Harvey Nash Human Resources Survey 2017

January 25, 2017

London – January 25, 2017 – The way businesses are planning their workforce is changing, and being impacted by the rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Automation.

Fifteen per cent of HR leaders said their plans were being affected right now, and a further 40 per cent believe this will happen within the next two to five years. This is according to the sixth annual Harvey Nash Human Resources Survey, representing the views of 1,008 HR leaders from over forty countries.

Technology as a whole is revolutionising how today’s HR departments are operating, with 60 per cent of respondents saying the importance of Technology Enabled HR has increased within the past year. Over half of respondents understood that innovation for their organisation was ‘very important’, and the vast majority (86 per cent) believe that HR has its own role in promoting and supporting innovation.

The current economic uncertainty is reflected in the decreased focus on training and recruitment as priorities. This year training and education was considered a priority by four percent fewer HR leaders than last year, with recruitment the drop was even greater at eight percent. Succession was also less of a priority, which may be explained by those in senior positions not being quite so keen to move on.

Tam Truong Hong, Director, Harvey Nash Group said: “It probably comes as no surprise that technology is seeping into the Human Resources department, but what is particularly striking is quite how many HR leaders believe that AI and automation are affecting their plans already. The good news is that HR is not only embracing this innovation, but is a key part of it.”

Elsewhere in the Harvey Nash Human Resources Survey 2017:

    • Opinion is split about whether HR should be doing more for the business. There was a clear 50:50 split this year in those that feel responsible for proactively driving HR to do more for the business and those that feel they should be encouraging business to take more responsibility for the HR function. This has changed from last year, where 53 per cent wanted the business to take more responsibility.


    • Organisations are doing the majority of their recruitment directly. Personal networks, referrals and alumni programmes are down significantly as recruitment tools and the use of Social Media has grown somewhat with more than four in ten (44 per cent) of our HR professionals using this for candidate acquisition. Those that are using recruitment agencies are keen for them to be more aligned with the organisation to help them with their leadership development (31 per cent of HR professionals that rated recruitment agencies as ‘very important’ use an external company to carry out their leadership development, compared to the global average of 23 per cent) and overseas recruitment (32 per cent of HR professionals that rated recruitment agencies as ‘very important’ are also looking to increase overseas headcount compared to the average of 27 per cent).


  • HR salaries suffer from a gender pay gap. Men earn, on average, a quarter more than their female counterparts. This is the case across all levels of the profession.

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