Human resources salaries soar despite gloomy outlook

Salaries for human resources professionals rose by up to 11% last year, with the average salary for an HR manager now topping £43,000.

A survey of its candidate base by recruitment firm Reed Human Resources found salaries increased well above the rate of inflation.

The average wage for a HR assistant rose by 9% to £21,396. Equally, there was a 9% growth in the average wage for a HR officer, with salaries reaching £27,157.

The average salary for an HR manager rose by 11% to £43,275, and the pay of HR directors and heads of HR leaped by 15%, taking the average wage to £73,264.

According to the survey, there was a major skills shortage in the sector last year, with a 65% growth in the number of vacancies for permanent HR professionals compared to 2006.

The Reed survey said this helped fuel a 30% growth in the interim HR market, with individuals being deployed on a temporary and temp to permanent basis to fill the skills gap. Average rates for interims were £196 a day, but interim HR directors in London could earn as much as £475 per day.

Jason Willis, Reed’s operations manager, said: “As the skills shortage continues, we will continue to see an increase in the deployment of interim managers to meet this need.

“Equally, generalist HR advisers will be needed to provide support across all business areas,” he said. “With such a gap between the supply and demand of HR professionals, we also expect salaries to grow, albeit more slowly given the market outlook.”