New data | HR salaries hit plateau despite role's growing importance

HR salaries hit plateau despite role's growing importance

Salaries for HR professionals are stagnating despite the role taking on more importance than ever before following the pandemic, new research has found.

Analysis of HR salaries by Cendex, part of XpertHR, shows that salaries for HR professionals have increased by just 0.3% since 2019.

In addition, the latest HR and Reward Trends data, from XpertHR, shows that as HR pay growth has stalled, their involvement in setting organisational strategy has increased since the pandemic. This is true of 50% of organisations sampled.

The median basic salary for HR professionals has risen marginally from £34,973 in 2019 to £35,086 in 2022, well below what we would expect if HR pay was to track average pay inflation. This year alone, organisations are making pay rises in the region of 3.8%, according to XpertHR.


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Payroll Outsourcing: Why now and how to excel

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HR teams played a vital role during the pandemic, from ensuring that staff were adequately supported at home, to maintaining staff retention through increased engagement and navigating unprecedented Covid-19 measures such as the furlough scheme. Given the increased remit of today’s HR function, coupled with inflation rises and a cost-of-living crisis, the data shows that HR salary growth is desperately lagging behind other business areas. For example, over the same time period, salaries in general management rose by 19.7%, and in administration by 10.4%.

Ed Cronin, XpertHR’s Head of Data Research and Operations said: “HR professionals really stepped up to the plate during the pandemic. Faced with unprecedented changes to the workplace overnight, HR teams adapted accordingly and enabled businesses to continue to operate in spite of global tumult.

“Today, HR teams remain critical to business success and if they are not rewarded fairly, employers may see crucial and experienced individuals leave. The pandemic may feel like it’s over, but the challenges of high inflation, constrained labour markets, and pay fairness remain. Businesses should be using rewards data and salary benchmarking to ensure they remain competitive in the market and continue to attract top talent in an ever-changing workplace.”



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