An Inquiry into the State of HR in Canada in 2011: Executive Summary

In February 2011, Queen’s University Industrial Relations Centre (IRC) launched a 53-question survey, “An Inquiry into the State of HR in Canada.” The purpose of the survey was to describe the HR profession in Canada, based on the perspectives of practitioners. When the survey closed on February 28, 2011, a total of 451 complete responses were collected.

We divided the survey into two sections. In the first section, we asked demographic questions that addressed respondents’ professional backgrounds, role(s) in their organization, and the structure of their organizations. In the second section, we asked for individual perspectives on the HR profession. The survey included a mixture of open and close-ended questions.

This Executive Summary presents an overview of some of the survey data. In the first section, we outline some of the key demographic trends that were revealed in our survey data. In the second section, we discuss the involvement of respondents in HR activities, the perceived challenges and priorities for HR departments, and the skills and knowledge that are required by HR professionals. Then, we discuss the future of HR in Canada. We conclude the report with a discussion on our findings and our next steps.

Download Executive Summary

Reflections on the Human Resources Profession

Daphne FitzGerald has worked in the field of human resources (HR) for over 30 years. A dedicated HR professional, Daphne spent the majority of her corporate career at Zurich Financial Services. She currently operates two consulting businesses: BOARDrx Inc. and Capital G Consulting Inc. In May 2011, Daphne will assume the role of Chair of the Board of Ontario’s Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA).

In December 2010, Queen’s IRC Research Associate, Alison Hill, spoke with Daphne to glean her insights on the HR profession in Canada and globally. Based on her breadth of experience and expertise, Daphne provides an optimistic outlook on the current and future state of the HR profession.

Download PDF: Reflections on the Human Resources Profession

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