The essentials on the remuneration of HR executives in 2020.

According to the studies carried out over the past three years, it is possible to observe a clear increase in the level of remuneration of executives in the human resources function.

With an increase of +2 points compared to previous generations, the median gross annual salary – taking into account the fixed part and the variable part – now stands at 48K €.


The weight of the variable part in the remuneration:


The increase in the remuneration of HR executives is due in particular to the increase in the variable portion, which currently benefits 55% of HR administration executives and 63% of HR development executives. (Against 48% and 61% previously). This part, consisting mainly of bonuses on objectives, also concerns profit-sharing (33%), profit-sharing (28%), the company savings plan PEE (25%) or the collective retirement savings plan known as PERCO ( 15%).


The influencing factors:


As in most professions, executive compensation in HR changes over time. We observe an average salary of 40K € at the start of a career, going up to 55K € from the age of 50, where the range of salaries is the largest.

Indeed, when only 10% of human resources administration executives earn more than 80K €, another 10% earn 38K €.

This difference, illustrating a disparity in professional situations, is explained by several significant factors, taken into account in the establishment and progression of said salary:


  • Age, seniority, hierarchical position and underlying responsibilities.


As mentioned above, the hierarchical level plays a determining role in the salaries of executives. Indeed, a high hierarchical position will imply more responsibilities, such as the management of a team and / or a budget and will therefore give access to a higher remuneration.


  • The sector of activity, the size of the company and the geographical position of the company.


In the human resources sector, as in any other sector, the size of the company also plays a decisive role in the level of remuneration of employees and executives. The bigger the company, the better the wages. The same goes for the geographical position. For example, when the median salary of an executive in the HR administration of a company located in Île-de-France is € 52K, that of an executive occupying the same position but in a company located in the provinces will be of 46K €. In the HR Department, the gap widens further with 85K € in Île-de-France against 70K € in the provinces.


This difference is explained by the fact that the capital concentrates within it many of the large companies and head offices. High added value activities such as consulting, engineering, R&D and even finance are also more represented there than in smaller cities.


It should also be noted that the sector of activity is a variable to also be taken into account: the 20% of HR executives working in the industry sector would have a higher salary than those working in the service sector, who nevertheless represent 68% of all HR executives alone.


  • The remuneration of female HR executives:


remuneration of female HR executives


Although campaigning for pay parity, a difference between men’s and women’s pay is still relevant.

When only 36% of executives (all professions combined) are women, the human resources department has 64%. This statistic even goes beyond 77% when we take into account all the executives of the HR administration and HR development. Although overrepresented, women are not spared from some wage discrimination.

Indeed, the pay gap between the latter and their male counterparts would be 13% in HR administration and 12% in HR development.

When we look at the direction of human resources, this gap is all the more obvious with 20% in favor of men. Note that this gap also increases with age.


Notable and regrettable fact, there are many disparities within the Human Resources Departments, even though they guarantee equal treatment between men and women. As mentioned in our article on human resources barometer , professional equality between men and women is one of the main issues of diversity and inclusion.