New research reveals best locations for working in HR
A new study by HR and payroll software provider Ciphr has revealed which places in the UK are the best for HR professionals to live and work.
Ciphr ranked 100 major towns and cities against four key criteria that many people commonly consider when job hunting, relocating, or looking to change careers, including average earnings for HR managers, the number, and density, of medium and large employers (to reflect employment opportunities), and housing affordability.
Aberdeen came out on top, by quite a margin, thanks to its high average HR manager salary of £50,450 (data compiled from Indeed, Glassdoor, and Adzuna) and high business density per capita. The number of medium and large businesses in the area with over 50 employees (which is the level at which many organisations start employing HR staff) is 17.2 per 10,000 working-age adults – well above the UK average of 12.4 per 10,000.
The city is also among one of the most economical in the UK when it comes to housing. Rental properties cost £786 a month, which is around a fifth (19%) of an average HR manager’s salary in Aberdeen, and the average property sells for £187,543 (3.7 times their income).
After Aberdeen, Northampton and London both also scored highly – taking the next two spots on Ciphr’s list of the best UK towns and cities for HR professionals.
Huddersfield, Slough, and Warwick were in joint fourth place, and Manchester, Bournemouth, Stockton-on-Tees, and Reading also made the top 10.
The top 10 UK towns and cities for HR professionals:
Top paying towns and cities for HR managers
There are many different factors, aside from salary, which can influence people’s decision-making about their choice of employers and their careers – such as work-life balance, remote working, flexible working hours, access to good employee benefits and rewards, job security, job satisfaction, and learning and development opportunities. But, pay, particularly in a cost-of-living crisis, is likely to be a significant motivator for many job hunters.
Ciphr analysed salary data taken from three different job sites – Indeed, Glassdoor, and Adzuna – two months apart, to discover which towns and cities pay HR managers the most on average.
It found that HR managers in Chichester enjoy the highest average salary of £51,800, which is considerably more than the city’s average full-time salary of £30,298 (according to the ONS’ latest ’employee earnings by workplace’ figures).
The next three highest-paying cities are Aberdeen (£50,450), London (£50,350), and Guildford (£50,300).
Top 10 UK towns and cities with the highest average salaries for HR managers:
- Chichester – £51,800
- Aberdeen – £50,450
- London – £50,350
- Guildford – £50,300
- Bracknell – £48,750
- Slough – £48,100
- Cheltenham – £47,750
- Warwick – £46,600
- Reading – £46,550
- Wokingham – £45,750
Most of the UK’s top 10 towns and cities with the highest wages for HR managers, however, are among some of the least economical places to rent or buy in the UK (comparative to average HR manager salaries). HR managers living in many of these locations can expect to spend over eight times their annual earnings to buy a property (the UK average for HR managers is 6.5 times their income).
The title for the least affordable town in Ciphr’s study belongs to Sevenoaks in Kent, where the house price to earnings ratio is over 18 times an average HR manager’s salary, and 37% of their wages goes on rent. Bath, St Albans, Winchester, and London are also among the least affordable areas for HR managers looking to buy or rent.
At the opposite end of the scale, the most affordable housing (on an average HR manager’s salary) can be found in Stockton-on-Tees, Stoke-on-Trent, Middlesbrough, Sunderland, and Blackpool.
Homes in Stockton, for example, cost around £146,288 (well below the current UK average of £287,506). While HR managers that rent in Stockton, spend just 14% of their wages on housing – around £536 per month (the UK average is £923 per month, which is 25% of an average HR manager’s income).
HR job hotspots
There is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to HR-to-employee ratios (ie the number of HR employees for every 100 non-HR employees), as company size, budget and use of HR technology, for example, all impact the number of HR roles that an organisation requires. Generally, towns and cities with higher numbers of medium and large employers usually have more HR jobs and employment opportunities for people management professionals, than those with fewer employers.
On this basis, after London (10,060), Birmingham and Leeds would appear to be HR job hot spots as they have the most medium and large businesses overall, at 725 and 720 respectively.
When the figures are adjusted for the working-age population, however, it’s Winchester that has the highest density of medium and large employers (with over 50 employees) at 19.1 per 10,000 working-age residents.
Top 10 UK towns and cities with the highest density of businesses / employers (with over 50 employees):
- Winchester (19.1 per 10,000 working-age adults)
- Slough (17.9)
- Harrogate (17.8)
- Warwick (17.3)
- Aberdeen (17.2)
- Milton Keynes (16.9)
- Norwich (16.8)
- London (16.6)
- Exeter (16.5)
- Northampton / West Northamptonshire (16.3)
Ciphr’s list of the best towns and cities in the UK for HR managers to live and work (the top 50 results) is available to view at: https://www.ciphr.com/the-best-uk-towns-and-cities-for-hr-professionals.
Ciphr is a leading UK-based provider of integrated HR, payroll, learning and recruitment solutions. Ciphr also offers off-the-shelf and bespoke eLearning content and diversity and inclusion consultancy services through its recent acquisition, Marshall E-Learning. More than 600 organisations use the group’s people management solutions globally across the public, private and non-profit sectors.
For more information, please visit www.ciphr.com.
Emma-Louise Jones, digital PR manager at Ciphr
e: [email protected]
t: 01628 244206
Ciphr ranked 100 of the UK’s largest towns and cities (in terms of total population size) across four metrics – salary, number of employers, business density, and housing affordability. Each town or city was allocated points (out of 100) based on where they ranked between the highest and lowest values for each metric (the results for salary were double-weighted when calculating the final score).
UK average HR manager salary of £44,050 was calculated using data from Indeed (£42,738), Glassdoor (£48,590), and Adzuna (£40,840), where available, on 3-6 March and 3-4 May 2023.
Average HR manager salary data (for 100 towns and cities) was compiled from Indeed, Glassdoor, and Adzuna, where available, on 3-6 March and 3-4 May 2023 (figures rounded up or down to the nearest 50).
Other data sources include the Office for National Statistics (ONS) for population estimates, business numbers, labour market statistics, and rental market statistics, Rightmove, Zoopla, Citylets, and NISRA. For further references and methodology, please see the notes section at the end of https://www.ciphr.com/the-best-uk-towns-and-cities-for-hr-professionals.
Ciphr is a leading UK-based provider of integrated HR, payroll, learning and recruitment solutions. Ciphr also offers off-the-shelf and bespoke eLearning content and diversity and inclusion consultancy services through its recent acquisition, Marshall E-Learning.
Ciphr’s integrated HCM platform helps organisations manage their end-to-end employee lifecycle so they can deliver an amazing employee experience. With Ciphr, organisations can be confident they can access all their people data in one place, thanks to secure, time-saving integrations between Ciphr’s own solutions and API connections to specialist, third-party tools.
More than 600 organisations use Ciphr solutions globally across the public, private and non-profit sectors, including the Information Commissioner’s Office, the Natural History Museum, and the Met Office.
Ciphr is a privately held company backed by ECI Partners, and headquartered in Marlow, Buckinghamshire. Over 230 employees work across the group, which includes Ciphr, Digits Industries, Marshall E-Learning, and Payroll Business Solutions (PBS).
Ciphr spokespeople are available to provide expert media comment on a broad range of topics, including HR strategy, people management, employee experience and wellbeing, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I), learning and development, the future of work, tech trends, business and leadership, marketing, and more.
Read more press releases from Ciphr:
- Evolving World of Work survey
- Ciphr makes two new board-level appointments
- Ciphr now offers enhanced HR system training for its Ciphr HR customers
- Ciphr acquires Marshalls
- Working from home? Here are the best UK towns and cities for fast broadband
- Revealed: The best cities in the UK for job opportunities