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March 31, 2009


Alexandria, VA - Salaries for many human resource (HR) positions are rising faster than overall U.S. salaries, according to a new survey conducted by consulting firm William M. Mercer, Incorporated in conjunction with SHRM. Overall salaries in the U.S. have increased an average of 4.2% per year for the last five years, while HR jobs of every type had higher increases. The value of technical recruiters reflects the greatest increase, as their salaries increased 10%.

The new survey found that the median annual total cash compensation for top HR management executives (whose responsibilities include industrial relations) was $201,500, up 5.1 percent from a year ago. For top HR executives without industrial relations responsibilities, it was $195,500, up 9.3 percent from 1999. The median total cash compensation for other selected human resource positions is reported as follows:

*Top corporate compensation and benefits executives - $143,200 (up 5.3% from 1999);

*Compensation and benefits manager- $82,500 (up 6.1% from 1999); and

*HR generalist - $49,000 (up 5.4% from 1999).

Recruiters salaries reflect hot job market

Recruiting salaries also are rising as employers continue to struggle with low unemployment rates and the need to attract and retain a qualified work force. Reflecting the increasing difficulty offinding good information systems/information technology workers, the median total cash compensation for a technical recruiter is now $55,000, a 10 percent increase over a year ago. Other recruiting positions also saw above-average increases as well:

*Managerial/professional recruiter - $55,100 (up 5.9% from 1999); and

*General recruiter - $39,400 (up 4.8% over 1999).

Training The survey was expanded this year (from 84 jobs to 97 jobs) to include more positions in growing areas of HR, such as training. Training jobs featured in the 2000 survey include such positions as top corporate training executive, training manager, trainer, technical trainer, diversity trainer, and instructional designer.

The median total cash compensation is $124,500 for top corporate training executives, $71,400 for training managers, and $42,200 for trainers. Training positions related to technology have higher overall salaries than their non-technical counterparts.

"With no end to the tight labor market in sight, HR professionals will continue to be instrumental to attracting, motivating, developing, rewarding, and retaining the people each organization needs to succeed," says Pat Schaeffer, a senior compensation consultant with Mercer. "That's why it's so important to attract and retain the right HR professionals - and an attractive compensation package is a key part of putting the right HR team in place."

The 2000 Human Resource Management Compensation Survey includes data provided by nearly 1,100 companies and covers 31,615 employees in 97 HR jobs. The complete survey can be purchased from Mercer by calling 800-333-3070. The cost is $450 for survey participants and $775 for non-participants.


Filed Under: Workplace Issues