Survey Results

Hello SWMHRA Members,

Below are results of the 2016 Member Survey. We conduct this survey annually to gauge member experiences/expectations and to drive our planning for the upcoming year.

We’d like to point out a few interesting differences from last year’s survey:

  • HR Biggest Challenges:
    • Recruitment Challenges is the #1 this year. Last year it was #5
    • State and Federal Legal Compliance Changes/Updates is #3. It was #7 last year
  • Top 5 Topics for SWMHRA Events:
    • Best Practices in HR stayed at #1
    • Emerging HR Issues and Recruiting/Staffing Strategies moved up to #2 and #3
    • HR as a Business Partner fell from #2 last year to #4 this year
    • Retention Strategies was #5 this year. Last year it was #9.
  • Biggest day-to-day challenges SWMHRA members face in their current role:
    • Recruitment/Retention for the first time is #1
    • Time Management (So much to do, so little time) and Coaching Training moved down to #2 and #4
    • Employee Relations moved up to #3
  • Are you employed?
    • Last year 87.1% of SWMHRA members were employed. This year that number increased to 93.9%

Do you sense a trend here? As you can see, Recruitment/Retention is an ongoing challenge for SWMHRA members. We have 2016 events yet to come on Recruitment/Retention, but will also explore this topic further in our 2017 event planning.

As we do each year, here is a highlight of the overall benefits of SWMHRA:

  • We are the only HR Association in town that does not charge for meetings and membership.
  • SWMHRA membership includes access to our website (, discussion forum, regular events, job board, free information, networking and referrals.
  • Another distinguishing factor of SWMHRA is that we are local and our membership is exclusively Corporate HR Our lack of vendors means more freedom for our members to be collaborative from an HR-to-HR standpoint.
  • In the past year, outstanding speakers have presented a variety of HR related topics such as: legal updates, benefits/wellness, HR metrics, compensation, change management, talent acquisition, retention challenges, employee relations issues and more. Our free meetings allow members to learn, discuss and be updated on the latest in HR. SWMHRA Members can refer to our Annual Meeting hand-out to get a complete overview of all our 2015-2016 speakers and meeting topics.
  • Many SWMHRA members have connected to new job opportunities by attending meetings, receiving job board notices, or through referrals/networking.
  • As part of the above, SWMHRA posts HR (and other) job opportunities on our website at no cost which helps people find jobs and assists member companies in sourcing candidates.
  • The majority (over 65%) of our members are HR Managers, Directors and VPs. This makes for great networking!
  • Annually, we conduct a Member Survey to find out what our members need. They identify and communicate important suggestions on ways to meet their day-to-day HR challenges.
  • Overall, we offer professional and personal development – ideas, knowledge, resources and networking opportunities which support and improve the Human Resources role within organizations.

As an organization, SWMHRA goals are to:

  • Provide quality educational programs through SWMHRA meetings
  • Offer camaraderie and networking opportunities
  • Help members with day-to-day HR issues
  • Allow access to resources (SWMHRA website, member directory, discussion forum, events/meetings, etc.)
  • Promote the value and importance of the HR profession.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s survey!


Results of the 2016 Member Survey

We received 99 responses this year.  Here is what we found:


How many meetings have you attended in the last year?
Meetings Response Percent Meetings Response Percent
0 18.2% 5 7.1%
1 14.1% 6 7.1%
2 17.2% 7 6.1%
3 9.1% 8 4.0%
4 14.1% 9 3.0%



In your opinion, what are HR’s biggest challenges today?  Here are the top 5 responses:

  1. Recruitment challenges
  2. Driving cultural and behavioral change in the organization
  3. State and Federal legal compliance changes and updates
  4. TIE: Building leadership capability
  5. Increasing line manager capability to handle people -management responsibilities
  6. Constraints on headcounts (making do with less)


Which job titles do you recruit for most often?  Here are the top 5 responses: 2016

  1. Manufacturing/Production
  2. Various mid-level office positions
  3. Finance
  4. Sales
  5. Various IT positions


What are the biggest day-to-day challenges you face in your current HR role?  Here are the top 5 responses:

  1. Recruitment/Retention
  2. So much to do, so little time (Time Management)
  3. Employee Relations
  4. Coaching/Training
  5. Upper Management

The overall topics our members have requested to see as possible SWMHRA events are:

  1. Best Practices in HR
  2. Emerging Issues in HR
  3. Recruiting/Staffing Strategies
  4. HR as a Business Partner
  5. Retention Strategies




Note: The next questions on the survey requested Demographic Information, Speaker and Meeting Host suggestions.  Those answers are not included here.  If you are a SWMHRA member and would like to receive the demographic information from this survey, please contact me at

Thank you to all SWMHRA members who took time to complete the survey!

Mary O’Brien

Executive Director, SWMHRA