UK Reward Census 2007

Much has been written recently about the changing focus of the HR profession and its quest for a more strategic role, but very little is known about whether changes have impacted on all aspects of HR practice to the same extent. In particular, have there been significant developments in the reward specialism and, if so, has this made a difference to the roles of those working in the area?

To fill this gap in current knowledge the aim of this e-reward research was to answer these questions by examining in more detail the experience and perceptions of the people with the most knowledge of existing practice – UK reward professionals themselves.


To help illuminate the current situation, the survey questionnaire was split into six main sections:

  • employer details

  • personal profile – gender, qualifications, job responsibility

  • the reward function

  • use of management consultants

  • career paths

  • reward roles, work and competencies.

The first section of the questionnaire was designed to get facts regarding the employers of those responding. Information on sector, number of employees and region was collected. The second, titled “personal profile”, aimed to find out about the individuals themselves – details such as their job role, level of seniority, gender and job history were included.

Sections three to six were more focused on the reward function itself and the views and perceptions of reward professionals currently working in the area. Therefore, in addition to collecting facts such as the number of people employed in the reward function and whether numbers of staff have increased or decreased in recent years, some of the questions sought more qualitative answers posing questions such as “What do you consider are the five key competencies and attributes required in your reward role to be successful?”

Hopefully, what emerges is the most comprehensive examination of the reward function and the views of those working within it that has been carried out to date.

About the survey   

The survey examined issues currently facing professionals employed within UK reward functions. E-reward’s research was carried out between September and November 2007 using an online questionnaire. Approximately 5,000 people who subscribe to the web site were invited, via email, to participate in the study.

Our survey was open to all reward and compensation practitioners working in UK-based organisations as well as practitioners in the general HR function who have responsibility for reward activities in their organisation.

Responses came from 150 reward professionals or individuals that were at least partially responsible for reward and more detailed analysis was carried out on the replies received by the 113 individuals who said that they had a “distinct reward function or department within their organisation which is specifically responsible for reward”.

The e-reward survey will provide you with a thorough overview of what is happening in UK reward functions with detailed information concerning:

The reward function

  • The size and shape of the function.

  • Is the shape of reward functions changing?

  • What new operational models are being introduced?

  • The main drivers for change.

Use of consultants

  • Use of reward consultants.   

  • How consultants rate.

  • Reasons organisations use consultants.

Career paths

  • How careers are developing.

  • Attractions and drawbacks of reward careers.

  • What’s important for a successful career in reward.

Reward roles

  • The roles reward professionals play.

  • What activities reward professionals believe they should be doing in the future.

  • Where efforts of reward professionals need to be focused.

  • What key competencies reward professionals need to ensure success.

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