HR salaries | These are the areas where HR leaders earn the most

These are the areas where HR leaders earn the most

The East of England is outstripping the capital on HR pay according to new figures out from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

HR managers and directors based in the East of England are enjoying an average salary of £67,172, which is considerably more than their region’s average full-time salary of £40,544. This also compares to HR professionals in London which are earning £4,384 less. This means that those in the east are earning 7% more than those in the capital and 12% higher than those in South-east England.

At the opposite end of the earnings scale, HR managers and directors in the North-east and West Midlands have the lowest mean average salaries compared to anywhere else in England at £44,158 and £47,037 respectively.

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The top five regions in England with the highest average salaries for HR managers and directors are:

  1. East – £67,172

  2. London – £62,788

  3. South East – £60,198

  4. South West – £56,357

  5. North West – £50,615

Comparable data for Wales and Northern Ireland was unavailable from the ONS. Scotland’s HR managers and directors, however, reportedly earn £48,601, and the average across the UK is £57,314.

The East continues to scoop top pay

Not only are HR managers and directors being recompensed at the top end of the scale in the east, but the region is also home to some of the best paid HR and industrial relations professionals. Those in the area, working in these roles enjoy an average salary of £39,636. This group includes employees with job titles such as HR specialist, HR generalist, HR consultant, diversity and equality adviser, recruiter, and personnel officer.

This compares to the same positions at the bottom of the pay scale for those working in the North-east where an average salary is considerably less at £28,853.

While it’s good news for eastern dwellers, hikes in inflation mean that the money in our pockets is having to stretch further. Employee wages will have fallen in real terms compared to inflation (which rose 7.8% for the 12 months to April 2023, when these ONS figures were collated).

The capital and the South-west were the only two regions in which full-time HR managers and directors saw inflation-beating pay growth in 2023.

It’s good news for HR but not for others

Claire Williams, Chief People and Operating Officer at HR software provider, Ciphr, says: “Pay is never the only consideration for people looking to change jobs or move areas – otherwise everyone would simply down tools now and head to the East of England! But this ONS data is very useful to get a better understanding of what similar roles are being paid around the country.”

There’s further good pay news for HR professionals from Morgan McKinley that say there are strong indications that hiring towards the senior end in 2024 looks positive, as roles around £100k look set to be more frequent. The report further reveals that HR business partners are enjoying strong demand as shortages bite with salaries increasing for this role.

The news comes at a time when many other professions are grappling with a cost of living crisis. A new report by employee and benefits provider Pluxee UK, reveals that 68% of HR professionals have noticed a rise in requests for financial support or education in the past year. On average, almost a fifth of their current workforce proactively approached them seeking financial wellbeing guidance.

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