Top 5 factors affecting salaries in 2019

By Robert Half on 9th January 2019

The UK hiring market has become vastly more competitive in the last five years. As the worldwide talent shortage rages on, 82% of UK hiring managers claim they struggle to find qualified professionals and 78% state they aren’t able to secure them. As business are struggling to find and secure top talent, what impact is this having on current employees and they pay.

Research for the Robert Half 2019 Salary Guide has revealed several key trends which will affect employee salaries in the coming year. 

1. Digitisation

Organisations around the world are quickly realising that in order to increase efficiency, achieve scalability, manage employee wellbeing and maintain a competitive edge, they need to undergo digitisation. 

Research for the Salary Guide has suggested that 38% of employers feel digitisation is the main factor for employee evolution—admin and HR professionals with digital experience are being offered higher salaries, as are tech professionals. Investment is also being made into digital skills training for admin professionals, who are likely to use HR software and engage heavily with the new infrastructure.

2. Automation

The recent popularity of automation and AI within business processes is a trend which shows no sign of slowing. If organisations are going to make full use of the tech, they’ll need staff to have good digital skills. Because of this, hiring managers are now offering higher salaries to candidates with the soft skills needed for an automated workplace, as well as those essential digital skills. Candidates with good collaborative, creative and intrapersonal skills are the most sought-after.

The automation of work processes raises new regulatory and cyber security concerns, too. As competition hots up for the best talent in IT security, counter offers have risen in popularity and 47% of organisations are increasing remuneration levels in reaction.

3. The war for talent

The lack of qualified professionals in the UK hiring market continues to impact the salaries which are being offered to first-choice candidates. According to 53% of UK businesses, it’s harder to find qualified professionals now than it was five years ago. Finding them is only half the battle—51% of UK businesses said that securing their top choice candidate was also a challenge. 

Higher salaries aren’t the only solution to this particular issue. Candidates are looking for roles that come with the opportunity to learn and grow, as well as non-financial benefits.

4. Growing candidate expectations

Candidates have higher expectations than ever before when it comes to the hiring process and the kinds of benefits they’d like to see as part of a remuneration package. Employers say they have previously offered 8 out of 10 candidates a higher starting salary to ensure the offer was accepted.

Flexible working, a high base salary, and training opportunities are all instrumental in how attractive a role is. Over a third (37%) of London-based professionals stated that they’d leave a current role for a similar role with a better remuneration package.

5. Retention concerns

The war for talent has prompted businesses to renew their focus on retaining current top performers. As well as flexible working, the addition of new non-financial benefits and more training, research by Robert Half shows that salary increases for existing staff is inevitable, especially for skilled professionals in accounting and finance, financial services, and tech roles.

For a more in-depth look at the factors affecting salaries in 2019, download the Robert Half Salary Guide now or contact the team to learn more.

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