Ken Charman: Creating a reward strategy for the digital age

Average advertised salaries for HR professionals have increased for the third year in a row, according to new data from the 2019 Reed HR Salary Guides.

Analysis of more than 10 million jobs posted across sectors since 2015 found that the average wage advertised for the HR profession has increased by 1.4 per cent since the start of 2018, one of the highest rates across the sectors analysed. However, this is a decline from growth rates during 2017 (2.7 per cent) and 2016 (4.1 per cent).

The continued growth of salaries in the past 12 months for HR professionals is led by roles such as reward manager, which has increased by an average of 4.2 per cent to more than £60,000 per annum, internal recruiter (4.7 per cent) and HR director (3.5 per cent). This trend of growing interest in rewards and internal recruitment roles was mirrored in the Reed HR State of Skills research with a large increase in interest for both benefits manager and internal recruiter.

These results highlight the growing importance businesses are placing on providing a personalised benefits package, as well as a base salary, as part of a successful recruitment strategy.

Chris Adcock, director of Reed HR, says,

Our Salary Guides research and State of Skills tool indicate how important it is that innovative recruitment strategies include rewards for employees, and companies are starting to create roles in HR specifically to address these benefits. Five years ago, these roles were few and far between – historically, work perks were quite fixed, usually to do with pensions, additional holidays and bonuses. But in the current environment, the HR teams doing it right are more flexible, letting employees choose their own rewards from a menu of options.

The new workforce made up of Millennials and Generation Z tend to prefer benefits for the here and now – like discounts on memberships – this is why the role of the reward manager is key within the modern HR department.

Another change to the market has been an influx of technology and the need for greater data analytics skills. The State of Skills tool highlights that interest in the HR analyst role has increased by 27 per cent in the last five years alone, and having analytical skills such as maths and problem solving capabilities are now an integral part of the skillset.

Regionally, the largest average increases happened in North West, where advertised salaries rose by 2.3 per cent. Again, there were significant increases for reward managers of 4.3 per cent and internal recruiters of 4.7 per cent in advertised salaries.

Chris Adcock continues,

Overall, the HR market is strong and growing. We’ve gone from around one HR person per 200 employees to about one per 25, depending on the size of the business. HR staff are proving to be more important and valuable, which is why we’re still in a candidate driven market. As a result, HR needs to embrace technology to attract, retain and keep talent motivated and enthused.

As for the much talked about issue of Brexit, the obvious impact could be on the movement of labour and skills. Employment law is going to be particularly interesting as the change from EU to UK law is negotiated. The likelihood is there will be little change at first, but that could become more significant over time. The important role of HR now is to prepare, upskill and build talent strategies that create teams for all eventualities.

Interested in training about rewards in the workplace? Join our Reward Strategies to Deliver Business Objectives training course






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