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Annie Hayes



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HR salaries soar as war for talent hots up


HR salaries in both the private and public sectors will be fiercely competitive in 2008 with the ‘war for talent’ showing no signs of easing.

Figures in the survey, conducted by recruiter FSS, show that senior HR professionals can now command salaries of up to, and in some cases in excess of, £140,000 a year.

The 2008 salary survey highlights the importance of building a strong employer brand and offering an attractive work-life balance to employees, as these aspects have been shown to play a vital role in the career choices of HR professionals. It also reveals that the biggest HR challenge for companies in both London and the Thames Valley is improving performance and leadership management.

In the continued public versus private sector debate, HR directors in the private sector are earning an average of £100,000 in the capital and £80,000 in the outskirts. Yet the public sector is beginning to catch up – for instance, the average salary of HR business partners in private sector companies across the London and Thames Valley areas is £45,000 – the same as in the public sector.

The survey also highlights the problem of many entry-level HR candidates with a Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development or masters qualification but no practical experience.

“It certainly seems as though 2008 is set to be a strong one for HR,” said Jo Davies, associate director of FSS HR. “Companies are offering highly competitive salaries and benefits to attract and retain the best talent in both the public and private sectors – those candidates with in-demand experience will almost certainly continue to be courted by several potential employers.”

For a full copy of the survey, visit

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Annie Hayes


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