You might have seen the article in The Irish Times on Monday, however if you missed it, I have included some of the findings below.
The report, based on a survey of 600 small to medium enterprises across Republic of Ireland, revealed that 93% of Irish companies believe that HR plays a crucial role in business, yet only 55% actually invest in an HR service.
The figures showed that a surprising 68% of companies who employ 1-10 employees do not have an HR function, with this figure only dropping to 36% for companies with 11-50 employees and 29% for businesses who employ 50-250 staff members.
The research also discovered that more than a third (35%) of businesses surveyed don’t have the most essential HR material - a staff handbook – which is imperative to ensure company policies are in place should a business be involved in an employee/employer court case.
Of the 65% of companies who do have a staff handbook, not all of them contain the necessary policies, with only 61% including an annual leave policy, 60% covering disciplinary procedures, 57% incorporating grievance procedures as well as bullying and harassment policies, 56% indicating rules on termination of employment, 55% covering maternity rights, 48% referring to pension policies and 25% including a dress code policy.
Most unexpectedly, the statistics proving a lack of companies investing in an HR function, contradict the reasons why Irish companies feel HR is important to businesses, with 56% believing it provides support in the hiring and dismissal of employees, 53% having the confidence in an HR professional to best understand employment law and 49% who rely on HR to avoid legal issues.
The primary reason for not investing in a dedicated HR professional or outsourced HR service was that companies felt their business was too small (40%), followed by cost (16%). Interestingly, 11% of respondents feel they have a good enough relationship with their staff and therefore do not require an HR function.
Of those companies that do not have a dedicated HR function, 42% would consider outsourcing their HR requirements, including 57% of businesses with 1-10 employees, 47% of companies with 11-50 employees and just 45% of businesses with 51-250 members of staff.
Perhaps even more startling is the number of businesses who don’t see just how big a role HR can play to a company. Human Resources encompasses a number of things, however some companies don’t realise to what extent. Only 65% of businesses believe HR has the capacity for change, employee contribution (64%), administrative efficiency (60%) and strategy execution (40%).
Of the companies surveyed, the three industries most likely to invest in HR are Technology and Communications (66%), Banking and Finance (61%) and Manufacturing (55%) with the three least likely industries being Business Services (43%), Retail (40%) and Hospitality (38%).
Thank you again to all who participated in the questionnaire! With an increasing number of companies being involved in court cases relating to employee complaints, it’s startling to see how many business owners are willing to forgo even the most basic, essential HR material. If you’re interested in having a chat about your company’s HR then feel free to get in touch.
The contents of this article are necessarily expressed in broad terms and limited to general information rather than detailed analyses or legal advice. Specialist professional advice should always be obtained to address legal and other issues arising in specific contexts.