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Benchmark your earnings – salary survey results

Posted on from Handle

Gill Bell, HR director at specialist recruitment firm Handle, speaks to Mary Appleton about the current HR recruitment market and the findings of the firm’s recent salary survey.

What were the findings of the salary survey?

The findings reflect the realities of the economic environment. Salaries have not really shown any increase and have at best remained flat, which is in keeping with other sectors and disciplines. We don’t foresee any real change in this until confidence returns.

What’s the current HR recruitment market like?

The market is mixed – internal recruitment is still busy as organisations look for ways to drive down their agency spend and we’re also seeing increasing demand for HR business partners at the £50-£60k level.

Over the past year, there’s been a shortage of generalist mid-level HR managers – tempting them to move against a backdrop of economic uncertainty can be a challenge so there’s been a distinct lack of churn. My feeling is that we will continue to see demand for internal recruitment and resourcing skills as well as the more strategic HR business partner – it’s difficult to predict anything while the economy is so uncertain.

How can job seekers stand out from the crowd?

  • Your CV: tailor your CV and cover letter to each role you’re applying for.
  • Get social: ensure your LinkedIn profile details all your skills and experiences – treat it as your online CV. Start following potential employers on Twitter, or ‘like’ their Facebook page.  Blogging is big – find out who the best HR bloggers are and comment on their posts – better still start your own at
  • Interviews: it’s not uncommon to have two or three interviews with different members of the business. Ensure you do plenty of research beforehand – companies will expect you to have the ability to do the job, but also a good knowledge of your industry.
  • Get advice: if you are using a specialist recruitment consultancy then utilise it fully. They can, and should, give you useful advice on a whole range of career issues.

Benchmark yourself




Interim rate













HR director


£80,000 to £120,000

£500+ / day

Head of HR


£60,000 to £90,000

£400 / day

HR manager


£40,000 to £60,000

£300 / day

HR advisor


£28,000 to £38,000

£250 / day

HR officer


£25,000 to £28,000


HR assistant/administrator

Entry level

£18,000 to £25,000






Comp & bens/reward










£90,000 to £120,000

£500+ / day

Senior manager/director


£70,000 to £85,000

£400 / day



£45,000 to £65,000

£350 / day



£30,000 to £40,000

£150 to £250 / day



£20,000 to £26,000






Learning & development








Head of learning & development


£60,000 to £120,000

£500+ / day



£45,000 to £55,000

£250 to £350 / day



£30,000 to £40,000

£150 to £200 / day



£22,000 to £28,000














Head of recruitment


£65,000 to £85,000+

£450+ / day



£45,000 to £65,000

£325 / day



£30,000 to £40,000

£150 to £200 / day



£18,000 to £28,000






Change management








Project manager


£80,000 to £100,000

£500+ / day





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