A day in the life of… a compensation and benefits manager

A compensation and benefits manager role could involve developing, implementing and administering an organisation’s rewards and benefit policies, and could cover everything from salaries to pensions, and from relocation packages to life assurance.

The demands of the job are high, but it offers variety and an opportunity to influence at all levels. Experienced reward specialists have the ability to evaluate an organisation’s pay and benefits against the local market to assist with competitiveness and recruitment/retention strategy.

Knowledge of outsourcing options, industrial tribunal procedures, disciplinary and grievance policies and the ability to attract and retain key staff from different industry sectors with different payment schemes are key.

No two days are the same. You could find yourself developing a strategy for flexible benefits one day then advising on retention policy the next. Your role might cover many thousands of employees, possibly administering a sizeable budget – multi-millions, in some cases – so you need excellent attention to detail.

In larger companies there could be specialist managers who deal with only one aspect of compensation and benefits work, such as salary structure, company pension scheme or payroll. In other organisations, the role may cover all areas.

Many compensation and benefits managers have backgrounds in accountancy, finance or reward consultancy. Others develop from within a generalist HR environment. In all cases, communication skills are important as you could be negotiating with union reps one day and helping to address personnel problems the next.

Salary expectations: £30,000-£80,000


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