By Northeast Human Resources Association
Financial results are expected to increase or remain the same in more than 80 percent of Northeast organizations in 2008, according to a new e-survey by the Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA). NEHRA, the premier HR association in New England with nearly 3,500 members, conducted the e-survey to determine how the current economy is affecting firms in the New England area.
"The results from our survey were a nice surprise given the state of the economy, recent increases in the cost of living and unemployment levels," said Deborah Hicks, NEHRA's board chair and vice president of HR at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.
"With the majority of HR department budgets remaining at the same levels, staffing remaining at the same levels and financial results remaining at the same levels, we may be in better shape than we realize for the remainder of 2008. However, organizations will need to keep overall economic concerns in mind for 2009 budgets" she said.
About 43 percent of human resource respondents reported in the survey that they expect their organization's financial results to remain the same, while more than 37 percent reported they will likely see an increase.
More than 61 percent of respondents reported that they expect a decrease in the amount of mid-management openings in 2008, while more than 66 percent reported they expect an increase in entry-level positions. In addition, when asked if the number of open positions will change in 2008, more than 39 percent reported the levels will stay the same, while 35 percent reported they will see an increase and more than 25 percent reported they will see a decrease. The department most affected by a decrease in openings would be human resources.
Engineers were reported to be the most sought after group for new openings in 2008 followed by customer service, sales, and manufacturing/production positions.
More than 60 percent of those polled anticipate their human resource budgets to remain the same, with only 19 percent reporting an increase and 20 percent reporting a decrease. About 43 percent of human resource respondents reported they expect their organization's financial results to remain the same, while more than 37 percent expect an increase and 19 percent expect a decrease.
Furthermore, more than 45 percent expect staffing to remain the same in 2008. About 35 percent expect staffing to increase and more than 19 percent expect it to decrease. The number of resumes received for open positions has remained about the same according to 45 percent of respondents, while over 37 percent reported an increase and 16 percent reported experiencing a decrease.
Budgets for training programs and continuing education programs will remain the same for 69 percent of survey respondents - 18 percent will see a decrease and 12 percent will see an increase.
Overwhelmingly, more than 79 percent report that employee benefits and perks will remain the same in 2008. Only 10 percent reported there would be an increase and less than 10 percent reported they expected a decrease. Some of the benefits cited to be added include 401K match, flexible work arrangement programs, new insurance options, and higher contributions toward medical plans. Some of the benefits to be eliminated or decreased include increase health care deductibles, travel and tuition reimbursements, and travel expenses.
About the survey and NEHRA
About 3,500 HR professionals, representing large and small companies in all industries within the region, as well as individuals providing products and services to the human resources community, comprise NEHRA's membership base. A total of 185 NEHRA members and nonmembers responded to the online survey, which was conducted from April 28 to May 9, 2008.
NEHRA is New England's premier human resources association. Since 1985, NEHRA has provided HR professionals with programs, information and relationships that stimulate professional growth and enhance workplace contributions. The mission of the Northeast Human Resources Association is to lead, advance and influence the management of human resources and its impact on organizational success. For more information, visit www.nehra.com.
Click here for full survey results.
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