2017 HR Salary Survey Guide

David Leithead 24.02.2017

Brexit slowed recruitment, but with companies looking to safeguard talent pools, candidates with L+D, OD, Recruitment & Reward experience will be in demand.

View our most up-to-date HR Salary Guide.



Home Counties


London Permanent Basic Salary (£ Per Annum) Temporary Rate (£ Per Day)
HR Generalist    
Head of HR / HR Director 90,000-180,000 600-800
Senior HR Business Partner/ HR Manager 75,000-120,000 450-600
HR Business Partner / HR Manager 65,000-90,000 300-400
HR Advisor 40,000-50,000 200-275
HR Officer 35,000-45,000 180-200
HR Administrator 25,000-35,000 120-150
Learning & Development    
Head of Learning & Development 90,000-140,000 500-800
Learning & Development Manager 55,000-80,000 250-450
Learning & Development Advisor 35,000-50,000 180-250
Learning & Development Coordinator 25,000-35,000 120-150
Head of Compensation & Benefits / Reward 90,000-140,000 500-800
Compensation & Benefits / Reward Manager 60,000-85,000 300-500
Compensation & Benefits / Reward Analyst 40,000-55,000 180-250
Compensation & Benefits / Reward Administrator 25,000-35,000 150-180
Employment Relations    
Employee Relations Specialist / Manager 60,000-90,000 300-450
Head of Recruitment 90,000-140,000 500-800
Recruitment Manager 55,000-80,000 300-500
Experienced Hire / Graduate Recruiter 40,000-60,000 200-400
Recruitment Coordinator 25,000-35,000 120-180
Organisational Design Specialist 90,000-140,000 500-800
HR Project Manager 50,000-85,000 400-600
HR Project Analyst 40,000-55,000 250-350
HR Project Support 35,000-45,000 150-200

London HR Commentary


Even though recruitment in general slowed down after the EU referendum, with the greatest impact felt within the banking industry, there was continued demand for HR specialists in London throughout commerce, industry and professional services. 

Whilst there was less demand for generalists there was an increased need for specialist skills sets, ranging from employee relations to payroll, compensation and benefits specialists. Demand for specialist recruiters, within areas such as technology, was noticeably higher as companies looked to grow their IT divisions within projects, development and cyber security.

Positive & Negative News

The year started with a number of key projects across a number of financial services organisations including global HR transformations, mergers and organisational change programmes. External hiring for these projects ceased as the uncertainty around Brexit increased.

The second half of 2016 saw demand for recruitment specialists within London’s technology sector. With many of the key players in this sector announcing extensive growth plans for 2017, the hiring for technical recruitment specialists started early as companies looked to get ahead of their competitors to grow teams in line with strategic ambitions. So in demand was this skill set that the key hirers took the unusual step of looking at recruiters without in-house experience and considered agency recruiters with the specialist knowledge.   

As is common place in tougher business conditions there was little demand in learning and development in the second half of 2016. Organisations were simply not in a position to invest extra headcount into training and development, belts were tightened and investment was focused on critical hires only.

Qualities & Skills in Demand

The size of the organisation will determine where your focus should be. For smaller to medium size businesses, across all sectors, you need to have strong generalist knowledge and be able to offer advice and business partner across all areas, from recruitment to policies, employee relations to training. 

As companies grow there are increased opportunities for subject matter experts and you can become the head of your SME or make the transition to projects, which continues to be a lucrative option for professional contractors. 

CIPD continues to be the preferred qualification but within the world of contracting it is considered a nice to have rather than essential, rather it is specific skills and knowledge that make the difference. At entry level, a degree in human resources will make you standout and assist with securing your first position, however, as you progress practical experience becomes preferential.

Outside of Work

Within contracting the key to increasing rates correlates to increasing specialist skills and knowledge, as well as developing expertise within areas that in demand e.g. digital and technology are currently on trend. Gaining exposure to transformation projects and any skills outside BAU is often helpful, they differentiate and make applicants stand out from others operating at their level. 

In terms of organisations wishing to retain contracting talent it is about offering opportunities they might not gain elsewhere, inviting employees to be part of key initiatives, enabling them to improve their skills sets and offering incentives on successful completion of deliverables. Remaining competitive with contractor rates and being open to rate reviews, due to changing demands of skillsets and therefore more opportunities for contractors, is key to attracting and retaining top contracting talent. However, this is rarely the only motivator and any additional training to support their professional development that a company can offer is usually highly valued.

Notable Trends

HR is known for being a largely female dominated field, however with diversity hot on the agenda for a number of our key clients, there is an emphasis on improving the male to female ratio within HR. We are finding that our clients are looking at the male/female split for all applications received and in some instances requesting that a 50/50 mix must be adhered to. Entry level continues to largely consist of female applications, however the more senior or technical the opportunity, we often see the male/female ratio even out. 

In addition another key diversity and inclusiveness initiative for 2017 is disability in the workplace and how employers can attract and support applicants within this group.

Within recruitment we have found that our clients are becoming a lot more open to looking at agency recruiters as opposed to just experienced in-house recruiters. Often, agency recruiters have specialist knowledge within a particular field, e.g cyber security or data architects and have large networks to utilise.



Home Counties

Home Counties Permanent Basic Salary (£ Per Annum) Temporary Rate (£ Per Day)
HR Generalist    
Head of HR / HR Director 75,000-150,000 500-700
Senior HR Business Partner/ HR Manager 60,000-85,000 350-500
HR Business Partner / HR Manager 45,000-65,000 200-350
HR Advisor 28,000-40,000 130-180
HR Officer 25,000-35,000 120-150
HR Administrator 18,000-25,000 100-130
Learning & Development    
Head of Learning & Development 70,000-100,000 350-500
Learning & Development Manager 50,000-70,000 200-300
Learning & Development Advisor 30,000-45,000 150-200
Learning & Development Coordinator 22,000-30,000 100-150
Head of Compensation & Benefits / Reward 70,000-95,000 400-750
Compensation & Benefits / Reward Manager 50,000-70,000 300-400
Compensation & Benefits / Reward Analyst 35,000-45,000 150-250
Compensation & Benefits / Reward Administrator 22,000-35,000 100-150
Employment Relations    
Employee Relations Specialist / Manager 45,000-80,000 200-400
Head of Recruitment 75,000-100,000 400-650
Recruitment Manager 50,000-70,000 250-450
Experienced Hire / Graduate Recruiter 35,000-50,000 150-300
Recruitment Coordinator 25,000-35,000 100-150
Organisational Design Specialist 70,000-95,000 450-750
HR Project Manager 45,000-65,000 250-400
HR Project Analyst 35,000-45,000 150-250
HR Project Support 30,000-40,000 120-170

Home Counties HR Commentary


We anticipate that confidence will return to HR recruitment in 2017, once strategic decisions have been finalised. With organisations eager to safeguard their talent pool against a widely speculated post-Brexit brain drain, it is generally agreed that engagement and retention will be a key challenge for HR departments. We expect that professionals with strong experience of leading effective talent management and talent acquisition strategies will be highly sought after.

Positive & Negative News

Whilst the senior HR market was quieter in 2016 than the previous year, we still saw a steady stream of mid-level HR business partner roles becoming available in the Home Counties.  

Specialist roles were in higher demand across 2016, compensation and benefits professionals in particular were highly sought after. With the ever increasing need to interpret and model sophisticated technical data, pivotal to understanding trends and supporting effective decision making, the demand for HR MI / data analytics specialists was strong throughout the year.
With what could be a highly challenging business environment looming, businesses will look to adapt their organisation’s design in order to compete. Accordingly, we expect that transformation and change skills will be in high demand in 2017, particularly HR professionals with organisational design expertise.

Qualities & Skills in Demand

There are many qualities and skills that make for a strong HR leader and each business varies slightly in what they recruit for, however fundamentally they are looking for someone who understands their business and can deliver an HR strategy that will support the aims and goals of the organisation.

For those looking to step up into a senior role, the ability to operate as a commercial business partner is key. Strategic thinking, being able to understand the details but never lose sight of the bigger picture, is also important.
The ability to coach and develop others with a view to building capacity within organisations is highly important for aspiring HR professionals. A clear understanding of engagement techniques, as well as effective communication and strong change agent skills, are all sought after skills.
Underpinning all of the above will be the aptitude to act as an organisational role model – live the values and walk the talk!

Outside of Work

Whether or not employers always see the value of the CIPD qualification and view it as a prerequisite is widely debated in the HR community. However, if you’re in the early stages of your HR career it can be perceived as enhancing your knowledge and giving you the credibility that will support your advancement.

Further qualifications such as psychometric testing or a coaching qualification are hugely beneficial – both to the individual in developing their skill set and demonstrating their expertise and to their employer.
Breadth of experience and specialist industry knowledge will frequently outweigh the importance of the qualification, so seeking out opportunities to work on projects that will provide different experiences and exposure to business leaders is critically important. We advise generalists to ensure that they step outside of their comfort zone from time to time and consider a secondment in a specialist area.

Notable Trends

Given the uncertainty in HR recruitment over the course of 2016, with businesses cautious of committing to new hires, candidates therefore experienced lengthier application and interview processes. At times, these lengthy processes resulted in very little feedback, leaving candidates feeling disengaged and undervalued. Going forward, both consultancy and in-house recruitment teams will need to ensure a positive candidate experience to restore faith, ensuring every single touch point with the applicant is a positive and informative one. With a renewed focus on engagement going into 2017, attracting the best talent with creative talent acquisition strategies, whilst delivering a positive candidate experience will be paramount.

David Leithead's picture
Chief Operations Officer UK


Systems/ Tech Trainer
Payroll and HR Assistant
North West London30.06.2020
We are currently recruiting for a Senior HR Manager on a 12 month FTC!