Reward specialists need to ensure that an organisation’s pay and benefits fit with the organisational context and culture, while being relative to the external market environment. 

What does a reward specialist do?

Reward specialists are experts in the pay and benefits that an organisation gives to its employees, consultants and contractorsThey work with all aspects of reward not just pay – so have a good understanding of other benefits such as the organisation’s pension offer, any health benefits, employee support helplines and other perks that organisations offer as part of their reward package.  

Part of the skill of being a reward specialist is being able to combine the different aspects of pay and benefits into a framework which is attractive to potential employees, but also affordable for the organisationThis is why benchmarking is a really important skill: understanding national and international pay scales and where your organisation sits relative to competitors is critical, as is understanding what potential employees look for in an organisationThis is one of the reasons why the reward framework can significantly impact how people perceive the employer brand  

A day in the life of a
reward officer

A day in the life of Claire Clarke, Pay & Reward HR Officer at Durham University

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A day in the life of a
reward analyst

A day in the life of Daniel Bailey, Reward Analyst at Arval BNP Paribas Group

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A day in the life of a
reward specialist

A day in the life of Holly Coe, Reward and People Operations Lead at Aster Group UK

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Your typical activities 

Here are some of the activities you can expect to be involved in as a reward specialist: 

  • Carrying out salary benchmarking to understand your organisation’s position in the market
  • Determining pay points for roles at all levels and in a range of job families
  • Designing approaches to executive remuneration and specialist roles
  • Designing total reward approaches, to include a range of pay and benefits
  • Reviewing benefits packages and identifying new benefits which increase the attraction and brand of the organisation
  • Working with external partners on the design and management of employee benefits (such as employee support programmes provided by external suppliers)
  • Reporting on your organisations reward packages and pay

Types of roles in reward

Here is a shortlist of the types of job titles you might find in reward. As you can see, reward specialist are at all levels of experience and seniority: 

  • Reward administrator
  • Benefits coordinator 
  • Compensation and benefits advisor 
  • Reward analyst 
  • Reward and benefits manager 
  • Head of reward 
  • Director of reward

Develop your knowledge in reward

Reward standards

Each standard progresses through four levels of impact. Which level do you most embody in your day-to-day work?

Reward resources

Reports, factsheets, podcasts and webinars to help you implement a reward strategy that supports organisational objectives.

CIPD Learning courses in Reward

Base and Variable Pay

Gain an understanding of key issues that need to be taken into account on job evaluation, developing pay structures and performance pay

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Career options in the
people profession

Explore the twelve career areas within the people profession, and the typical activities you may find yourself doing

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Career guidance

Information and guidance to help you excel in your role, transition into the profession, and manage a career break

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