Changeboard is a leading HR jobs board and thought hub serving a global community of ambitious HR and business leaders. As such, we're well-placed to track the current best-paid HR jobs in the UK. We've included 22 top contenders below.
Browse our listed vacancies in the £75K+ and £100K+ salary ranges, and you'll see the same roles come up again and again - HR Director, HR Consultant and HR Business Partner, to name a few. However, it's also likely you'll spot a wide range of specialisations at senior levels. Senior learning and development jobs often feature highly, as do roles in recruitment and resourcing and HR analytics.
Whatever your field of interest, you have the potential to develop your career in line with your experience and expertise to command a substantial salary. But it takes work. Seasoned executives will know that job hunting for senior HR roles comes with its own pitfalls and perils, and it's best to research future options and be prepared. Even if you're in your earlier HR career stages - an HR assistant seeking to become an HR Advisor, for example - it makes sense to explore possible next steps to progress into an HR role that's a good fit for not only your experience and interests but also your ambitions.
Without further ado, here are the 22 highest paying HR jobs in 2019, as sampled from our dynamic jobs board. In no particular order of salary (they're all above £75k) we present:
1. HR Director
Similar roles: People Director
You'll be responsible for overseeing all aspects of the HR function in a company. Typically, you'll report to the CEO and sit on the executive board. Your role might entail developing and implementing HR initiatives in line with business objectives. You might be leading not one but several HR departments, including compensation, talent acquisition, and learning and development. You'll manage the HR department's annual budget and develop organisation policies relating to health and wellbeing. As the world of HR constantly evolves, your personal professional development will never stop. Never one to rest on laurels, you're always seeking ways to develop business leadership.
2. Senior HR Analyst
Similar roles: Senior Reward Analyst
You'll typically work in larger companies. Although 'HR Analyst' is typically classed as an entry level position, we've seen this role advertised frequently in the highest salary brackets on the Changeboard jobs board. Why? Because data analysis is key to an evolving hybrid workplace, and your level of expertise and experience will play a vital role in the salary you are able to command. As a senior Reward Analyst, for example, you might be required to have previous Financial Services experience and stretch the way data is presented. Contract work is one key way to earn high figures in this role.
3. HR Consultant
You'll often be called in via a consultancy to provide support. Your strategic skills, adaptability and thorough understanding of HR will make you more than equal to the task of anticipating an organisation's HR function issues and finding remedies and solutions. You can expect to plan and deliver HR-related training sessions, make HR function recommendations and audit HR activities to ensure compliance.
4. Head of Learning and Development
As head of the L&D department you'll be broadly responsible for setting the strategy and leading the team. With a strong L&D track record, your experience will include building partnerships with senior stakeholders and business leaders. You'll perform strategic L&D consultancy as required in the business, using your skills in influencing and guiding others. Depending on the organisation's needs, your L&D strategy could include anything from leadership development and culture building initiatives to talent planning for senior roles or female talent retention and development. You are likely to have a background in learning development, leadership and talent management - and your strategic perspective and thought leadership will be key to your success.
5. Change Management Consultant
Similar roles: People Management Consultant
Heraclitus said that "change is the only constant in life." In a consulting capacity, you will be responsible for implementing new concepts and helping to transform the ways in which an organisation operates. One of your key objectives will be to acknowledge areas where change would be beneficial or required, then to assess how this would affect the organisation. You will be proficient in adopting internal communication strategies to address potential employee or client concerns in a sensitive manner. Your varied role might include researching and implementing a change management project from start to finish, and incorporating the delivery of coaching and training sessions devised by yourself as part of the project.
6. Head of Talent Acquisition
Your main fundamental responsibility is to attract diverse candidates and top talent across all levels of an organisation, and you'll work closely with HR business partners to create plans and strategies for improving recruitment. As part of your day-to-day activities, you'll build a skilled talent team and oversee aspects of the recruitment and resourcing teams. You'll also gain an understanding of the organisation's plans and priorities to ensure your own talent acquisition strategy falls neatly in the big picture. You'll have the planning, commercial and analytical skills to create workable strategies - and the leadership and operational skills to realise them.
7. Head of Resourcing
Are you ready to create a recruitment and resourcing plan to drive your business forward? Reporting into the HR director, you'll play a senior role in the leadership team. You'll develop and deliver plans and tactics, with a focus on talent acquisition, diversity and employer brand. You'll use your team as well as your expertise to solve resourcing challenges, while ensuring that business values and culture are up to date, and that the organisation has the tools it needs to attract top talent. Taking control of the whole resourcing process could mean you'll be managing budgets and outsourced recruitment contracts, too. Useful skills and experience for this role include interpersonal skills, management skills, an understanding of data and analytics, and several years' experience in recruitment and resourcing.
8. HR Business Partner
Similar roles: Senior HR Business Partner
This role is a natural next step once you've spent time working as a senior HR manager. You'll work closely with the head of function to lead and deliver on the strategic objectives of a business. You could be expected to build trusted relationships with business leaders and senior stakeholders, using your communication skills to present effectively to different levels of seniority. With your industry knowledge and experience/nous when it comes to strategic thinking, you'll work closely with the HR director to implement new initiatives and programmes. Taking the lead with line managers and day-to-day operations, you'll be viewed as a mentor within the function and organisation, so coaching skills will be an advantage.
9. Diversity and Inclusion Manager
Diverse talent is adaptable, progressive talent - and that makes for an adaptable, progressive organisation. As a diversity and inclusion manager it's your role to identify, create and implement plans to promote diversity in the organisation. A lot of your time and effort will be spent developing and promoting training programmes to build employee understanding on issues relating to diversity and inclusion. You might act as an HR regulator for diversity issues, too - and you'll be up to the task of ensuring the organisation sticks to legislation and employment law regulations around bias and inclusion. On top of creating training programmes you'll organise disability services, review policies and procedures, maintain relationships with diversity related businesses and keep up to date with external trends and best practice. You'll be a strong communicator with excellent interpersonal skills, and be aware of current global and cultural issues. Having previous relationship management experience would be a distinct advantage, too.
10. HR Manager
Similar roles: HR Project Manager
What does an HR manager do? It depends on the size of the organisation. In a smaller company, you could end up leading all people management functions. In a larger organisation, you could play a middle management role and report to an HR director or similar level of authority. As an HR manager you'll support the people management functions underpinning the business culture. Employee matters, compensation and benefits, reward, professional development, communications and performance management will all fall within your jurisdiction. Leading the human resource team (or working autonomously if you're in a team of one) you'll manage recruitment activity, keep up to date with policy and ensure line managers are informed of any changes. HR management is a varied role, and one likely to provide you with extensive daily variety in your activities.
11. Employee Relations Consultant
Similar roles: Senior Employee Relations Consultant
As you're responsible for essentially anything to do with an organisation's employees, you'll oversee and manage any employee issues, inspecting and resolving these as required. Your discrete, confidential approach will soothe the flames of any internal issues - which is important, because you may find yourself dealing with high-risk situations such as complaints relating to discrimination or harassment. Fully conversant with employment law and the latest regulations, you'll be seen as the first point of contact for advice and problem solving in challenging or sensitive areas related to employee relations and performance management. Your interpersonal skills will be equalled by your analytical skills - communication is key to this role, but so is data analysis and keeping a cool head.
12. Compensation and Benefits Director
Salary, bonus and benefits packages all fall into your remit as a compensation and benefits director. You'll evaluate a company's compensation and benefits packages on a rolling basis, and there's a lot to cover - base pay, incentive pay, health/welfare benefits and retirement/pension benefits all fall into this role's responsibilities. You'll have responsibility for developing and implementing an organisation's reward strategy and compensation schemes - and you'll also be responsible for salary reviews to ensure relevant market benchmarking. You'll need to have team lead experience, strong analytical skills, advanced Excel skills (yes, including pivot tables) and the ability to senior managers and HR on all matters relating to compensation and benefits.
What other highest paying HR jobs are there?
Analysis of our HR jobs board reveals that the following roles have also been advertised for salaries in excess of £75k (and, in some cases, £100k+):
- 13 - Senior Leadership Development Manager
- 14 - Talent/Psychometric Assessments Lead or Senior Associate
- 15 - Senior Recruiter
- 16 - Benefits Manager
- 17 - Reward Director
- 18 - Client Services Director
- 19 - Head of HR
- 20 - Senior Finance Business Partner
- 21 - Senior Employee Relations Manager
- 21 - Talent Director
As HR is such a broad sector, there's plenty of room to move both sideways and up as you progress in your career. You can specialise in particular areas or play to your leadership strengths, whether they are interpersonal, analytical or steeped in specific knowledge/experience. Visit the Changeboard HR jobs board to find:
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