Credit crunch causes demand for compensation specialists

August may have been a damp squib weather wise but in the HR jobs market recruitment activity is boiling over, especially for compensation and benefit roles, says new research from City HR recruitment consultancy Joslin Rowe.

“Demand for good comp and bens professionals has actually increased – despite the credit crunch and the usual seasonal summer slowdown,” reflects Daniel Cooper, senior consultant with Joslin Rowe.

“In fact, the ongoing banking crisis is actually fuelling hires of compensation analysts and compensation managers.  The current market conditions mean that employers are focusing evermore on their bottom line and staff remuneration is an enormous part of this.

“Banks need to pull off the tricky balancing act between retaining the best talent but within the most cost-effective reward structures. Put simply, companies are keener than ever to build robust compensation platforms for the future and they know to do that they must hire the very best compensation people in strategic roles to do this.”

Joslin Rowe data shows financial services firms are willing to pay a premium to secure the best compensation professionals at every level – from analyst to strategic managers.

“Recently, we assisted a candidate on £40,000 to move employers for a new starting salary of £55,000. A 38% pay increase is phenomenal at the best of times – but the fact that it’s happened now in what continues to be a challenging environment shows just how in demand these skills are.”,” says Cooper

This demand is filtering into a much faster recruitment process, according to Joslin Rowe research.

The average time to hire, which is defined as the period from vacancy notification to when someone completes their notice period and starts in that new role, is running at around 2 weeks less for compensation & benefit jobs.

That’s an average recruitment process time of 6 weeks in comparison to 8 weeks for the rest of the HR recruitment market – and it may become faster.

“The clock is ticking. Banks are desperate to get people on board now so they can start looking at the 2009/10 budget period. As soon as a new compensation analyst CV appears, the interview requests flood in.

“For good people with a great compensation & HR background, a solid CV and experience of making improvements to share schemes and benefit plans, there are no end of options. The roles on offer are very strategic – after all most companies know they need to act now to make a real difference to business performance,“ concludes Cooper.

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