In a recent study conducted by Reed, the human resources (HR) sector is displaying signs of decelerating growth, evidenced by a mere 2.8 percent increase in salaries over the past year.

This marks a notable decline from the 4.2 percent average increase observed in 2022, signalling a potential shift in the industry’s dynamics.

Analysing data from six million job postings on over the last three years as part of Reed’s annual salary guides, the research highlights the HR sector’s resilience amid a competitive economic landscape. However, the comparatively modest salary growth suggests a potential shift in the industry’s trajectory.

Contrasting the HR sector with others, the hospitality industry emerges as the front runner with a substantial 7.3 percent pay increase in the past year, rebounding from a previous year’s salary decrease. On the flip side, the IT and cyber security sector recorded the least growth, registering an average increase of 2.4 percent in 2023.

HR is seeing a transformation

Bukola Odofin, Human Resources Expert at Reed, commented on the evolving landscape, stating, “The HR sector has undergone a significant transformation over the past 12 months, driven by economic, technological, and societal factors. As companies prioritise enhancing their employee offerings, HR teams play an increasingly valuable role in improving business reputation and fostering supportive workplaces.”

Odofin also emphasised the evolving priorities within HR, stating, “Diversity and inclusion have become key priorities for businesses in 2024, with HR teams leading the way in implementing inclusive hiring practices and building diverse workplaces. Mental health, a prominent concern in recent years, remains high on the business agenda, with HR professionals continuing to play a pivotal role in supporting employees entering 2024.”

Looking ahead, Odofin anticipates continued job growth in HR but foresees more specialised roles aligning with workforce trends. The competition for top talent is expected to intensify, with organisations seeking HR professionals adept at identifying, attracting, and retaining the best candidates.

Reed’s comprehensive human resources salary guide provides insights into regional competitiveness within the industry. Notable increases in wages were observed in East Anglia (8.3%) and the South West (7.7%), while the West Midlands recorded no increase at all.

Reed’s suite of 16 sector-specific salary guides offers a deep dive into industry dynamics, incorporating a survey of 5,000 UK workers. The survey assesses current and preferred salaries and benefits, organisational performance and priorities, job security ratings, and sector-specific recruitment and skills trends.





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.