2017 Human Resources Salary Survey & Employment Overview

January 20

Human Resources Salary Survey & Employment Overview 2017

Human Resources Market Overview

With expansion and growth both high on the agenda for many companies as we move into 2017, talent attraction and retention is crucial to success over the next 12 months. Companies are expanding and a significant 56% of the organisations we surveyed are looking to increase headcount in the first 6 months of 2017. Over half (53%) of these employers say this is down to genuine growth in sales and revenue of the business.

Since there is a serious shortage of labour in Ireland in some sectors, it has become increasingly important for companies to retain and develop their talent, as companies realise that the HR function plays a pivotal role in making this a reality. A good HR function can help them maintain a happy, healthy, and most importantly, stable workforce.

It has become increasingly more important for companies to retain and develop their talent; companies realise that the HR function plays a pivotal role in making this a reality.

General Observations

After a number of difficult years following the GFC, we are now seeing renewed hiring activity across the HR spectrum, especially in key areas such as Learning and Development, compensation and benefits and recruitment. Companies are hiring again across multiple sectors and a strong HR team will play a crucial role in recruitment and retention as companies look to meet their growth objectives.

Overall there has been steady growth in the human resource talent market with top-tier talent harder to find due to demand and the proactive approach of companies in retaining key staff members.

We are finding HR operations professionals and MIS capabilities continuing to be highly sought after by MNCs and larger indigenous companies, and that shows no sign of slowing down as they seek to improve their operational efficiencies.

In-house recruitment teams are increasingly common, leading to a demand for Recruitment managers, Technical recruiters and Resourcers. The increased demand for these personnel has had a positive impact on the salaries that these professionals can seek in the market.

With more vacancies in the market, HR professionals looking for a new role in 2017 are likely to be presented with multiple opportunities.



Salaries for HR professionals will continue to rise across both specialist and generalist roles. In fact, we are seeing increases of up to 10% for specialists who are looking to change employers. Furthermore, generalists on the market are benefitting from a 3-5% upturn when they move.

Compensation and benefits is an area of strong focus for companies this year and the difficulty in hiring in this field is reflected in the salary increases we are seeing of between 10 and sometimes 20% for professionals with experience in this sector.

This uptick in salaries is reflected in our survey with 69% of HR professionals receiving a pay rise this year. The most common increase was 5-10% (36%) but we also saw a significant number (25%) receiving a pay rise of 25% or more.

Overall, retaining key HR Professionals is high on the agenda for many employers this year, and has resulted in salary increases and greater optimism for professionals in this market.

An important point to note here is that as skill shortages become more apparent, many organisations will be looking at upskilling current staff for different roles, with the potential to develop new skills.

When we asked our clients about how they will address talent shortages in 2017, 73% said they would look at current employees who have the potential to develop, and 65% stated they would invest more in the training of existing employees. For this reason, we would expect to see Learning and Development roles increase steadily on the market in 2017. These roles will require specific areas of expertise, such as eLearning, senior management training and organisational design.

For breakdown of salaries in this sector please click here

The Year Ahead

Going forward into 2017, we will see much of the same as was apparent at the beginning of 2016. In-house recruitment teams will continue to be assembled, HR operations will be streamlined and companies will look to hire mid-management HR professionals who can offer real value to the organisational strategy.

HR departments will continuously have to work with their marketing teams to improve their Employer Branding Proposition and ensure the company have an impactful CSR programme in place to attract the top-tier talent they require.

The market is evolving and candidates will now be in a position to be more selective regarding where they work and what packages they receive. These factors will play a big role in the hiring processes in 2017.


For a full list of opportunities in Human Resources, please click here 

To view the full survey results please click here.

About the Author

Lincoln Recruitment

info@lincoln.ie+353 (1) 661 0444


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