Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

31st Dec, 2019

Bukola Odofin
Bukola Odofin
Job Title
HR Area Director and Diversity Champion

It’s no longer enough to just have transferable office skills, human resources managers are looking for qualified candidates as the sector continues to grow.

As the sector evolves, the changing nature of HR roles is becoming ever more apparent. Data analytics will play a huge part in HR this year, as workforce analytics help businesses with strategy and to measure return on investment.

With big data becoming increasingly in high demand, artificial intelligence (AI) is creating new opportunities in HR. Change management roles, for example, are being introduced to help people deal with new processes and technology, as well as reducing stress and confusion to create smoother transitions.

Human resources salary trends

The 2020 Reed Human Resources Salary Guide highlights some of the key trends in the UK HR sector over the last 12 months and looks to give insight into emerging patterns for 2021.

Using data gathered from 2.7 million jobs posted last year on, the guide provides a comprehensive picture for some of the most prominent jobs in the industry.

It looks at the sector across 12 UK regions and contains wage information on roles such as HR director, internal recruiter, learning & development manager, and HR business partner, along with many others.

HR salaries grew by an average of 1.9% across the UK, with salaries in Wales and Northern Ireland growing by 9.5% and 6.8% respectively.

When it comes to individual roles, we’ve seen differing year-on-year salary changes across a number of regions. Recruitment manager roles are an example of these contrasts; in London salaries for the role have risen by 6.2%, yet in the North West pay for the position has fallen by 7.3%.

With the increasing focus on staff benefits, it is no surprise to see that salaries for reward managers have gone up across the UK, with big increases in East Anglia (10.5%) and the West Midlands (9.2%). HR managers have also seen nationwide salary increases, with pay up by 6.9% in the North East, 4.8% in the South East and 4% in Scotland.

The picture is less rosy for health & safety managers across the UK, with salaries dropping by 2% in the South West, 3.6% in Yorkshire and the Humber, and 4.8% in the East Midlands.

HR salary and benefits

People joining the HR workforce are seeking increased flexibility and excellent benefits. We have found that many candidates ask about their ability to work from home, with some even declining roles if this is unavailable.

Competitive salary is not the most important aspect of a prospective job anymore, work-life balance has become more pressing. Those who provide these types of benefits, as well as implementing new systems for employee well-being, will retain their best talent.

Development is another key pull to jobseekers looking for a new career, and great for retention of existing staff.

Reed salary guide 2024