Firms pay a premium to retain best HR staff

HR professionals are in
demand with companies having to pay high salaries to retain and attract the
best talent, research shows.

The study, exclusive
to Personnel Today, shows that more than a third more HR jobs were advertised in
the past 12 months than in the previous year indicating a rise in HR staff
turnover.

In this war for
talent, HR directors are having to work hard to attract and retain staff. The
salaries of HR managers, for example, have increased by 18 per cent since 1997.

Denise Walker, head of
corporate HR of Nationwide Building Society, said, "HR people are looking
for organisations that challenge them rather than place them in
administrative-type roles.

"It is about
helping managers to put in place the right structures so that people work
together and help to build teams."

High HR staff turnover
has been indicated in recent DDI research. It shows a 5 per cent surge in HR
staff turnover in the past year to 19 per cent.

This compares with an
overall staff turnover of 13 per cent in most companies, according to MCG
Benchmarker Metrics.

Nick Page, pay and
employment adviser for the CIPD, said, "The turnover is a result of the
greater demand for HR people and the climate is making them more confident.
They feel they can leave if the pay is there to attract them."

The research, by
Salary Survey Publications, also shows that directors’ pay has increased by 35
per cent since 1997.

Vicky Dodd, associate
director of the HR search and selection company Courtenay, said leading HR
directors can demand salaries of up to £200,000.

But she added that
economic uncertainty was having an effect. "Some HR professionals who are
leaving the technology sector are taking pay cuts to get back into other
corporate positions."

By Richard Staines

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