for today’s companies. Projections indicate that by 2025, the workforce will comprise 75% of millennials, thus continuing the push for diversity and inclusion at work.

36% of companies increased the number of staff dedicated to DEI.

Additionally, 32% of organizations have increased their DEI budgets, and a third of companies have created platforms for employees to report DEI-related complaints. Finally, a third have also disclosed DEI metrics publicly, showcasing their dedication to it.

About 90% of Fortune 500 companies today have employee resource groups dedicated to workplace diversity and inclusion.

These groups boost inclusion for underrepresented groups of employees, increase representation of diverse segments, and improve overall attraction and retention of employees who care about workplace DEI efforts.

Future of Work

This final set of statistics looks at the future of work, including the adoption of HR technology, the shift to hybrid and remote working, and the growth of the gig economy.

As of 2023, nearly 13% of full-time employees work 100% remotely. Meanwhile, about 28% work in a hybrid structure.

This data indicates the rapid normalization of remote and hybrid working, offering flexibility and better work-life balance.

2024 has changes in store—90% of companies with office space want employees to return to the office by the end of 2024.

28% of companies even say they would threaten to dismiss employees who don’t comply with the mandates. This approach is currently misaligned with what employees want. A staggering 98% of employees want to work remotely at least some of the time.

HR leaders believe the most important HR technologies are skills management, internal talent marketplaces, and learning experience platforms.

57% expect challenges with employees, managers, HR, and other stakeholders adopting HR technology. 46% are concerned about justifying HR technology investments, and 43% believe it’s going to be difficult to develop and maintain a strategic roadmap for HR technology transformation.

2024 is expected to see a continued rise of the “flexetariat.”

These are gig workers for whom flexibility and the freedom to choose their work is a high priority. It’s also projected that by 2027, more than half the US workforce will be working freelance.

Number of freelancers in the US

Conclusion

Leveraging HR statistics is an effective way to stay competitive and aligned with external market conditions. There are a ton of resources out there—many of which are dated or unreliable. That’s why we’ve put together 60 statistics, from trustworthy sources, so you can use this information to make data-driven decisions in your HR strategy and processes.

References

  1. HR to Employee Ratio: A Definitive Guide (Indeed)
  2. Deloitte Global Outsourcing Survey 2022 (Deloitte)
  3. 2023 Global Shared Services and Outsourcing Survey (Deloitte)
  4. Become a World-Class Chief Human Resources Officer (Gartner)
  5. U.S. Unemployment Rate 1991-2024 (Macrotrends)
  6. The Real Costs of Recruitment (SHRM)
  7. 40+ Stats For Companies to Keep In Mind for 2021 (Glassdoor)
  8. 2022 Recruitment Marketing Benchmark Report (Appcast)
  9. 55 Recruitment Statistics About Navigating the Future of Hiring (G2)
  10. 2021 Future of Recruiting Study (CareerArc)
  11. 71% of Hiring Decision-Makers Agree Social Media is Effective for Screening Applicants (PRWeb)
  12. Report: The Next Generation of Recruiting and Onboarding Is Here (CareerBuilder)
  13. New hires are considering quitting within the first 6 months because of these 3 onboarding issues (Fortune)
  14. The State of Employee Onboarding Research Report (Hi Bob)
  15. Onboarding Can Make or Break a New Hire’s Experience (Harvard Business Review)
  16. Average Salary By State In 2024 (Forbes)
  17. Employers Eyeing More-Modest Pay Increases Next Year (SHRM)
  18. Gender Pay Gap Statistics In 2024 (Forbes)
  19. Employee Benefits In The United States – March 2023 (BLS)
  20. Current Employment Statistics – CES (National) (BLS)
  21. Deloitte Global Payroll Benchmarking Survey (Deloitte)
  22. Payroll Index – You Think You Know, But You Have No Idea (Aptitude Research Partners)
  23. Payroll Errors That Cost You Money and How to Fix Them (Business2Community)
  24. Payroll errors and how to avoid them (Thomson Reuters)
  25. Total training expenditures in the United States from 2012 to 2023 (Statista)
  26. These are the top 10 job skills of tomorrow – and how long it takes to learn them (World Economic Forum)
  27. 3 Ways Leaders In The Workplace Can Create More Time For Deep Learning (Frobes)
  28. Why employees crave more training and how employers aren’t delivering it (SurveyMonkey)
  29. The Future of Jobs Report 2023 (World Economic Forum)
  30. The State of Organizations 2023: Ten shifts transforming organizations (McKinsey & Company)
  31. 68 Training Industry Statistics: 2024 Data, Trends & Predictions (Research.com)
  32. Job Openings And Labor Turnover – October 2023 (BLS)
  33. Employ Quarterly Insights Report | Q4 2022 (Jobvite)
  34. Majority of workers who quit a job in 2021 cite low pay, no opportunities for advancement, feeling disrespected (Pew Research Center)
  35. Building the agile future (LinkedIn Learning)
  36. U.S. Employee Engagement Needs a Rebound in 2023 (Gallup)
  37. Recognition programmes (Deloitte)
  38. Creating a Culture of Recognition (Great Place To Work)
  39. 2023 Employee Recognition Research Report (linkedIn)
  40. What Type of Recognition Do Employees Want: How to Recognize Employees (Quantum Workplace)
  41. The Importance of Employee Recognition: Statistics and Research (Quantum Workplace)
  42. The State Of Performance Enablement (Betterworks)
  43. Performance Management Benchmarks: Pay for Performance (Gartner)
  44. Redefine Performance Management to Drive Impact (Gartner)
  45. Employee engagement statistics from across the globe (Workleap)
  46. Employee feedback demystified: a comprehensive guide for managers (Workleap)
  47. One in four workers looking for new jobs as cost of living concerns bite: PwC Global Workforce Hopes & Fears Survey (PwC)
  48. 2023 Workplace Wellness Survey Finds 74 Percent of American Workers Are Moderately or Highly Concerned About Their Workplace Well-Being (EBRI)
  49. 2023 Work in America Survey (American Psychological Association)
  50. The Importance Of Diversity And Inclusion For Today’s Companies (Forbes)
  51. 12 Ways Companies Are Boosting Their DEI (SHRM)
  52. Effective employee resource groups are key to inclusion at work. Here’s how to get them right (McKinsey & Co)
  53. Remote Work Statistics And Trends In 2024 (Forbes)
  54. 90% of Companies Will Return to Office By the End of 2024 (Resume Builder)
  55. Gartner Survey Identifies Top Strategic Imperatives for HR Technology in 2023 (Gartner)
  56. 2024 will see the rise of a new class of worker: the ‘flexetariat,’ predicts a future of work author (Fortune)
  57. Number of freelancers in the United States from 2017 to 2028 (Statista)
  58. How Many Freelancers Are There In the US? (Exploding Topics)
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Yashna Wahal
HR and CRM Expert
Yashna Wahal
HR and CRM Expert

Yashna has nearly a decade of experience in HR, covering topics like Talent & Development, Hiring, HR Business Partnering, Employee Engagement, Compensation and Performance Management. She's the former VP of HR at JP Morgan in London, followed by being the Head of HR at Plotify Financial in both London and New York. Yashna earned a BSC in Psychology from UCL and an MBA from Imperial College London.