HR salary trends

by 13 Aug 2009

QI’m looking to move jobs and I’m wondering what you can tell me about current HR salary and benefit trends?

AIt’s been an interesting year for salary trends. Previously it was all about pay rises and benefits – now it’s about stability.

As a result, you might find there is no increase on the table this year. This is unlikely to be a surprise given the global economic downturn and the cooling of the local climate, which has slowed the previously overheat ed and unsustainable job market.

A significant change to current salary trends is not anticipated this fi nancial year either, so expect salaries to remain largely at current levels.

But there are other ways you can derive rewards from your career. For example, you can seek out opportunities to increase your experience and skills. Even in small organisations, opportunities for career development are available, and could include chairing meetings, managing projects or coaching and training others. Make yourself a career goal and set a clear path of progress to achieve it.

Such learning and development opportunities should also be driving any job search. In fact, many candidates looking for a new role are aware of candidate volumes and their focus has become long-term job security and career development over short-term salary increases.

You might also be interested to know that the premium salary that em ployers once offered to attract a new recruit has all but disappeared. So if you are considering changing roles, take into account that starting salaries for new employees are now in line with the salaries of existing employees. Sign-on bonuses have also become a thing of the past.

It’s worth noting that, despite pressure on costs and headcount, for ward-thinking employers continue to focus on their human resources planning. They remain committed to rewarding their top performers, par ticularly those who add demonstrable value to the organisation.

While salary is not as critical to this process as it once was, non-mone tary benefits have grown in importance to candidates. Employers are con sidering training and development, paid maternity leave, and clear career advancement opportunities.

Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. There have been some instances of salary pressure for roles where candidate demand re mains high. Such roles generally incorporate revenue generation, cost re duction and risk management elements – all of which are crucial in today’s business environment.

A sample of typical human resources salaries in Sydney follows:

• $80,000 for HR consultants and advisors

• $120,000 for HR managers

• $160,000 for change managers

• $85,000 for learning and development consultants

• $125,000 for industrial relations managers

• $70,000 for occupational health and safety consultants

For typical salaries in other locations, and for more than 1000 job titles in 16 sectors, see the 2009 Hays Salary Survey at

Emma Egan, manager, Hays Human Resource