2022 Salary Guide: What are the key recruitment trends for the UK?

By Robert Half on 5th October 2021

After 18 months of uncertainty, business confidence is finally beginning to rise. Two in three (66%) senior leaders now feel confident about their growth over the next 12 months, but growth ambitions can only be met if businesses can access the talent they need.

Our 2022 Salary Guide reveals everything you need to know – from starting salaries for specific roles by sector to national recruitment and hiring trends. If you’re wondering how much you should pay, our guide has all the numbers worth knowing.

What are the main trends you need to know?

  1. Candidates are calling the shots

    While 31 per cent of businesses are keen to hire for vacant roles and fill newly created positions the steep increase in demand means it is currently a candidates’ market, especially for those with rare or hybrid skill sets.

    If you want to secure the best talent you need to be prepared to negotiate – on everything, including salaries, benefits and working arrangements. Many candidates have two or three roles on the table so if you want them, you should be prepared to compete.

  2. Salaries for existing employees are expected to remain stagnant

    Salaries are expected to remain static in 2022, with a quarter (25%) of employers saying they have no plans for increases in the near future.

    While employers are not prepared to commit to an ongoing costs, 62 per cent are now offering bonuses above or in-line with pre-pandemic levels to aid in retention efforts.

  3. Remote workers cannot command the same salaries

    Despite the rise in remote and hybrid working over the past 18 months, location still matters when it comes to salary. Of course, reducing salaries for those already in the company is a no-no, but nearly half (47%) of employers will make an offer to new candidates based on their location, rather than that of the company.

  4. Flexible working is a must

    Nearly half (45%) of employers have added remote working to their packages in the last year, mostly out of necessity. Many employees now expect flexibility in their working arrangements as standard – and we’re starting to see candidates turn down roles where its not on the table.

    Flexibility is certainly important for attraction, but businesses worried about retention over the next 12 months need to tread carefully and listen to their staff, because one in five (20%) employees would consider looking for a new role if they couldn’t have their ideal working environment.

  5. Hybrid working raises concerns about retention and company culture

    The majority (89%) of business leaders are wary of their company’s ability to retain valued employees going into 2022. Their largest concern is dissatisfaction with company culture, which has been difficult to maintain due to new remote and hybrid working practices.

    While businesses recognise the importance of remote working for both attraction and retention, three in four (76%) employers are worried about the impact it has on culture, as it restricts opportunities for integration and teamwork.

  6. Worries about wellbeing result in shifting benefits 

    Nearly half (46%) of business leaders think their employees are more likely to suffer from burnout in 2022, with many planning to allow greater scheduling flexibility as a result.

    Concerns raised during the pandemic have already seen two in five (41%) employers increase the support on offer to caregivers and working parents, while half (51%) now offer a 24/7 mental health hotline to ensure employees have access to the support they need.


Our 2022 Salary Guide is packed full of trends and insights just like these, covering specific sectors, perks and benefits and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). You can also find average starting salaries for more than 200 roles.

More From the Blog...