HR directors’ pay finally overtakes finance director salaries

HR professionals are finally starting to outstrip their colleagues in finance when it comes to salaries, earning up to £50,000 more at senior level, research has revealed.

In some areas, HR salaries have risen by up to 20% in the past 12 months, according to an annual survey of more than 1,000 consultants and the UK candidate datatbase of recruitment company Robert Walters.

The survey found an HR director in the Thames Valley region could expect to earn between £70,000 and £170,000 in 2006, compared with £60,000 to £120,000 for finance directors. In the Midlands, HR directors typically earned between £70,000 and £120,000, compared with £55,000 and £120,000 for finance directors in the same area.

In London, an HR manager with between five and 10 years’ experience earned between £40,000 and £60,000 in 2006, compared with £28,000 to £45,000 for a finance manager. However, HR directors in the capital still lag behind, earning between £90,000 and £180,000, compared with £150,000 to £200,000 for finance directors.

Susan Major, director of the HR division at Robert Walters, said the gap between finance and HR was closing.

“HR professionals are now being seen as more important and credible to the business [than before] and this is reflected in their salaries,” she told Personnel Today.

“Over the past two to three years, the HR profession has made massive progress and many firms are now looking for HR people with more operational experience, who have spent time working across the business.”

Pay comparison: HR v finance


 Region  Role Salary 
 London  HR director  £90,000-£180,000
   Finance director  £150,000-£200,000
 Midlands  HR director  £70,000-£120,000
   Finance director  £55,000-£120,000
 Thames Valley  HR director  £70,000-£170,000
   Finance director  £60,000-£120,000

Source: Robert Walters salary survey


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