What are your services worth? More than you think

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in Compensation and Benefits,HR Management,Human Resources,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Issue: The 2003 upturn in HR salaries picked up pace in 2004.

Benefit: Such robust pay growth provides more bargaining power with your boss and on the open market.

Action: Use this reputable survey to push for a bigger raise and/or validate your request for a larger HR budget.

As an HR professional, you know the value of compensation surveys in setting employee pay. So don't ignore those same studies when it comes to fighting for your own pay increase or requesting higher pay for your HR budget, especially this year.

Reason: With the economy improving, more organizations are focusing on investing in employees. And that's translating into strong increases in pay across many HR-related positions, according to a new survey of 1,900 organizations by Mercer HR Consulting and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Among the 10 most highly populated HR positions, five showed pay increases greater than 5 percent. The two largest increases in this group were a 9 percent jump in pay for trainers and 7.5 percent gain for top HR management execs.

These pay raises are favorable compared to overall trends in the U.S. labor market. In fact, an earlier Mercer study said pay raises for the average U.S. employee were running at only 3.3 percent in 2004.

"The continued strong salary increases over the last few years is an indication of the value placed on HR professionals' contributions to the organization," says SHRM Director of Research Steve Williams.

Plus, SHRM says that increasing complexity of compliance in aspects like the new overtime regulations and corporate-governance laws suggests that HR roles are requiring a more sophisticated skill set, which is commanding higher salaries.

Final note: If you're an HR director, expect your staff to use these numbers to push for fatter raises in the months ahead.

To see a summary of the survey, go to www.mercerhr.com/mediacenterarchive.jhtml and click on the Nov. 10 news release.

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