HR Salary Guides UK 2021: How Much Should I Pay My HR Staff?

HR Salary Guides UK

 

“What’s the going rate for an HR professional these days?”

A question many business leaders face when hiring or promoting HR staff.

For small and medium sized business, it can be challenging to get this figure right, especially if it’s your first HR hire and you’ve got nothing to compare to.

You might be unsure of the tools and resources that offer salary insight? Or perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed by the volume of information and feel unenthused about diving in…? After all, your time is precious and you don’t have the bandwidth (or inclination) to wade through long PDFs and benchmarking tables.

You need an accurate answer to your question, quickly.

(… ideally without having to provide your email address and personal salary info, whilst signing up to a newsletter that’s guaranteed to ‘add value’ ? ). 

You want to:

  • Understand the market rate for hiring HR professionals
  • Ensure your HR staff are paid what they’re worth
  • Ensure your salary packages are competitive and are attracting the best candidates

HR Salary Guides UK

To protect your time, we’ve reviewed 7 UK HR salary guides and given them a star rating from 0-5.

Peeq’s ratings reflect how HR specific the information is and how quickly you are able to extract some relevant data.

The HR Salary Guides Reviewed:

  1. LinkedIn – Salary
  2. Glassdoor – Discover Salaries
  3. Indeed – Find Salaries
  4. Morgan McKinley – UK Salary Guide Calculator 2021
  5. Reed – Salary Guide 2021
  6. Michael Page – Salary & Skills Guide for human resources 2021
  7. Robert Half – HR & Business Administration – Hiring Trends and Average Salaries

Which 2021 HR Salary Guide Should I Use? 

For each salary guide we have included a ‘live example’ to benchmark the average salary of an ‘HR Manager in London’ to illustrate how the banding will vary from guide to guide.

1. LinkedIn – Salary

⭐  Peeq’s recommended tool

REGISTRATION

REQUIRED?

Yes

PERSONAL SALARY INFO REQUIRED?

Yes

FORMAT:

Interactive webpage

REGIONAL BREAKDOWN:

Yes

HR ROLE SEGMENTATION:

Yes

NO. OF PAGES:

NA

LIVE EXAMPLE: (HR Manager | London)

£45,000 (median average)

COMMENTS:

  • Comprehensive salary overviews

  • Customisable job title searches

  • Option to drill down by years experience

  • Low, median and high ranges provided 

  • Bonus packages taken into account

  • Salary variations across industries provided

» Back to top

2. Glassdoor – Discover Salaries

REGISTRATION

REQUIRED?

Yes

PERSONAL SALARY INFO REQUIRED?

Yes

FORMAT:

Interactive webpage

REGIONAL BREAKDOWN:

Yes

HR ROLE SEGMENTATION:

Yes

NO. OF PAGES:

NA

LIVE EXAMPLE: (HR Manager | London)

£49,359 (mean average)

COMMENTS:

  • Very comprehensive data pool being analysed

  • Salaries for 'Related Job Titles' provided plus live vacancy links

  • Low average and high data provided for each search

» Back to top

3. Indeed – Find Salaries

REGISTRATION

REQUIRED?

No

PERSONAL SALARY INFO REQUIRED?

No

FORMAT:

Interactive webpage

REGIONAL BREAKDOWN:

Yes

HR ROLE SEGMENTATION:

Yes

NO. OF PAGES:

NA

LIVE EXAMPLE: (HR Manager | London)

£49,486 (mean average)

COMMENTS:

  • Salary breakdowns provided for different geographic regions

  • Similar roles and their salaries provided

  • Numerous HR job titles to search 

» Back to top

4. Morgan McKinley – UK Salary Guide Calculator 2021

REGISTRATION

REQUIRED?

No

PERSONAL SALARY INFO REQUIRED?

No

FORMAT:

Interactive webpage

REGIONAL BREAKDOWN:


Yes

HR ROLE SEGMENTATION:

Yes

NO. OF PAGES:

NA

LIVE EXAMPLE: (HR Manager | London)

£65,000 (mid-point of band)

COMMENTS:

  • Option to segment between salary and day rate

  • Years of experience taken into account with salary benchmarking

  • 15 HR role types examined

  • Some segmentation across three core regions (London | Home Counties | South West)

» Back to top

5. Reed – Salary Guide 2021

REGISTRATION

REQUIRED?

Yes

PERSONAL SALARY INFO REQUIRED?

No

FORMAT:

Downloadable PDF

REGIONAL BREAKDOWN:

Yes

HR ROLE SEGMENTATION:

Yes

NO. OF PAGES:

35

LIVE EXAMPLE: (HR Manager | London)

£57,100 (mean average)

COMMENTS:

  • Fairly comprehensive overview of salaries (average, low and high) in key UK regions with comparisons to previous two years plus a projection of 2022’s salary expectations

  • Comprehensive role segmentation (17 HR job types explored)

» Back to top

6. Michael Page – Salary & Skills Guide for human resources 2021


REGISTRATION

REQUIRED?

Yes

PERSONAL SALARY INFO REQUIRED?

No

FORMAT:

Downloadable PDF

REGIONAL BREAKDOWN:

Yes

HR ROLE SEGMENTATION:

Yes

NO. OF PAGES:

9

LIVE EXAMPLE: (HR Manager | London)

£65,000 (median average)

COMMENTS:


  • Some segmentation across three core regions (London | Home Counties | North, Yorkshire & Midlands)

  • 19 HR role types examined 

  • Low, median and high salaries are provided for each region and role type

» Back to top

7. Robert Half – HR & Business Administration – Hiring Trends and Average Salaries

REGISTRATION

REQUIRED?

Yes

PERSONAL SALARY INFO REQUIRED?

No

FORMAT:

Downloadable PDF

REGIONAL BREAKDOWN:

No

HR ROLE SEGMENTATION:

Yes

NO. OF PAGES:

48

LIVE EXAMPLE: (HR Manager | London)

£56,875 (median average)

COMMENTS:

  • The guide covers all types of recruitment (e.g. accounting, technology and digital etc), so whilst very comprehensive, it doesn't offer huge detail on HR specifically (when compared to the other tools explored)

  • 7 HR role types examined. However no regional breakdown provided.

» Back to top

All 7 of these HR salary guides offer value in different ways. However, whilst many large recruitment agencies attempt to provide their own salary benchmarking data, the big names in our industry really seem to be the authority on ‘what to pay’ (LinkedIn, Glassdoor and Indeed). This is due to the vast amount of relevant data being constantly collected on numerous role types and locations. In our opinion, it makes these outlets the most reliable starting point for salary determination.

However, whilst a salary guide is useful, it should never be used in isolation. There are numerous contributing factors that relate to determining a salary such as location, years experience, industry, availability of talent, existing internal pay structure and other external economic influences.

It’s important to consider all these factors when determining pay. This is where a search partner or specialist HR recruitment agency can offer great value on providing some additional context to help inform your thinking.

Book a FREE coaching consultation to discuss your options

If you’d like our assistance with sense-checking your thinking, then we’d love to help. Simply click the button below to book an appointment with a member of the team.

hr salary guides - HR Hiring Free Consultation Peeq

Will IR35 Stop Me Hiring an HR Contractor on a Day Rate?

HR Contractor Peeq IR35

 

As a CEO or business leader you recognise the value that contract workers or consultants can offer. Their expertise is often niche, in short supply and deserving of a high price point. 

These contractors have developed their skills over a focused career and provide businesses with an invaluable solution to an array of challenges. In our case, people or HR challenges.

BUT things are changing and as of 6th April 2021 the off-payroll working rules (IR35) will be different. This will fundamentally impact how businesses engage the services of contract workers.

Understandably you have a lot of questions, such as:

  • What actually is IR35 and how will it affect my business?
  • What action do I need to take to ensure I am compliant with the new rules and won’t be penalised?
  • Will I still be able to hire HR consultants on a date rate?
  • What are the contract HR hiring options available to me?

Can I still hire an HR contractor on a day rate?

Yes. The good news is that you can absolutely still hire HR consultants on a contract basis.

You just need to follow the correct protocol to ensure that you and your contractor are not in breach of the new off-payroll working rules.

The first thing to understand is that the off-payroll working rules only apply to contractors who provide their services through their own limited company or another type of intermediary.

Day rate contractors who are paid via an umbrella company or PAYE agency will not be affected by these regulations. This means that you are free to hire HR contractors in either of these ways without needing to consider the impact of IR35.

Additionally, hiring an HR professional on a fixed term contract (FTC) where you pay a prorated salary over a set time is another viable option. This approach is particularly common when it comes to maternity leave cover. 

Engaging the services of a limited company HR contractor

So what does it mean for you if you engage a consultant who is contracting through their own limited company?

It means that before any engagement between you and the contractor can commence, a ‘status determination statement’ (SDS) needs to be generated. This is established based on a comprehensive assessment that determines a contractor’s deemed employment status and the reasons for reaching this conclusion.

This SDS will indicate whether engaging the contractor to undertake the assignment will result in the contractor falling either inside or outside of IR35.

What does inside or outside IR35 mean?

Put simply, a SDS of ‘inside IR35’ means that the service provided by a contractor is deemed by HMRC to reflect a service of employment, not self-employment. That means if a contractor is inside IR35, they would be expected to pay income tax and National Insurance Contributions just like employees do.

If a SDS came back as ‘outside IR35’ it means that HMRC would consider the contractor to be genuinely self-employed and therefore able to pay themselves in a more tax-efficient way.

Unfortunately, when it comes to status determination it’s never black and white. There are a number of different determining factors that need to be taken into account, none of which are determinative on their own. For instance:

  • Substitution – does the contractor have the right to provide a substitute if they are unable to deliver the work?
  • Control – does the client have control over what work is done, when it’s completed, how it’s undertaken and where it’s delivered from?
  • Mutuality of obligation – is the contractor free to choose the jobs they work?

The actual process of reaching a SDS is far more complicated than outlined above, however this hopefully provides a flavour of some of the key areas that will impact its outcome.

How do I get a status determination on an HR contract worker?

It is a company’s responsibility to establish a contractor’s employment status and this can be undertaken in a number of different ways. 

Firstly, businesses can use HMRC’s CEST tool (Check Employment Status for Tax) to generate the SDS. This is essentially a 16 question assessment. However, this tool has been highly criticised for a number of reasons. Including its inability to align with full IR35 case law and it’s failure to meet the standard for reasonable care.

More comprehensive tools, such as IR35 Shield, are available to help provide an accurate SDS. Such assessments are underpinned by current case law and give a clear ‘inside IR35’ or ‘outside IR35’ result every time; with no indeterminate, borderline or unknown results.

Businesses could also simply use HMRC guidance and employment status principles (based on case law) to generate a SDS. Or alternatively enlist the services of a qualified, professional advisor. 

Whichever approach you take you need to be able to demonstrate that ‘reasonable care’ has been taken to work out the status of each contractor. You need to look holistically at the whole assignment and the way it’s carried out when determining the contractor’s employment status.

How does this apply to my business?

If you’re on the cusp of hiring an HR contractor and want some IR35 support, then we can help.

We are proud to work with IR35 Shield to determine the employment status of our limited company contractors. 

Hiring a limited company contractor through Peeq means no IR35 headaches. Let us guide you through the process and ensure you get the benefit of your day rate contractor without the fear of being penalised for breaching IR35 regulations.

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When Is The Right Time To Make Our First HR Hire?

Make first HR hire Peeq

 

CEOs and directors of small businesses go through a lot of ‘firsts’. The first hire, the first office expansion, the first IT investment, the first colleague promotion, the first employee dismissal, the first client knock-back, or the first office scandal.

Some positive, exciting and celebratory ‘firsts’. And some ‘firsts’ that we can affectionately refer to as ‘learning experiences’… 

So when is it the right time to make YOUR first HR hire?

With a question like this, there is never an exact science with answering it. Wouldn’t it be nice if it was as easy as saying: “When your turnover is £XXX” or “When you have reached a headcount of XXX”?

Unfortunately, with HR, it doesn’t (and shouldn’t) work like that. The answer will vary from company to company.

We understand that for many small businesses and start-ups, HR could be considered ‘lower priority’ or viewed as an unwelcome guest at a dinner party (cover your eyes HR folk – we know your worth!)

As a business leader, your emphasis has needed to be on revenue generation and growing a profitable company, with a keen eye on cost. We get that. And you’re not wrong.

But perhaps you’re now feeling bogged down by people-related challenges and you no longer have the time or brain space to focus on growing your business? That’s a really frustrating place to be, but thankfully it’s a place where you can do something to change it.

Dedicated HR expertise can help take away a lot of the operational and strategic pain from running your business. Most importantly it  will also significantly improve your chances of reaching your commercial goals by ensuring you have happy people, in the right jobs, at the right time, doing the right thing. 

An investment in your people will pay dividends many times over, create a meaningful and lasting legacy, and drive real commercial differentiation over your competitors.

When we talk about making a great HR hire – those are the criteria we believe you should consider first.

So is NOW the right time to hire an HR professional?

To help make your decision easier, we suggest you answer the questions below. If you answer ‘Yes’ to three or more questions, then it’s probably time to recruit your first HR hire.

  1. Are you spending more time on people-related admin than leading and scaling your business? 
  2. Is your headcount growing at a rate that is providing a challenge for onboarding and training your new recruits?
  3. Is it hard to communicate with all your employees on important matters (for example you feel like you are only hearing your people through an old fashioned ear trumpet vs dolby surround)?
  4. Are your employees leaving to join your competitors? 
  5. Do you sense that your staff might be disengaged with their work and the wider business?
  6. Are you concerned about the performance of your employees?
  7. Do you feel disconnected from your workforce and ‘out of touch’?
  8. Would you struggle to obtain employee feedback and do something meaningful with the results?
  9. Do you sense that your pay and benefits structure is preventing you from hiring the best talent?
  10. Are you preparing to sell your business and want to ensure you create value and a lasting legacy?

If you answered yes to three or more of the questions above then it’s likely that it might be time for you to consider hiring an HR professional. 

If this is the case, you’re going to have some decisions to make. For instance; 

These questions require careful consideration. And you’ll need to continue your research to find an approach that’s right for you and your business. 

Book a FREE coaching consultation to discuss your options

If you’d like our assistance with sense-checking your thinking, then we’d love to help. Simply click the button below to book an appointment with a member of the team.

Free Peeq Coaching

Choosing The Right HR Recruitment Agency

Choose HR recruitment agency Peeq

 

You’ve identified the need to hire an HR professional. And regardless of whether you’re looking for a contract or permanent recruit, you need to decide whether you’ll manage the process yourself or outsource it to a recruitment agency.

Let’s assume you’re going down the agency route (after all you’re reading a post titled ‘choosing the right HR recruitment agency’); how do you know which agency is right for you?

With over 39,000 recruitment agencies registered in the UK, it can be challenging to cut through the noise and choose the best fit for your business and needs.

To help make your decision easier, we have pulled together some simple pointers to bear in mind when making your choice.

What types of recruitment agencies exist and which is right for my business needs?

For anyone new to the world of agency recruitment, there are four main types of recruitment businesses and two key ways of working with an agency.

We’ll start with the latter. The first, and arguably most common, is contingent recruitment; a model where the agency only gets paid if the customer chooses to hire one of the candidates presented by the agency.

The second is retained (quite often associated with Executive Search) which is basically the opposite of contingent recruitment. This means that you pay the recruitment agency a fee upfront (normally a third of the total fee value) to engage their services for making your hire.

The benefits and pitfalls of contingent vs retained recruitment are explained nicely here

The four main types of agencies are outlined below. All serve a slightly different purpose and add value to an organisation’s hiring needs in varying ways…

Different Types of Recruitment Agencies

When making an HR hire, partnering with a specialist agency would be advisable. A good specialist HR recruitment agency will:

  • Be well networked amongst relevant HR candidates
  • Have deep knowledge of the HR industry and its associated challenges
  • Provide a solid understanding of ‘what good looks like’ and how to assess it
  • Offer a consultant-led approach (particularly useful if it’s your first HR hire)
  • Challenge your thinking to ensure you’re making the right hire
  • Offer support with crafting job descriptions, interviewing candidates and assessing talent etc.

Why should I use a recruitment agency to hire my HR vacancy? 

When it comes to recruitment, there is always the question of ‘should I do this myself or outsource it to an agency?’ 

There’s never a one size fits all answer. But there are a series of questions you can ask yourself to help make the right decision when making a hire.

Do I have the budget to pay for agency? You either do or you don’t. But you need to be comfortable paying an agency’s fee and feel like you’re getting value for their service (we’ll talk more about fee structure later).
Is it a niche hire that requires a specialist skill set? Niche skills can be difficult to find. That’s why they are niche. A specialist recruitment agency is generally going to be your best bet for finding these skills.
Do I have the time to manage the process myself? A simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for this one…
Do I have the expertise to confidently assess the candidates? Again, if we’re talking about hiring a specialist skill-set, how do you know what ‘good looks like’ if it sits outside your everyday world?

Making a HR is not simply a pure ‘technical’ hire. The difference between success and failure of the individual you choose to bring into your organisation is dependent on understanding ‘fit’ and alignment with your unique environment; a much softer and esoteric quality to establish.

If you’re an HR pro hiring another HR pro, then you’ve probably got this in the bag.

If not, then some external help and validation will be welcome.

How soon do I want the individual to start? Agencies tend to have the capacity to move quickly, so if you need someone to start ‘yesterday’, then an agency is going to be beneficial. 

If time is on your side, then this point is of less concern.

Do I already know a lot of people in this space? One of the biggest selling points for specialist recruitment agencies is the people they know. Particularly in HR; wow, are this lot well-networked! 

It’s likely that a good HR recruitment agency will have a bunch of suitable candidates on the radar and have an amazing referral community at their disposal.  

Is advertising the job likely to produce the right results alone?  What’s the market like at the moment? Is it a candidate or ‘buyers’ market?

If there’s ample talent available, you might be lucky enough to rely on the strength of your advert response. If there’s a talent shortage, then maybe not…

Do I have the bandwidth to give feedback to all my applicants? This is a biggy. What experience can you offer your candidates during the process? 

If you don’t have the capacity to give feedback to ALL your applicants, then it’s likely that you’ll do some damage to your employer brand. 

Does my business have a well-known brand that will attract applicants? If you work for a well-known brand and are considered a ‘destination employer’, then you’re going to benefit from attracting prospective employees to your business. 

That’s half the battle.

If not, then that’s the beauty of using an agency to help elevate your profile.

Do I want to do this? This is important. 

Do you want to be hands on with making this hire? If not, are you really going to put the right level of time, energy and effort into getting it right?

If not, you know what to do.

What should I expect to pay?

It’s the employer that pays the cost of engaging a recruitment agency, so you need to be comfortable with the price at the start of the process. 

A key thing to consider is that when it comes to buying any goods or services, prices vary. This is no different for recruitment agencies. You should expect to see a level of fluctuation based on the type of agency and service you are receiving.

To avoid being too cloak and dagger about it, we’ve outlined the average fee structure for both contingent and retained recruitment, as these are going to be most relevant for your HR hiring.  

Contingent recruitment

Standard recruitment costs tend to range between 15% and 20% of a candidate’s annual salary (generally invoiced on candidate start date). But this can go as high as 30% for hard to fill positions.

Retained recruitment 

For retained searches, the total fee is usually divided into three payments:

  • ⅓ = upfront (engagement fee)
  • ⅓ = upon presentation of candidate shortlist 
  • ⅓ = when the placement is made 

This type of recruitment is usually used for senior level appointments or when specific candidate experiences are required. It therefore commands a higher price point; typically in the region of between 25% and 30% of a candidate’s annual salary.

(Source: Agency Central)

Regardless of the type of recruitment, you want to choose an agency that can demonstrate the value you’re getting from a 20% VS. a 15% fee. A good recruitment agency will be able to offer transparency around their pricing mode.

For example, if you don’t want to pay the upper end of a recruitment fee, they should be able to clearly articulate which part of their service you are not going to receive by reducing the rate.

How do I know that the recruitment agency is right for me?

As discussed at the very start, there isn’t a shortage of recruitment agencies in the UK. So what final things should you consider before you choose one to work with?

We purposefully say ‘one’ here, as above all, please only choose one agency to make your HR hire. 

Selecting two or three agencies, simultaneously, will not strengthen your shortlist, or drive healthy competition, or help you reach success. It will demotivate an agency that wants to succeed; as you are immediately reducing their potential chances of success. That is not how you want to start a recruitment process.

So how do you know which agency to choose?

  • How strong are their online reviews and reputation? (Trust Pilot, Google Reviews, Website Testimonials etc)
  • Are they experts in the space you’re hiring?
  • Do they champion working with you in an exclusive partnership?
  • Do they offer any guarantees on your hires?
  • Have they got any case studies or examples of similar roles they’ve recruited?
  • Do you like the individuals you’ve spoken with so far? What does your gut say?
  • Which other businesses have they worked with?
  • Are they a member of a professional trade body like APSCo or The REC?

5 tips for choosing an HR recruitment agency

You hopefully now feel ready to firstly decide if you need the help of an HR recruitment agency, and secondly, feel better equipped to choose one.

Following the five simple steps below will help you select the right one:

  1. Choose a specialist that has experience of recruiting the type of role you’re hiring – ask for case studies
  2. Do your research. Investigate their online presence and reputation. What are their customers saying about them?
  3. Ask your recruitment agency to break down their offering against the fees they are proposing. What will you actually be getting for your money? 
  4. Listen to your gut. Was it easy to build a rapport with the recruitment agency and do you see yourselves working effectively together?
  5. Just choose one. Do yourself a favour and work with one really good HR recruitment agency on this hire. Form a partnership and the results will follow.

Book a FREE coaching consultation to discuss your options

Still undecided about whether you should use an HR recruitment agency or do it yourself? Book a free HR coaching consultation with a member of the team to help weigh up your options.

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