UK HR directors’ pay second only to those in US, survey reveals

US-based HR directors top a global best-paid poll, followed by the UK and Germany, with India lagging at the bottom, research has found.

A survey conducted by Mercer Human Resource Consulting found that US-based HR directors earn an average base pay of £99,900, with UK directors earning £90,700, and their German counterparts £88,400. In India, the average pay falls to £29,346.

Steve Gross, global leader of broad-based rewards at Mercer, said globalisation means that lower-cost locations are playing a bigger role in pay gap agendas. “Compensation has long been driven by such factors as historic pay levels, size of economy and competition for talent. As companies become more globally mobile and can shift some jobs to lower-cost locations, these new considerations will have a big impact on pay levels among countries,” he said.

The US also leads total cash compensation of HR directors at £127,100, followed by Brazil at £119,900.

Germany, at £118,100, leads on cash compensation in Europe, followed by the UK at £110,739.

The 15-country analysis is taken from the 2007 Global Pay Summary, which received responses from 2,300 firms. It also revealed that HR directors are paid less than marketing and finance directors.

US-based finance directors are the highest paid, earning and average base pay of £130,800, followed by the UK and Canada, who receive around £106,000 and £100,400, respectively.

For marketing directors, base pay ranges between £107,800 in the US and £22,500 in India. The US is followed again by the UK and Germany, at £99,800 and £85,400 respectively.

David Conroy, UK leader of reward at Mercer, said: “We find higher than average salaries for HR directors where their role is more strategic and business focused. Examples are where HR directors are driving through change programmes for their employer and taking a leadership role in merger and acquisition activity.”

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