Hays UK jobs and employment blog


What are the Top 10 salary increases in HR?

By Yvonne Smyth, Head of Diversity & Inclusion, Hays


Amidst the ongoing change taking place across many organisations, and increasing focus on digital transformation of the workplace, our research shows that employers of HR professionals are expecting a busy year of hiring ahead.

The Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2020 guide reveals that most HR employers expect business activity in the year ahead to increase or stay the same. Hiring is therefore a top priority, with three quarters of employers expecting to hire HR staff in the year ahead, greater than the UK average of 68%. 

Skills shortages are widespread

However, our findings also show that employers are struggling with skills shortages when trying to hire HR talent. The vast majority (87%) have experienced skills shortages in the last 12 months, and looking to the year ahead, 61% foresee their top recruitment challenge to be a shortage of suitable applicants – no doubt worrying statistics for those hiring in 2020.

Employee morale, the ability to deliver projects and productivity are all being negatively impacted by skills shortages within HR teams.

Search for management skills pushes up salaries

So which skills are employers most in need of? In terms of specialist skills, 44% of HR employers say they most need managerial and leadership skills, which is considerably higher than UK employers overall (33%).

Professionals across the HR profession should ensure they continue to develop not only their technical expertise, but also their soft skills such as communication and stakeholder management, to ensure they are able to command higher salaries when job-hunting or asking for a pay rise in 2020.

Due to a shortage of HR professionals with the right technical, specialist and soft skills, employers have turned to pay rises to attract the right talent. The average salary increase across all HR job titles has been 1.4% over the last 12 months, but certain roles have seen above average rises, especially leadership positions.

Top ten salary increases in HR:

  1. HR Director – 4.2%
  2. Employee Relations/IR Specialist – 3.9%
  3. Head of Equality & Diversity – 3%
  4. Talent/Resourcing Advisor – 2.7%
  5. Officer/Advisor – 2.4%
  6. Talent/Resourcing Director – 2.3%
  7. Reward Manager – Commerce & Industry – 2.1%
  8. Talent/Resourcing Coordinator – 2.0%
  9. Talent/Resourcing Manager – 1.9%
  10. Head of Organisational Development – 1.8%

If your role is not on the top ten list that does not mean to say you are not due a pay rise in the year ahead. Find out how salaries and recruiting trends are changing across the HR profession by requesting your copy of the Hays Salary & Recruiting Trends 2020 guide.

About this author

Yvonne is Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Hays, working with our clients to ensure their recruitment strategies are aligned with the latest equality, diversity and inclusion (ED&I) policies and initiatives. She is responsible for creating and implementing diverse recruitment strategies that effectively support the representation of more diverse staff profiles within their business.


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