HR salaries growing at a snail’s pace, XpertHR data shows

HR salaries rose more slowly in 2014 than at any point since the start of the recession, according to XpertHR’s annual HR Salary Survey.

According to its analysis of payroll data for more than 5,000 HR staff, earnings rose by an average of 2.9% during 2014. In 2013, this figure was 3.3% and this year’s is the lowest since 2009, when pay increased by just 0.8%.

HR practitioners with a focus on HR information systems fared the best, earning an average pay increase of 3.6%.

There was also a comparative uplift in HR salaries for those in the services sector, compared with those in manufacturing.

Professionals working in payroll and employee relations received the lowest pay rises, at just 2.2% and 2.4% respectively.

Pay for HR professionals is broadly in line with, if not just ahead of, predictions for pay awards during 2015. According to XpertHR’s survey of pay prospects for next year, average pay awards for all employees are expected to be worth around 2% in the year to 31 August 2015.

XpertHR’s research also revealed that HR directors now earn a median basic salary of £120,822, rising up to £156,483 when other bonuses or incentives are taken into account.

Commenting on the findings, Mark Crail, head of Salary surveys at XpertHR said: “There is little sign yet of pay levels picking up after the recession, but it is important to remember that inflation is also lower than it has been for some time. In real terms, we may not be getting much better off, but at least we are no longer getting worse off.”

9 Responses to HR salaries growing at a snail’s pace, XpertHR data shows

  1. Avatar
    Scottr350 3 Dec 2014 at 6:00 pm #

    HR Professionals are overhead who don’t add to a firm’s bottom line. HR salaries should be growing at a small rate.

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      S Makhlouf 3 Dec 2014 at 7:08 pm #

      I totally disagree. An organisation without HR is a rather risky and costly place. Seen it all too often but in truth HR does all the work behind the scenes but line managers are given the credit as at the end of the day, staff belong to managers and not HR so its a win/lose.
      If it wasn’t for HR, an organisation could find itself making costly mistakes. A vast amount of money would be lost to Tribunals often causing reputational damage. There would be anarchy in the workplace, managers would be treating staff subjectively, they would be hiring and firing at their own will, employees would be off sick at regular intervals assuming its their entitlement to have sick pay and there would be little or no governance to manage them consistently. Stress levels would be very high from top to bottom.
      Further, instead of getting on with their day job, line managers would be spending nearly all of their time handling people issues and getting rather fed up of it all. Even the most skilled manager can mistakes which often makes matters worse and results in multiple grievances from every man and his dog. At that stage, the only solution managers then come up with is to fire the whole team and to start again. What a waste of time and money that would be.
      So, like it or not, HR may not bring in the pounds, good HR certainly prevents those pounds from being lost to the handling of people matters.

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        Scottr350 3 Dec 2014 at 9:34 pm #

        HR Employees are nothing more than glorified clerks. Your response is rather patronizing. You write as if the managers who work at your company are idiots. You know better than line managers who run the business, lol.

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          Teresa 4 Dec 2014 at 7:54 am #

          To spend £150k on HR to introduce policies to an SMB (that hinder the business) is ludicrous. Perhaps as a company, it should re-evaluate its HR needs. Having just started working in a fluid SMB with high growth plans, priority is on culture, performance, succession and workforce planning and increasing leadership and strategic capability. Of course we may have a couple of fundamental policies by regulation, but they must be light touch and not a means to justify the role of HR!

        • Avatar
          S Makhlouf 6 Dec 2014 at 1:29 pm #

          People who believe that HR people are “glorified clerks” perhaps do in fact employ “clerks” to perform specialist HR work in their organisations. Its no surprise then that these people don’t deliver – all too often PAs and Office Managers get promoted into HR positions and people think its the same as bringing in an experienced HR specialist who costs a lot more than a secretary. If you pay peanuts you get monkeys.

  2. Avatar
    HR Professional 3 Dec 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, in fact I would agree. Except HR Professional safeguard the Company so that it doesn’t have an implication on the bottom line when an organisation is taken to tribunal because you (operations) haven’t treated them correctly.
    Second of all why you reading this article if you are not interested in HR Professionals?

    HR Professional

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    Personnel Personal 3 Dec 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    Agree that HR is overpriced….for a staff of 90 it costs our company around £150k + on costs of around 25% to employ two HR folk: over £2k per employee…is it any value – sadly not. When the staffing totalled 60 the cost for HR was considerably less (around £50k+) because there was no employee strife. Since HR has been to the fore employee distrust and unrest has grown – the majority of which has been the imposition of big time policies on what was and remains a small ‘family’ company that wants to stay just that for the time being. HR needs to look in side itself to ascertain what real productive benefit are they giving. Yes, perhaps I have a jaundiced view – but it is one of a realist. Jealous of…moved on from a senior position in HR to deal properly with people without the tunnel vision of policies. HR needs to tone down it wage demands to that related to its real value….in many cases…little!

    • Avatar
      Emma 9 Dec 2014 at 1:10 pm #

      I would suggest that your HR structure needs a total overhaul if it’s costing you that much. Why on earth do you need 2 HR staff with only 90 staff in total?

  4. Avatar
    S Makhlouf 6 Dec 2014 at 1:42 pm #

    I thought Personnel Today was only for HR professionals, or for those wishing to learn or update their HR knowledge – I certainly don’t think its for non HR people to use this discussion forum to discredit and de-value the profession. It would be like going on a legal website and discrediting all lawyers.