Hays UK blog


Are HR salaries adapting to increased demand?

By Barney Ely, Director of Hays Human Resources

With skills shortages rife across the UK, the role of HR continues to gain prominence as an important driver of talent attraction and retention strategies in hard-to-fill roles. We’ve also seen the HR specialism becoming more involved in strategic decision-making for the organisation, which has resulted in the competition for talented HR professionals becoming even stronger.

Our Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 guide shows that 90% of HR employers expect their organisation’s activity levels to increase or stay the same over the next 12 months. But how is this predicted activity impacting on hiring and salary trends within the HR profession?

Hiring plans remain varied

A key role of the HR function is to create and maintain a strong workplace culture. As a result, it is often imperative for HR professionals to have a long-term investment in an organisation. Our guide shows that almost three-quarters (71%) of HR employers expect to hire permanent staff in the year ahead.

Alongside permanent hires, our survey also shows that over a third of HR employers expect to recruit temporary professionals. This is in part being driven by the need to support transformation projects, making those with change management and TUPE experience especially high in demand amongst employers.

Salary increases tempered

In our recent What Workers Want report, we highlighted areas outside of pay, which play a key role in whether a HR professional chooses to remain in or leave a role. However, there’s no denying that salary remains a crucial element of the total package that employers offer.

Our guide shows that 75% of HR employers increased salaries in the last 12 months. Of those who increased salaries, 58% increased them up to 2.5%. However, 56% of employees say they are not satisfied with their salaries. With 57% of HR employees expecting to move role in the next 12 months, it is essential that employers benchmark their salaries accurately as part of the wider package offered to employees.

Retention influencing HR skills in demand

We continue to see a number of organisations battle with skills shortages, and training and developing existing staff members is becoming a more prevalent action to overcome the challenges a lack of skills brings. As a result, demand for learning and development professionals has increased in the last year.

Another aspect to retaining talented staff relates to the rewards and benefits on offer. It therefore isn’t surprising that reward and benefits professionals, as well as talent and resourcing professionals, are highly sought after and these individuals are commanding higher than average salary increases.

At senior levels, we are seeing a greater need for HR professionals who are able to effectively communicate to internal stakeholders the commercial benefits that the HR function brings to the organisation. We have often found this to be an essential skill for senior HR candidates to be able to display, and those able to will find themselves in particularly high demand.

As employers continue to compete heavily to secure the talent they need to succeed, we believe a strong HR function remains a key asset for an organisation to invest in. In order to maintain their HR talent, employers need to ensure their salary and benefits packages are competitive to meet the expectations of the experienced professionals they need.

Find out how more on recruiting trends in HR, request your copy of the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 guide.  

For more information or to discuss your recruitment needs, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

Barney joined Hays in 1993 as a business graduate and is now Director for Hays Human Resources. Barney also has operational responsibility for Hays offices across the South of England, placing professionals in over 20 industry sectors covering everything from accountancy and finance to construction, IT education and healthcare.


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