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Best places in the UK to work in HR revealed

Aberdeen, Northampton and London are the top three places to work in HR in the UK, according to new research from software provider Ciphr.

The research ranked 100 major towns and cities across the UK based on the average earnings for HR managers, the number, and density, of medium and large employers in the area (indicating job availability) and housing affordability.

Aberdeen topped the list for a high average HR manager salary of £50,450 and a density of 17.2 medium/large businesses per 10,000 working-age adults.

It was also shown to be one of the most economical cities in the UK for housing as rental prices equated to one fifth (19%) of an average HR manager’s salary, and the average property sells for 3.7 times their income.

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Tied in fourth place overall were Huddersfield, Slough and Warwick.

Manchester, Bournemouth, Stockton-on-Tees and Reading followed, completing the top 10.

Claire Williams, chief people officer at Ciphr, said the research is encouraging as it shows a successful HR career can be achieved all across the country, rather than just in the biggest cities.

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “For me, that’s one of the best things about being an HR professional. Wherever you are in your career journey, and whichever town, city, or industry you work in, your specialist skills and experience will always be of value and in demand."

Chichester was shown to be the highest-paying city for HR managers, offering an average of £51,800.

Aberdeen was second highest, followed by London which offered £1,450 less (£50,350) on average than Chichester.

With an average salary of £50,300, Guildford ranked fourth on the highest paying places for HR managers.

It was followed by Bracknell which offers £48,750 on average, Slough (£48,100), Cheltenham (£47,750), Warwick (£46,600), Reading (£46,550) and Wokingham (£45,750) in the top 10.

Williams said: “Importantly, the results show that pay isn’t – and perhaps shouldn’t be – the only consideration for people looking to change jobs or move areas. The best towns and cities for HR professionals are usually those that offer a good mix of job opportunities, high average salaries, and affordability (relative to wages)."

The cities with the highest highest density of businesses with over 50 employees, the stage at which most employers seek in-house HR support, were Winchester with 19.1 medium/large businesses per 10,000 working-age adults, Slough (with 17.9) and Harrogate (with 17.8).

Williams added: "In reality, of course, many other factors and incentives also influence people's decision-making about their choice of employers and their careers, such as work/life balance, flexible working hours, rewards packages, job satisfaction, and learning and development opportunities.”

The pay data used by Ciphr was based on average of salaries listed on Indeed, Glassdoor, and Adzuna.