Competition boosts salaries and incentives for Central Belt staff

Dynamics shift in favour of candidates across the Central Belt 

“Fierce” competition for the best business support staff is driving companies to increase wages and enhance incentives, according to a new report from HRC Recruitment.
The recruitment firm’s Office Services Salary Survey for 2017 found that high demand for personnel, coupled with a restricted supply of qualified staff, drove up wages across a range of professions.
In Glasgow, it claims there were top-end salary increases for administrators (from £21,000 to £22,000), business development assistants (£25,000 to £26,000), office managers (£35,000 to £37,000), facilities coordinators (£22,000 to £23,000), and helpdesk administrators (£18,000 to £20,000).
Fewer increases were found at the higher end in Edinburgh, with facilities assistants and audio and copy typists seeing rises of £1,000 per annum, to £19,000 and £23,000 respectively.
According to HRC, the capital’s booming residential and commercial property markets have precipitated a spike in demand for senior candidates in the legal sector, while there has also been a surge in requirements for marketing staff across different industries.
Jackie MacGregor, Managing Consultant for HRC Recruitment’s Office Services team, said: “We really began to notice an acute shortage of suitably-qualified candidates in the last six months of 2017 – that’s only been exacerbated in the first couple of months of this year.
“It’s turned the market on its head: the dynamics have shifted in favour of candidates. While there are plenty of jobs that need to be filled, the number of CVs we’re presenting to clients has halved.
“It’s driving wages up for a range of roles – secretarial positions that were previously commanding a salary of £18,000 rising to as much as £22,000 in the past year. Similarly, we’re seeing salaries for executive assistant and senior PA roles come in at £30,000 or more; previously they were in the high £20,000s.”
HRC Recruitment also found that businesses, particularly in professional services, were beginning to make counter offers for support positions – a move previously unheard of – in a bid to retain experienced staff at all levels.
Jackie added: “When these kinds of front-of-office staff are excellent at their jobs, it often goes unnoticed. But more businesses are realising the value and skills they offer and, as a result, are fiercely competing for the best talent.
“We’ve seen a number of businesses re-assess their benefits packages to attract people, extending perks, such as flexi-time, beyond fee earners – in many cases, smaller firms are struggling to compete and staff retention is becoming a serious challenge in the accountancy, investment, legal, and financial services sectors.”
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