It may be time to revisit the legacy notions of what it means to be in HR. Today's modern practitioners are often strategic, tech-savvy, and driven by data.

We set out to better understand the DNA of modern practitioners in our first global HROS community survey. What we found was a variety of indicators that the field has come a long way since the stereotypes of HR's past. 

The majority of the 520+ survey respondents from 36 countries worked in HR organizations that report directly to the CEO and feel their roles are strategic. Two-thirds of them have come to HR from other areas of the business, bringing their experience and departmental rigor with them and infusing their HR teams with new skillsets (and mindsets). Their views and interests on macro/market trends from AI to design thinking mirror what you might find in the latest business press. The respondents felt their ability to influence and drive decisions that directly impact that business is increasing significantly.

There are two ways to consume the data:

  • View the report: Download the free report (below). This report distills the data into key themes and insights based on the survey.
  • View the data visualization. Want to view and interact with all of the data? Scroll down for an interactive visualization that includes responses to all of the questions and allows you to manipulate several demographic fields to extract more targeted insights. Mouse over the charts to view figures. To manipulate the tableau reports, select the criteria on the right side of the chart to adjust. [Note: as we aimed for interactivity with tableau embeds, the interactive report is best viewed on desktop]

Huge thanks to our survey analyst-in-residence, George LaRocque of HRWins, and our Platinum sponsors, Namely and Greenhouse, for supporting this survey.

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How many employees does your company currently have?

What country is your employer headquartered in?

in what regions does your company operate?

what industry is your company in?

what sector is your employer in (%)?

what department do you work in today (%)?

WHAT BEST DESCRIBES YOUR seniority/level AT YOUR current EMPLOYER (%)?

What is your role in setting strategy and departmental priorities? HR Technology budget?

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section two

perceptions of HR

Is HR perceived as strategic in your organization?

Why Strategic?

"HR is held to same standards as other teams - given KPI's/OKR's, and the metrics are measured and reported on to the entire team. Impact is measured and seen."

"HR is perceived as a strategic partner as we are at the root of many business transformations that impact our company culture and business processes."

"HR needs to be a strategic function where we are thinking three steps ahead of the leaders and connecting the dots across the organization. We can no longer view ourselves as just a support organization."

Why Not Strategic?

"HR does not have the authority to require departments to be strategic. Information also is in housed in different systems so it can be difficult to gather all the relevant data."

"I am not brought in to important conversations about the structure of the organization or how to move forward. I am provided with information and expected to carry it out."

"It's seen as an administrative function here. The executives have had bad experiences with HR at past companies; HR previously hindered progress and process."


How strongly do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Recruiting should be a part of HR

Employer branding should be a part of recruiting


Payroll should be a part of HR

Diversity and inclusion should be a part of HR

Company culture should be measured and defined by HR

Benefits administration should be managed by HR

Corporate Social responsibility should be managed by HR

Employee Communications should be managed by HR

compare HR's contribution to the following strategic initiatives TODAY at your employer OR your plans for HR in THREE YEARS (rate all that apply)

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section three

future of work views

This section explores practitioners views on a range of topics today vs. what they expect they will be three years from now.

market trends having the biggest impact on work from an HR perspective

top areas based on importance to the role they play in HR

HR functions based on impact you perceive they have in helping company meet its business goals

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section four

issues facing modern hr

In the next series of statements please estimate at what frequency the issues are appearing in your organization based on the scale provided:

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section five

hr technology

identify the topics where your organization has implemented HR TECHNOLOGY to help TODAY, or where you expect to have new technology over the next THREE YEARS. Please select all that apply:

identify which recruiting related technology you are using today, and which you expect to implement in 2018

identify which Human Resource related technology you are using today, and which you expect to implement in 2018

tell us what impact you feel the following emerging trends will have on HR and/or recruiting.

What drives change in HR technology?

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section six

reporting & analytics

identify if you are measuring the following HR success metrics according to the provided scale.

Thanks for reading the HR Open Source Future of Work 2018 report. Sign up to receive more reports, case studies, resources, and insights.