When you think of high-paying jobs, you probably think of banking, business, and being Beyoncé.

Human resources? Not so much. (Unless the human in question is actually Beyoncé.)

However, a study from Emolument reports that the compensation of senior HR managers in the UK has risen to an average £93,000 a year, including a £12,000 bonus – more than three times the national average of £27,200.

Plus, a quarter of senior HR managers earn over £153,000 a year when including the average £40,000 bonus – an amount which places them well into the top 1% of earners, according to the BBC.

Year-by-year data is unavailable for the UK as a whole, but in London the boost in pay represents a huge 31% increase on 2015.

Why the big leap? Those damned Millenials are at it again.


The high demand for new skills from companies seeking to ‘adapt their culture and management style to millenials’ has led to ‘intense innovation’ in the field, Emolument told The Independent.

Jay Gilbert, VP of Strategy and Operations at OrthoEvidence, confirms this trend: ‘millenials have a drastically different outlook [than baby boomers] on what they expect from their employment experience.’

He cites multi-tasking, comfort with technology, and a strong importance placed on work-life balance as key traits of Millenial workers, compared to baby boomers who pride themselves on ‘organisational memory, optimism and [a] willingness to work long hours’.

The idea of employment as an ‘experience’ could be key. Claudia Healy, VP of Global Talent Acquisition at Verizon, states that ‘millenials want to have it fast, want to have it now, in a language that resonates with them’. In response, Verizon now sees employees as ‘customers’ of the workplace in order to make all interactions as personal and simple as the customer service they aim to provide.

This could be interpreted as reflecting the sense of entitlement Millenials are so often accused of having – but Molly Graham, HR professional at Facebook, sees entitlement differently:

‘Entitlement means someone who thinks they have a right to something, a right to know, a right to be part of a process, part of decision making. We have a different word for this. We want to build a company where people believe they have a right to something - we call it ownership. Everyone should feel like it’s their company, they are responsible for the success of the company, for their decisions… This, for us, is a good thing.’


And if the workplace doesn’t cater to these needs? Millenials are more likely to move on, with the average time spent in one job at a diminutive 2 years, compared with 5 for Gen Xers and 7 for baby boomers.

Jeff Fromm of Forbes attributes the short tenure of millenials to the huge importance they place on personal and professional growth. More than half see the possibility of rapid career progression as the number one attraction in an employer; continued learning and development ranks as the most desirable benefit for a job.

The radical rethinking of HR needed to attract and retain flighty millennial talent might explain why the top 1% of senior managers earns between £247,000 and £275,000 as a basic salary.

And if you’re just starting out in your HR career, don’t despair. While the average entry-level salary is a healthy £25,000 a year, the highest paying entry-level roles earn almost as much the average senior manager, at an insane £85,000 to £90,000 a year.

Excuse me for a moment. I need to mop up my tears with my English degree.

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