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HR salaries rise steadily

The highest salary rises were seen for HR directors in SME organisations

Salaries for HR professionals rose on average by 1.2% in 2017, rising at the same rate to the twelve months prior, according to research seen exclusively by HR magazine.

The Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 report surveyed almost 17,500 employers and employees and found that the highest salary rises were for HR directors in SME organisations, at 5.3%. This was followed by talent and resourcing advisors, at 4.3%. No roles saw an average decrease of salary.

The majority (90%) of employers with HR functions anticipate their organisation’s activity levels will increase or stay the same over the next 12 months. Just over half (51%) predict growth, although this is marginally lower than UK employers as a whole (58%).

Barney Ely, director of Hays Human Resources, told HR magazine that HR will have a key role to play in the coming year. “Despite ongoing political and economic uncertainty, the vast majority of HR employers expect their activity levels to increase or stay the same over the next 12 months,” he said. “As such every function within the HR profession is needed to drive forward business performance.

“The focus on ensuring employee value proposition, training and development and total reward packages are targeted across multiple generations and continually improving means the function will be key to organisations gaining a competitive advantage.”

The research found that 97% of HR employees feel confident they have the skills needed to fulfil their current role. However, nearly a quarter (24%) of employers do not think they have the HR talent to achieve their current business objectives. Additionally 62% said a shortage of suitable HR candidates would be their top recruiting challenge over the next 12 months.

Nigel Heap, managing director of Hays UK & Ireland, warned of the dangers of skills shortages right across the workforce. “Skills shortages have the potential to severely limit companies’ growth, hinder productivity and damage employee morale at a critical time,” he said. “Employees are feeling the pressure, salary dissatisfaction is fuelling the discontent and careers are being stifled. Employers are concerned about the impact this could have on their ability to capitalise on their plans for growth.

“We therefore suggest that organisations look to make workforce planning a key strategic priority, invest in their employer brand, and use contingent workers for more than just projects. Employers need to ensure they can attract the best people and alleviate some of the pressure on their existing workforce.”