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Redundancies and pay freezes were commonplace in the HR profession last year, revealed the Reed Human Resources Salary Survey 2010. Although some sectors were affected more than others, overall there was a slight fall in the UK average salary for HR professionals of 3-6%. However, early indications of increased activity in HR recruitment at the start of 2010 show organisations are gearing up to recruit again and gives some cause for optimism for the year ahead.
With more signs of economic recovery now being reported, optimism among HR professionals is growing and only 39% of HR departments said they were unlikely to raise their headcount in the next 12 months. Demand for Talent Management, Recruitment, Reward and Learning & Development specialists is already increasing, as employers look to strengthen their organisations by bringing in, developing and retaining the best people to help their organisations succeed in 2010.
"2009 was a tough year for the HR profession as a whole, but the outlook for 2010 is positive and there are solid foundations upon which HR can build itself back up, said Reed Human Resources Divisional Manager Jason Willis.
"In recruitment terms, we expect to see a swing from the Public Sector back towards the Private Sector as the year progresses. As for salaries, these should edge back up as the recovery strengthens and demand for both HR generalists and specialists increases."
Summary of 2009
HR practitioners with niche skills sets generally came through the recession best, with Organisational Development and Compensation & Benefits specialists in most demand.
On a function level, the standing of HR in many organisations actually rose through the downturn. HR functions played an important role not only managing redundancy and the effects on those who remained, but also often worked closely to advise board directors on organisational restructuring, skills deployment and development.
In most regions and industry sectors the highest paid branch of HR is Organisational Development, where the UK average salary for an OD Manager is 53,719. In-house Recruitment tends to be the lowest paid specialism, with the UK average salary for a Recruitment Manager being 34,913.
HR Directors salaries were the most resilient during the downturn, dropping to a UK average of 83,556 - a fall of just 1.7% - on the average figure reported in the Reed Human Resources HR Salary Survey 2009.


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