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HR Professionals: Want a Raise? Start Setting Pay (Or these 5 Other Things)

Tess C. Taylor, PHR, SHRM-CP, PayScale Senior Blogger It’s an often overlooked fact: human resource managers who set the salaries for their people are more apt to be compensated better themselves. Just having this responsibility creates the ideal environment for fighting for the best wages in HR. Some HR professionals may already realize this; others are just starting to wake up to this.

It’s an often overlooked fact: human resource managers who set the salaries for their people are more apt to be compensated better themselves. Just having this responsibility creates the ideal environment for fighting for the best wages in HR. Some HR professionals may already realize this; others are just starting to wake up to this.

Why Managing Compensation Matters to HR Pocketbooks 

In our analysis of PayScale data, we found that, across all industries, individuals who set pay made higher salaries themselves. HR professionals are no exception. Gaining the added responsibility to set pay is the equivalent of giving ourselves a much-deserved raise. In contrast, by not taking on this responsibility, we could be missing out on earning a higher base salary over the lifetime of any HR career.

The management tasks that rank the highest for their correlation to higher pay include (in order):

1. Setting pay grades
2. Promoting employees
3. Hiring and firing
4. Reviewing performance reports
5. Mentoring and advising workers
6. Supervising employees

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How can HR professionals ignore this or allow others to take this responsibility when we are the most qualified to handle this aspect? It’s time to take up the lead and not only help our companies, but help ourselves.

Unfortunately, we’re not there yet. 

The PayScale 2015 Compensation Best Practices Report demonstrated that shared responsibility for compensation management happens between HR and CFOs. Current figures indicate that only 49% of HR leaders take charge of organizational compensation structures and pay grades, although 64% of HR folks don’t think they should have to answer to the Finance department anymore.  With less than half of HR professionals setting compensation structure, we’re not just losing our seat at the table, we’re leaving money on the table as well.

Set the Salaries for Your People; Set the Stage for Better HR Earnings

It is not just wallet-serving to push for pay-setting responsibility, it makes real business sense as well. Those of us who work in human capital management know our people and our organizational goals better than anyone else. We are keenly aware of how well our company pays people, and where we may be falling short. It shows up in the corporate culture, and in our reports that reflect our abilities to recruit and retain the best employees.

What do you think?

We want to hear from you! Share your thoughts, ideas, and comments below.

Tess C. Taylor
Read more from Tess C.

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