In 2015 100s of HR professionals were asked a simple question in a survey… in one word describe…Human Resources
Participants were invited from the CIPD Members LinkedIn group, the CIPD communities, and the CIPD Facebook group. 613 participated. Of those, over 70% have been in HR for more than 11 years.
Not all questions were mandatory. The response rate for this question was 614 out of the 616 participants.
The demographics for this were:
Processing the Survey Data
During data analysis, spellings were corrected, and capitalisation resolved. No words were merged, I,e, in HR “strategy” and strategic” are treated separately.
The top 10 responses to the meaning of “Human Resources” were:
1. People 26%
2. Support 6%
3. Strategy 6%
4. Admin 2%
5. Enabler 2%
6. Strategic 2%
7. Business 2%
8. Partner 2%
9. Enabling 2%
10. Partnership 1%
It is good to see that one word stands above all the others. People. I guess this is not surprising giving the limitation of the response required. It is curious that as the profession has been talking about “partnerships” with the business that this term is not higher, with only 3% considering that it’s a key word to describe the function.
There is a clear understanding of the term in relation to its emphasis of “people”. What is not surprising is the use of jargon type responses such as “enabler” rather than more solid terms to describe something more tangible.
Other words given by respondents included:
Adding, administration, advice, advisory, business, capability, catalyst, central, change, compliance, consistency, control, critical, culture, dated, development, effectiveness, empathy, enabler, enablers, enabling, engagement, facilitation, focus, future, guidance, heartbeat, help, human, management, negotiation, operational, oriented, partner, partnering, partnership, partnerships, People, Performance, Personnel, Pivotal, planning, problem, processes, productivity, protection, reactive, referee, relationship, service, solutions, solving, standards, strategic, strategy, success, support, transactional, undervalued, value, variety
We know how the HR profession responded. What do you think?