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The State of Human Capital Disclosures Mid-2021: Rudimentary at Best

A meta-analysis of studies on human capital reporting by the Human Capital Investment and Reporting Council finds few companies publishing information meaningful to investors. 
HCIRCHuman capital reporting in the US remains early stage at best, according to an analysis of studies released recently by the Human Capital Investment and Reporting Council, a network of human capital practitioners and investors interested in the “S” or Social of Environmental, Social, Governance management.
Click here for the report.
Here are key highlights:
Over 70% of companies have either disclosed human capital information last year or intend to report in 2021. (Source: IR Magazine)
Over 94% of surveyed companies included the metric of the number of employees. (Source: Willis Towers Watson)
38 out of 50 top companies by revenue in the Fortune 100 (or 76%) included disclosure on employee health and safety in first-quarter 10-Q filings. (Source: White & Case)
41 out of 80 surveyed SMB (small-to medium-size) companies provided some form of voluntary sustainability disclosure on their web sites. (Source: White & Case) 
Of the above 41, over 13 companies did not disclose any ESG related information the previous year. (Source: White & Case)
Human capital disclosures are mostly made in Sustainability reports, followed by annual reports and on company web sites. (Source: IR Magazine)
Between 2016 and 2019, the number of companies that either produce a report on ESG or speak to ESG during investor interactions has increased from 78% to 92%. (Source: Corporate Secretary)
More than 75% of investor relation teams have received questions about human capital management from investors in the past two years. (Source: IR Magazine)
Over six in 10 investors view human capital within the company when looking to invest. (Source: IR Magazine)
Nearly 80% of directors say their board spends more time discussing talent strategy than it did just five years ago. (Source: Ernst & Young)
Nearly double the number of institutional investors reported placing greater emphasis on the Social component when making investment decisions - 45% in 2020 vs. 28% in 2018. (Source: Financial Executives)
The most important human capital issues for investors are pay and compensation, followed by staff retention and hiring, diversity and senior management. (Source: IR Magazine)
Word length of human capital reports in SEC disclosures varied dramatically, ranging from nine words to 1,582 words.
The median disclosure was 369 words long. (Source: FW Cook)
For More Information
Amy Armitage
Founder, Human Capital Investment and Reporting Council

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