Working as a compensation and benefits manager

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Becoming a remuneration and benefits manager is one of the most popular career routes in HR federalists who want to become HR specialists in a particular field.

And what does it take to kick start a career in remuneration and benefits?

A compensation and benefits manager is tasked with developing implementing and administering an organisation’s reward and benefit policies, and manages everything from salaries to pensions, and from relocation packages to life insurance.

The demands of the job are high, but it offers variety and an opportunity to influence at all levels. There are four main responsibilities in every remuneration and benefits role.

  • Develop remuneration and benefit strategies and frameworks to achieve employee attraction, motivation and retention objectives.
  • Manage an organisations benefit program in conjunction with outsourced providers.
  • Run salary benchmarking reports both internally and externally to ensure competitive market rates and organisational relativity.
  • Manage the annual performance, incentive and remuneration reviews.

What qualifications do you need?

A compensation and benefits manager should have an associate’s degree or bachelor’s degree in human resource management. Excellent academic credentials are essential including a tertiary qualification in an HR related field. – Nic Sephton-Poultney Country manager at Robert Walters.

This position also requires good knowledge of government rules, regulations, and reporting processes. In addition, managers need knowledge or economic factor and laws affecting compensation.

Can I move into a remuneration and benefits role from another industry?

This is not as it seems many compensation and benefits managers have backgrounds in accountancy, finance or reward consultancy. Others, develop from within a generalist HR environment. In all cases, communication skills are important as you could be negotiating with the union reps one day and helping to address personnel problems the next.

What skills do I need?

Remuneration and benefits managers need to be highly personable with strong relationship building skills. They may be involved with managing relationships with the benefits providers, answering queries from staff, solving problems and discrepancies in pay and benefits received. Therefore they need to display both analytical skills  with strong customer service and people skills. 

What can I earn in remuneration and benefits?

In South Africa entry level remuneration and benefit consultants with 2-3 years of generalists HR experience can expect to earn R 300K-350K when you are able to make the step up to management level the average salary between R425-500K. For more detailed information on HR salaries access Robert Walters global salary survey.

Are you interested in compensation and benefits jobs? Search and apply for the latest vacancies.

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