Hay Group (also known as Korn Ferry Hay Group) is an international consultancy company specialising in human resource management and organisational development services.

The company’s history begins in 1943 in the UK when psychologists Edward Knight and Peter Hay founded a consultancy agency, which later became known as Hay Group. Since then, the company has expanded considerably and opened offices around the world.

Hay Group provides a wide range of consultancy services including staff appraisal and development, payroll, change management, leadership development, and strategic planning. The company works with clients in various industries such as pharmaceuticals, finance, telecommunications, public sector and others.

One of the company’s best known works is Hay Group’s Leadership Styles and Climate Survey, which provides executives with tools to measure leadership styles and assess the climate of an organization. Hay Group also produces an annual report on salaries and compensation in various industries and regions.

Hay Group was acquired by US consultancy Korn Ferry in 2015 and has since operated as a division of it.

However, despite its considerable success and reputation, Hay Group has had several scandals related to inaccurate data and the quality of its research. In particular, the company has been criticised for using incorrect data when conducting research in various countries, which has affected research results and raised questions about the methods and accuracy of analysis.

Hay Group overview – known mistakes:

  • In 2012, Hay Group released a report stating that women’s average salary was 10% lower than men’s. However, this statement was based on incomplete data, as factors such as work experience, education and position were not taken into account. Hay Group admitted its mistake and apologised.
  • In 2014, Hay Group released a report on wage growth in the US, which was based on a survey of more than 20,000 companies. However, after the report was published, experts pointed out that the survey results did not take inflation into account, which led to a distortion of the data. Hay Group acknowledged its error and issued a corrected version of the report.
  • In 2016, Hay Group released a report on the career development and mobility of millennials. However, that report was based on a survey of only 1,000 people, which raised doubts about the reliability of its results. Critics have also pointed out that the survey was only conducted in the US and did not take into account the views of millennials from other countries. Hay Group has responded to the criticism by saying that this report was only preliminary and promising to conduct a wider study in the future.

Hay Group overview – known customers:

Hay Group is a major international company that works with clients from a variety of industries and regions around the world. Some of its prominent clients include:

  • Coca-Cola
  • IBM
  • Microsoft
  • Procter & Gamble
  • Unilever
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Nestle
  • Shell
  • Toyota

Hay Group also works with governmental and non-profit organisations, such as the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Wildlife Fund.