Executives See Room for Improvement in the Provision of Human Resources Services, Accenture Survey Finds

NEW YORK; July 28, 2003 Nearly half of senior executives are either dissatisfied with or ambivalent about the performance of their human resources (HR) departments, according to an independent survey of 150 U.S. senior executives released today by Accenture.

Of those surveyed, 47 percent said they were dissatisfied or neutral with the overall performance of their HR departments, while 53 percent said they were satisfied or extremely satisfied. The reason executives stated most often for their dissatisfaction was response time, while personal attention and access to information were given as reasons for satisfaction with their HR departments.

According to the survey, more than 85 percent of executives say they outsource one or more of their HR functions. The functions most often outsourced are 401(k) administration (88 percent), pension administration (57 percent), recruitment (40 percent), training and professional development (29 percent), payroll (23 percent), health and safety (10 percent) and performance evaluation (1 percent).

Lower costs and access to greater expertise were cited as the principal reasons for outsourcing, selected by 88 and 82 percent of respondents, respectively. In addition, two-thirds (66 percent) of respondents said they outsource to free up their HR departments to focus on broader company issues, 64 percent said they outsource to gain access to more information, and 58 percent said they outsource to receive quicker responses.

The survey also found little difference in satisfaction levels between HR services being provided in-house and those being outsourced.

“Regardless of whether companies outsource or in-source their human resources functions, there is certainly room for improvement in client satisfaction levels," said Randall F. Muck, managing partner of Accenture HR Services for North America. “But executives are clearly coming to appreciate that there are advantages to outsourcing their HR. In addition to realizing lower costs and getting access to expertise that might not be available in house, executives are recognizing that outsourcing frees up their HR professionals’ time so they may focus on issues of greater strategic importance to the company.”

Survey Methodology
Wirthlin Worldwide, on behalf of Accenture, interviewed 150 senior executives from Fortune 1000 companies between June 11 and June 27, 2003. The survey findings are consistent among all senior executives, regardless of company size, region and sector.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting and technology services company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them realize their visions and create tangible value. With deep industry expertise, broad global resources and proven experience in consulting and outsourcing, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills, alliances and technologies. With more than 80,000 people in 47 countries, the company generated net revenues of $11.6 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2002. Its home page iswww.accenture.com.

Accenture HR Services provides people-management services to global enterprises on an outsourced basis. Employing advanced technology and world-class human resources practices, Accenture HR Services works in close collaboration with its clients to accommodate the unique needs and characteristics of their business operations and people. Accenture HR Services’ solutions enable their clients to concentrate on optimizing their core business activities while reducing their costs and achieving the greatest possible value from their assets, including their people.


Glenn Davidson

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Jill E. Posnick

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