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Research, reports and white papers

Download AHRI survey reports, research reports and white papers. AHRI research aims to inform and support its members, the HR profession, government and the wider business community on issues affecting the workplace and organisational performance. AHRI uses its research to form best-practice solutions, influence and lobby relevant bodies, and shape the standards relating to managing people for business productivity. Our research also benchmarks the Australian HR position with international HR trends.

For AHRI annual reports, please visit the About us pages of our website.

Current Research Projects

The 4th Industrial Revolution & HRM

RMIT University and AHRI are collaborating to learn the views of HRM professionals about the impacts of the 4th IR - the fusion of technologies that are predicted to affect all industries, organisations, workplaces, jobs and work skills. Share your views by taking the survey here.

Gartner Publications and Resources

AHRI has formed a partnership with Gartner (formerly CEB) to provide AHRI members with access to Gartner's renowned and highly valued publications and research, such as HRBP Quarterly, Global Talent Monitor, CHRO Quarterly and Talent Analytics Quarterly. Access to these resources is exclusive to current financial AHRI members. Learn more


Benchmarking Diversity & Inclusion practices in Australia (November 2018)

The University of Sydney Business School Migrants@Work Research Group, Diversity Council Australia (DCA) and AHRI surveyed Australian diversity and inclusion (D&I) practitioners about D&I policies and practices within their organisations. This research reveals a shift in the D&I climate within Australian businesses from the perspective of D&I practitioners themselves.

The People Profession in 2018 APAC Report (CIPD) (November 2018)

This research survey conducted by the CIPD provides a snapshot of the HR professional associations in Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore. In excess of 1300 people professionals in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) were surveyed about their career paths, values, behaviours, and organisational context.

The State of Wellbeing in Australian Workplaces (November 2018)

This research surveyed just over 1000 Australian employees on the state of their wellbeing in the workplace. This project led was by The Wellbeing Lab and Dr. Peggy Kern from the University of Melbourne, and supported by AHRI. This research reveals a renewed way of understanding wellbeing at the individual, team and organisational level, with core recommendations provided on how to improve workplace wellbeing.

Employing Older Workers Report (October 2018)

Employing Older Workers Infographic 

Supported by the Australian Human Rights Commission, this is the third research report surveying AHRI members on employing older workers.  Research shows that people are now living increasingly longer lives, with purposeful employment one way to ensure they remain connected and energised. Extending peoples’ working lives is also a bipartisan policy imperative of successive governments. However, workplace age discrimination undermines this objective.

Turnover and retention (August 2018)

This is the fourth research report surveying AHRI members on their view of turnover and retention trends, comparing findings to 2008, 2012 and 2015 survey responses. This year, average turnover is reported at around 18 per cent, roughly identical to the average in a similar survey we conducted in 2008, just prior to the global financial crisis.


Future of Work: HR Hopes and Fears (October 2017)

This research report surveyed AHRI members on their views on the future of work, and in particular their hopes and fears. The questionnaire not only drew on respondents’ reflections on their workplace and current work, it asked them to reflect on the future, and think specifically about the work they expect be doing in the future as HR practitioners under three headings: work, the workplace, and the workforce.

Domestic Violence and HR Report (September 2017)

This study aims to provide an overview of HR-related policies and practices that support victims of domestic violence in Australian workplaces. In addition, it attempts to identify specific organisational characteristics that predict the extent to which different types of HR policies and practices are adopted to support victims of domestic violence.

Ethics in Business Report (July 2017)

Ethical leadership works most effectively when it includes the shared responsibility of chief financial officers and chief human resource officers in modelling ethical values and practices. The joint leadership of both these professions can contribute materially to the establishment of a corporate infrastructure that not only encourages and affirms ethical standards, but also enables key mechanisms for the ‘calling out’ of unethical behaviour.

Inclusion and Diversity Research Report (January 2017)

Almost nine out of ten employers (88 per cent) offer flexible hours to their employees, according to a survey of HR practitioners. This was one of the findings of a survey of 913 respondents conducted towards the end of 2016 by the Australian HR Institute.


Expectations and Experiences of Work Report (October 2016)

In this HR Pulse survey on personal work experiences, the questions sought the views of members not in their professional role as HR practitioners observing and reporting on their workplaces, but as individuals reporting on their own experience of work and, with respect to the student respondents, their expectations of work in the future.

Absence Management Report

Absence Management Infographic (March 2016)

The results of AHRI’s HR Pulse survey on Absence Management shines a light on trends in workplace absence levels, the causes of absence, and how the effects of absence are felt in workplaces. The results also reveal some of the areas that employers are exploring to reduce employee absence.

5 tips for HR (January 2016)

This report reveals the attributes that senior executives value the most in an HR professional. CEOs, executives and public service agency heads were asked to rank the degree of importance they place on 17 HR attributes and also how well they believe their HR people perform in relation to each one. Comparable questions were asked of the HR respondents to the survey. Based on a survey of 851 executives and HR practitioners, the report pulls out five executive tips for HR to think about.


Human Resource Competency Study (November 2015)

Sponsored by the Ross School at the University of Michigan and The RBL Group along with 22 regional partners around the world (including AHRI), this overview reveals the results of the 7th round of the HR competency study (HRCS).

Further information about the study can be found on the HRCS website

National Diversity and Inclusion Survey Report

National Diversity and Inclusion Infographic (November 2015)

The University of Sydney Business School Migrants@ Work Research Group, Macquarie University  Diversity Council of Australia and the Australian Human Resources Institute surveyed Australian Diversity and Inclusion practitioners about Diversity and Inclusion policy and practice in their organisations.

Talent Report (October 2015)

The findings of this report reveal that for many Australian organisations, talent management is still a work-in progress. Of the respondents whose organisations have a talent management strategy, a large majority (79%) report that the strategy has clear goals and objectives, and is strategically aligned to organisational goals and operational objectives (80%) or enjoys strong support from the senior leadership.

HR Outsourcing Report

HR Outsourcing Infographic (October 2015)

This is the first HR Pulse survey that AHRI has conducted on HR outsourcing. For many years organisations have engaged third parties to perform business functions on their behalf. That more than half (53 percent) of the
respondents to this survey report that their organisations fully or partially outsource some of their HR activities, is an indication of the prevalence of the practice.

Turnover and Retention (October 2015)

The findings of this survey reveal an average turnover figure of 16 per cent, a 3 per cent increase on the average
reported in AHRI’s previous 2012 survey on turnover and retention. In some ways this finding is not a surprise.

The Rise of HR (March 2015)

This e-book combines perspectives about how HR can "add value" from a cross section of 73 global, thought leaders. It lays out a positive and aspirational view of HR's future, including insights on HR's role in impacting business strategy through outside-in thinking, sourcing and optimising talent, creating winning organization capabilities and cultures, using analytics and information for improved rigor in business decision making, reframing HR governance and defining future HR competencies.

Older Australians at Work summit (February 2015)

The Older Australians at Work summit drew a diverse audience across the age spectrum to discuss the inclusion and promotion of older Australians in the workforce. Speakers and panels explored what mature age workers are looking for and how business can respond. Download the report to read the findings.

Older workers (January 2015)

While it has been encouraging to see governments send signals to remove age barriers and introduce incentives for the employment of older workers, on the whole the evidence is that of a mixed response by employers to own the issue of retaining older workers and recruiting them into vacancies. This report incorporates the views of 1931 HR professionals who contributed to a survey. The report offers an insight into the current state of play regarding older workers in Australia.


What is good HR? Discussion paper (October 2014)

As a report on a survey of nearly 1000 members of AHRI, this discussion paper amounts to the first stage in a collective view from the inside by HR professionals of the expectations around HR practice and the behaviour of their fellow HR practitioners. The second stage, scheduled for completion in 2015, will look at the question of expectations of HR from the outside perspective of chief executives within business.

HR and flow (October 2014)

A day in the life of an HR professional is a roller coaster ride. It can be stressful, hugely demanding and at the same time incredibly rewarding. Adam Fraser and Dr John Molineux (Lecturer in Human Resource Management at Deakin University) set out to understand what helps HR professionals get into FLOW (a high performance state where an individual is completely lost and engaged in what they are doing, driven by intrinsic motivation and experiencing positive emotion) or stress (feeling overwhelmed, lack of clarity, low level of productivity and negative emotion). To do this they studied 821 HR professionals varying in age, role, seniority and years of experience.

Anytime-anywhere work (September 2014)

Around two thirds of respondents to a workplace survey (65%) identify difficulties communicating with colleagues as the main disadvantage of working outside central work locations, according to a study just released. Other disadvantages connected with anytime-anywhere work are cited as loneliness and isolation, and difficulty with communication technologies. These findings are contained in a report by the Australian Human Resources Institute on a survey it conducted with 379 members of the institute earlier this year.


Youth employment report (November 2013)

Despite escaping the worst effects of the global financial crisis, Australia's youth unemployment rate remains around 17 per cent compared with the national rate of less than 6 per cent. It is imperative that government policy makers, employers and young Australians themselves make joint efforts to redress the recent trends in this area in the interests of our future prosperity as a nation.

Learning and development report (October 2013)

A number of findings in this research report indicate some progressive thinking has taken place in the area of learning and development since AHRI published a similar report in 2010.

Rethinking social media (September 2013)

The Australian Human Resources Institute and Deloitte's Centre for the Edge have come together to produce this Point of View (PoV) for human resources (HR) practitioners and others interested in driving value from social media and social software, both externally and internally.

Turnover and retention report (August 2013)

AHRI's previous PULSE report on turnover and retention in Australian businesses found an average turnover of 18.5 per cent; a number that was too high and rising. Five years later, this report reveals a turnover average of 13 per cent. The figures suggest that perhaps more businesses are getting recruitment and retention right. On the other hand, the relatively low rate might indicate that employees are showing a reluctance to move, with confidence low and wages flattening out in a prevailing mood of business uncertainty.


Coaching and mentoring report (August 2012)

This AHRI survey report reveals a snapshot of what is happening both in organisations where coaching and mentoring practices operate as well as in organisations where no mentoring practices take place.

Global Index of workplace performance and flexibility (August 2012)

The project was jointly commissioned by the US Society for Human Resource Management and the Australian Human Resources Institute. This report is an outcome of a project undertaken by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The outcome of the global index of workplace performance and flexibility report is a tool that measures and compares the data that you will find in the report. AHRI members can download the global index of workplace performance and flexibility tool.

Employer Liaison Capability Framework (June 2012)

This framework is an outcome of a project funded by the Australian Government through the Innovation Fund. The project was jointly conducted by AHRI and the Innovation Fund panel member, Disability Employment Australia (DEA).

Disability employment project report (June 2012)

A report on the DES Employer Liaison Capability Framework and Training Program. An innovation fund project of the Department of Education, employment and Workplace Relations.

Mature age workforce participation (March 2012)

An AHRI survey report on how respondents' organisations are thinking about the issue of mature age employment, what is happening in their workplaces.

The Fair Work Act: Its impact within Australian workplaces (January 2012)

This is AHRI's second study, in association with Deakin University, on the impact for the Fair Work Act in Australian workplaces. The findings provide a first-hand perspective on the operational impact of the Fair Work laws.


Creating people advantage (September 2011)

This report was released by The Boston Consulting Group - a global management consulting firm and the World Federation of People Management Association (WFPMA)  - a global network of professionals in people management founded in 1976. AHRI is a member of the WFPMA.

Recruiting people with a disability: An employer perspective (August 2011)

In July 2011, AHRI initiated a survey of its members with the general intention of providing a snapshot of quantitative and qualitative data from the ground on how the Federal Government's Disability Employment Services are travelling, with particular reference to informing the deliberations of the Minister's Disability Employment Services Reference Group.

The 2011 National Learning and Development Index (June 2011)

Learning and development survey report based on the joined research from AHRI, the Australian Institute of Training and Development and Learning Seat.

The great divide: Gender equity in the workplace (March 2011)

An AHRI survey report on the state of gender equality in Australian workplaces. The results reveal nearly two-thirds of the sample reporting male majorities of between 70-100 per cent in management and leadership positions in their organisations, and three out of four reporting male majorities of 70-100 per cent on their boards.


Impact of the Fair Work Act within Australian workplaces (November 2010)

This AHRI survey reports on the data from 993 HR and business respondents, and was conducted in association with Deakin University.

Workplace flexibility (June 2010)

The answers to the AHRI survey that inform the findings of this report reveal how organisations are dealing with workplace flexibility in the early days of The Fair Work Act.

The 2010 National Learning and Development Index (May 2010)

Learning and development survey report based on the joined research from AHRI, the Australian Institute of Training and Development and Learning Seat.

White Paper- people@work/2020 (May 2010)

The future of work and the changing workplace:challenges and issues for Australian HR practitioners. This White Paper focuses on the future role of HR and the forces affecting work towards 2020.

Building a better public service (April 2010)

AHRI surveyed its member database of public servants during November 2009, in part to inform its submission to the Australian Public Service Inquiry into Reform of Government ministration. AHRI also sought the views of its public sector members from state as well as federal agencies on a number of issues of general relevance to human resource agendas.

A profile of HRM in Australian multinationals (2010)

An AHRI-supported research report on a survey of 210 multinational enterprises operating in Australia.


GFC: Its impact on HR and people management practices (July 2009)

During late April 2009 AHRI sought the views, opinions and expertise of a limited sample number of executive-level respondents through an online survey on the ramifications of the GFC  within Australian business.

Fair Work Australia: How prepared is your organisation for the new IR laws? (August 2009)

The aim of this AHRI survey was to determine the level of understanding and organisational preparedness, as well as to gauge the general expectations of the sample groups with respect to the introduction of the Fair Work Act 2009, the first part of which came into effect on 1 July 2009 with the rest of the legislation due to be effective on 1 January 2010.

Paycheck: Executive remuneration (May 2009)

An AHRI survey report identifying practices and exploring opinions on the specialist area of executive remuneration. Executive remuneration is the current hot topic in business, particularly in relation to the global financial crisis. And with a Productivity Commission Inquiry into the Australian regulatory framework, the writing is on the wall for a shift in the way executives are paid.

Australian experiences with skilled migration: Perception and reality (April 2009)

Has skilled migration been used to address skill shortages in your organisation and with what outcome? This AHRI survey report reveals the responses from employers who have, and haven't chosen to use 457 Visas, employees working alongside skilled migrants and skilled migrants themselves.


Dangling the carrot: Investigating performance management practices (December 2008)

This AHRI survey explored the effectiveness of performance management schemes - especially their role in boosting attraction, retention and productivity - and the merits of linking pay to performance.

The parent trap: The parental leave debate (September 2008)

How many weeks, how many dollars, and who should pay? This AHRI survey sought to identify the perspectives of HR professionals on the parental leave debate.

What's age got to do with it? (July 2008)

This AHRI survey explored the motivations and expectations of today's multi-generational workforce asking what motivates employees and what are their expectations from the employment experience? Do these motivations and expectations vary depending on age and what can HR do to ensure organisations are meeting the needs of their multigenerational workforce?

Love 'em, don't lose 'em: Identifying retention strategies that work (March 2008)

Previous research has suggested that the average general rate of staff turnover in large Australian companies is 12.6 percent. This AHRI survey report suggests that rate is on the increase, with a calculated average of 17.4 percent for organisations with 1000 employees or more and an average of 18.5 percent across all organisations.


Extreme makeover: Does HR need to improve its image? (November 2007)

An AHRI survey sought to investigate perceptions of the human resources function across Australia. Download the report.

Workchoices: Its impact within Australian workforces (23 August 2007)

Late in 2006, the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI) commissioned a longitudinal research
study into the introduction of the Workplace Relations Amendment (Work Choices) Act 2005.
The purpose of the research was to determine how the AHRI membership of approximately 11,000
HR professionals were travelling with the legislation in their daily work.

Corporate social responsibility (March 2007)

Research undertaken by the American-based Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and supported by management associations in Australia, India, China, Canada, Mexico and Brazil looked at what polices and procedures in relation to CSR their organizations implemented to demonstrate corporate social responsibility.

2006 and earlier

HR and the line: The distribution of HR activities in Australian organisations (2006)

Research jointly conducted by AHRI, CCH and the University of Melbourne, which identifies the interface between HR and line management.

A guide to using executive coaching (2005)

Research conducted by Dr Gavin Dagley and supported by AHRI, looked into the experiences and perceptions of HR professionals who have used executive coaching. The practitioners represented both public and private sector institutions, including eight of Australia's largest and most well-known organisations. This paper represents their thoughts on what works and what doesn't.

HR: creating business solutions (August 2003)

Research jointly undertaken by AHRI and the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA), which reveals that the human resources profession has many opportunities to influence the strategic direction and implementation of business success on behalf of Australian organisations.


AHRI members access a broad range of info sheets, checklists and policies via AHRI:ASSIST, plus a monthly dose of the latest HR news with HRmonthly magazine.

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