Who We Are: HR Dive’s 2022 Identity of HR Survey

IRI Podcast episode on the identity of HR

Human Resources has long experienced an identity crisis. Are we overworked admins or are we highly strategic business partners? Are we undervalued, or do we actually wield more power than we might realize? Are we none of the above, or all of the above – and is that even possible? Our guest today is Kate Tornone, Lead Editor with Industry Dive and HR Dive. This summer, HR Dive released their 2022 Identity of HR Survey. Here, Kate explains:

  • How HR's focus has shifted in recent years, away from its process-driven beginnings;
  • The roots of the 2022 Identity of HR survey;
  • Notable results of the survey; and
  • Ways to make our work more valued, more integrated and more collaborative!

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Shifts in HR

  • HR has come a long way since its early beginning, becoming less process-driven over the years. 
  • Some companies have elevated HR personnel to C-suite roles, and calling on HR professionals to be strategic business partners.
  • The identity of HR has changed as its focus shifted towards building positive workplaces.
    • The best HR employees care about the people they work with, and now they can hear about what they think and how they feel online with posts on LinkedIn and Twitter.
    • Leadership has also realized that culture and engagement are very important in the workplace, and has a real impact on retention and turnover - and companies rely on HR employees to advocate for these measures.


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Identity of HR Survey

There are people in the HR space conducting surveys around benefits, compensation, and the workplace, but there is some missing information on Human Resources professionals themselves like the demographics, outsourcing, and whether they feel valued at work,

  • HR can be a solitary job, centering on many confidential topics that cannot be shared with others.
    • As a result, HR professionals network with other HR pros online, learning more information about their peers and jobs.
  • HR Dive’s 2022 Identity of HR Survey was inspired by asking readers questions to get a sense of the identity of HR, and what the priorities of Human Resources professionals are.
    • The survey was developed by a group of journalists who developed questions to create an online survey. They gathered information from HR professionals on social media, and then developed a full report from roughly 400 responses, in both years the surveys were conducted.
    • Now, survey researchers are looking for ways to see more growth and get a greater response to have the most accurate responses

Comparing HR Year to Year

  • HR Dive’s Identity of HR Survey is conducted annually.
    • In 2021, hiring was the third most-important concern for HR professionals, but in 2022, it sped to the top of the list.
    • The survey also noted an uptick in outsourcing options, such as benefits, payroll, staffing recruiters, etc. in 2022.  
    • Interest in DEI topics experienced a slight drop in 2022, but nothing to necessarily indicate a trend.
    • 2022 did not see much of a change from 2021 as far as HR professionals feeling undervalued within their organizations.
      • “HR has a PR problem.”
      • Generally speaking, the survey indicated there was a slight increase in how much employees value HR, but the perceived value of HR to leadership stayed about the same.
      • One respondent suggested that HR should employ storytelling to move the needle on this PR problem.
        • Storytelling would allow HR to explain all they do to take care of people, but it can be difficult to demonstrate your value. 
        • This effort can be limited by the simple fact that Human Resources are not free to share a lot of what it’s doing.

Digging into the Survey

  • One element of the survey that researchers want to dig deeper into is the demographics of respondents and the identity of HR.
  • HR Dive is now planning for next year's survey, and hoping to make it more audience-focused.
    • The goal is also to keep the questions consistent, so the responses can be compared to previous years. 
    • Respondents of the 2022 survey represented a broad range in terms of age, years in the field, job level, employer size, and more. HR Dive is, however, aiming to confirm that those demographics remain an accurate representation of the field. 

HR and External Networks

  • HR groups are searching for ways to make the workforce more integrated and collaborative 
  • While HR departments can find support by finding champions for a new initiative, that can only go so far.
  • HR professionals have started to form employee resource groups to hear what is on people’s minds, get honest feedback and collaborate with other people, which cannot be done internally.
    • These groups can also look at specific issues like talent sourcing, improving diversity, and getting a grasp of the identity of HR

Kate Tornone Background

  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Media Studies from The Catholic University of America
  • Began her career as an editor for Thompson Publishing Group
  • She was an editor for BLR - Business Learning Resources
  • Currently, Ms. Tornone serves as the Lead Editor for HR Dive and Industry Drive



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