Ortus research: HR professionals’ incomes rose in 2010

The incomes of HR professionals’ rose by 12% in last year, according to research by HR recruiter Ortus.

The increases were fuelled by higher-than-expected bonus payments with £9,800 paid in bonuses for every HR worker in the city and the south-east. Ortus’ survey of almost 900 HR professionals also showed the average bonus reached 18% of salary. This outstripped expectations set in mid-2010 when HR workers expected to receive only 13.5%, meaning that each HR worker received on average £2,500 more than they had hoped for.

The total bonus payout to the UK’s 148,000 HR professionals for 2010 was £1.5 billion, compared to just under £680 million in 2009.

Stephen Menko, UK director for Ortus, said: “HR departments are a bellweather for the economy. It is good news for everyone that they are beginning to get busy again, as companies are beginning to compete for talent once more.

“Bonus expectations have been modest since the beginning of the recession, as many professionals were concerned more about job security than pay, but these figures show this is changing. HR professionals are plugged into the jobs market and it is not surprising they are looking for opportunities. For many, bonus season may be the time to cash in and move on to pastures new.”

The criteria by which bonus payouts are made is changing too. Company performance alone is used to calculate bonuses for just 16% of HR personnel, down from 19% in 2009.

Employers are also bolting on benefits to improve their employees’ lot. In 2010, 39% of employers offered flexible working, up from 32% in 2009. More employers are offering company pension schemes, employee insurance, and other benefits such as a car allowance.

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