XpertHR® Survey Finds U.S. Employers Have Increased HR Spending by 257%

Aug 10, 2022 11:18 AM ET

Companies are responding to the tight job market with employee engagement, recruitment and training

New York City (August 10, 2022) – Companies are more than doubling down on Human Resources strategies, according to the XpertHR 2022 Survey on HR Staffing and Resources. The survey revealed this year’s median HR budget as a percentage of the organization’s operating budget has increased 257%, from 2.1% in 2020 to 7.5% in 2022.

In addition to increasing HR budgets, companies are investing more in per-employee HR expenditures, and supervisory and technical staff:

  • The median budgeted HR expenditure per employee is $2,000, up 64% from $1,218 in 2020.
  • The median ratio of HR staff to employee headcount is 2.1 HR staff for every 100 workers, up from 1.5 in 2020.
  • Four out of 10 survey respondents say they intend to increase resources in the next 12 months for employee engagement (44%), recruitment (43%) and training (40%).
  • Another one-third intend to invest in DEI efforts (33%), onboarding (32%) and hiring (32%) over the next year.


Image caption: Four out of 10 survey respondents say they intend to increase resources in the next 12 months for employee engagement (44%), recruitment (43%), and training (40%). One-third intend to invest in DEI efforts (33%), onboarding (32%), and hiring (32%).

“This XpertHR survey indicates that HR leaders are focused on people-centric solutions that embrace changing employee needs and amplify productivity in our ‘work-from-anywhere’ environment,” explained Laci Loew, senior global HR analyst, HR strategy and insights at XpertHR. “Leading organizations are not afraid to make new investments—in HR technology, social and professional development, physical and emotional wellbeing efforts, and DEI opportunities—that provide meaningful work for their employees.”

Image Caption: Survey respondents were asked to provide data on per-employee HR expenses, revealing a 64% increase from an expense of $1,218 in 2020 to $2,000 in 2022. The total per-employee HR investment revealed an expansive range of between $750 to $3,810 per worker.

When explaining the upward trajectory in HR budgets, Loew cited the unusually tight job market and the increased demands that come with employee recruitment and retention, as well as long-term COVID compliance—challenges that have underscored for many companies the importance of a comprehensive HR strategy. She also noted that HR budgets largely shrank or remained the same in 2021 when compared to 2020, as companies grappled with ongoing pandemic-related operating uncertainties and the Great Resignation took shape.

“These benchmarks do not intend to dictate boundaries for HR budgets, but instead spotlight key and emerging trends to inform business decisions and help companies stay competitive,” Loew said.

The XpertHR survey also evaluated the types of roles that are powering HR functions in U.S. companies. The results indicate that almost half of HR staff (47%) are in managerial or supervisory roles, and another 40% work in professional or technical positions.

The XpertHR 2022 HR Staffing and Resources Survey was conducted from May 17 to June 15, 2022, using a self-administered online survey. The survey sample includes 221 U.S. employers. The total estimated number of employees of the responding organizations is 228,786. The survey examined information including HR staff composition, professional certification requirements, the ratio of HR staff to the overall workforce, HR budget, and more.


About XpertHR®

Global leader XpertHR empowers organizations to shape HR strategy, manage employee risk and embrace diverse talent ecosystems to create equitable, high-performing and purposeful workplaces. Since 2002, the data analytics and intelligent solutions provider has earned a reputation for providing expert insights, trusted resources and practical tools to help customers achieve greater efficiency, improve compliance and increase employee engagement. XpertHR is proud to be part of the LexisNexis® portfolio within RELX, a global provider of information-based analytics and decision tools for professional and business customers. To learn more visit xperthr.com.


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