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The Big OE (Overseas experience) is somewhat of a rite of passage for many early professionals, many of us will travel between the northern and southern hemisphere’s seeking that international experience and exposure to diverse organisations and ways of working. Those of us in Human Resources are no different, indeed even you’re truly has taken this approach – now working in my second country and third-time zone/industrial environment.

Speaking with a former colleague a few weeks ago, I thought others might also be interested in some answers to some of the basic questions about working in HR in the UK.

Entry-level Human Resource (HR) Assistants can expect around the £19,000 a year mark. Typically to gain entry at this level you would have some exposure to HR, with perhaps around six months experience. I wouldn’t recommend traveling around the world for an entry-level role, however, I’ve included it here to give you an idea of the kind of salary you might be able to fall back on if you’re unable to secure a role at your current level of experience.

Perhaps unlike working within Human Resources in the Southern Hemisphere, in the UK HR certifications are held in very strong regard. Specifically, CIPD, if you’re partway through this certification level 5 with relevant experience then you can expect to ear in the region of £22,000.

Quick note, for those HR practitioners with an AHRI (Australia Human Resources Institute) certification, CIPD and AHRI have an agreement where they will recognise each other’s assessments. This means that once you have one, it’s a relatively simple process of gaining the equivalent certification with the other professional body.

With a combination of a CIPD certification and experience, in the region of 3 – 5 years, you can expect as an HR Officer to earn £25,000 and above. As you move through the ranks to HR Consultant, HR Business Partner, HR Manager, etc, then your salary will increase strongly.

For those at the higher management levels of HR such as HR Directors, then you can expect a salary range of between £75,000 to £100,000. Of course, as with most employment markets, this does depend on the size of the organisation. Unlike in the Australian or New Zealand market, within the UK market often multinationals will have their head office within the UK, this means while there is more competition for outstanding HR talent – there are also a good number of opportunities for those who are indeed exceptional and the ability for organisations to pay exceptional salaries.

For those with a taste of going it alone as a freelancer or self-employed consultant, the news is good, these kind of opportunities are increasing. Be aware, however, that in the freelancer game CIPD certification is seen as essential. And just like salary for freelancers or self-employed consultants, the market will vary according to the size of the organisation, the type of work required, and the experience of the consultant, will all factor into what people in this area can command financially.

The working week is typically 9 – 5, five days a week (Monday – Friday), however, depending on the industry some weekend work may be required. It is also worth noting that due to the number of multinationals operating and the proximately of Europe, that some work may happen outside these hours to account for travel and indeed time zone differences.

If you are interested in HR work in the UK, then firstly best of luck, gaining overseas experience and exposure is a fantastic way to build your career. I would strongly suggest that you do your research, and join up with CIPD, to gain an understanding from HR people on the ground in the UK.

Brendan Lys
By Brendan Lys

Operating at the intersection of Human Resources and Data Science, I leverage extensive specialist experience within Human Resources, with the methodologies and approaches of Data Science. This focus on the discovery of actionable insights from data, has been applied to areas such as: remuneration & benefits, workforce planning, recruitment, health & safety, diversity, and training. But what does the application of data science to HR challenges and opportunities actually look like. Within an HR framework the data we work with typically comes directly from our HRMIS, an advantage of using data science methodologies is that we can bring in additional data either held within the organization or from external sources - data which is out of reach from a pure HR analytics approach. Consider for example position descriptions, these contain a wealth of data that we typically ignore as its not in a analysis ready format. A side project I'm working on currently (April 2019) is using text mining on job descriptions to provide insights into which job family the position may fit into. The insights of my work have been enjoyed by organizations across a diversity of sectors including: Government (Australia and New Zealand), ASX and NZX listed companies, utilities, not for profit and higher education.