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Annie Hayes

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HR enjoys boosted earnings amidst fear of redundancies

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In a further sign of a confused economy, new figures show HR jobs are being axed whilst salaries are increasing.

The 2008 National Management Salary Survey, published by the Chartered Management Institute and CELRE, shows that within the HR sector, the redundancy rate is 1.7% up from 1.1% last year. Overall redundancies for UK executives have hit their highest peak since 2001.

Yet despite this evidence of economic uncertainty, the survey also shows an average movement in earnings of 6.6% in the HR sector, up from 5.6% in 2007. Junior executives are the biggest winners, receiving an average increase in basic pay of 6.2%, compared to 5.1% for managers. At 7.9%, the largest pay rise was awarded to junior staff in East Anglia. The smallest (2.6%) was given to directors in Scotland.

According to the survey, the average basic salary for junior executives across the HR sector is £21,643. Top of the ‘basic pay league table’ are those in the pharmaceutical sector (£27,168); their salary represents a 33.2% difference against the lowest paid junior executives, in the transport & logistics sector (£18,419).

Despite the economic uncertainty, resignations are on the up. Across the HR sector, the figure is 7.3% (up from 5.3% in 2007). Employers in Scotland face the largest retention problem, with a resignation rate of 8.5%.

Employees in the South East are the most loyal, with just 4.2% handing in their notice. Three-quarters blame competition from other organisations or headhunting.

Jo Causon, director of marketing and corporate affairs at the Chartered Management Institute, said: “Increased levels of pay are clearly not enough to retain employee loyalty despite the uncertain economic climate. Given the skills crisis, it is worrying to see so many executives voting with their feet and this must surely send a message to employers that, to retain the best talent, they need to address working environments and long-term career aspirations.”

In addition, 80% of employers also report problems filling vacancies, with 12% citing benefit packages as a factor affecting recruitment and retention.

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Annie Hayes

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