Robert Half's 2021 Salary Guide, which provides salary information for more than 250 positions spanning Accounting & Finance, Financial Services, Technology, Admin & HR and Marketing fields here in the UK is now available! Information in the 2021 Guide is based on the thousands of job searches, negotiations and placements managed by Robert Half's staffing and recruiting managers over recent months.
Current salary and bonus trends
Even during this time of rising unemployment, Robert Half’s latest research data1 shows that a majority of companies (74%) are offering pay that meets or exceeds pre-pandemic numbers. More than four-in-ten senior managers surveyed (46%) said salaries have held steady since the spread of COVID-19 began, and nearly 3-in-10 respondents (28%) noted an increase in base compensation.
Remote working is also having a more pronounced impact on salary levels than pre-COVID-19, with survey respondents split almost equally when it comes to calculating starting salaries for new hires: either by using their location (42%) for benchmarking, the applicant’s location (28%) or using a combination of both (26%).
Bonuses are still being paid this year. A little over half the managers surveyed (53%) are making payments which either meet or exceed their pre-COVID-19 equivalents, whilst 34% are offering less, year-on-year.
"Employees are a company’s most valuable asset for navigating both short-term disruption and achieving long-term growth,” said Matt Weston, UK Managing Director, in launching the 2021 Salary Guide. “Workers have been stretched to the limit during the current pandemic, often putting in longer hours, taking on additional responsibilities, acquiring new skills and using recent months to reassess their career priorities. Coming out of lockdown, professionals are much savvier about the market value of their skills and current salary trends than ever before. Employers should research compensation trends regularly, be prepared to move quickly and negotiate effectively in order to retain key employees or hire promising talent.”
New employee benefits
COVID-19 is also re-shaping the employee benefits landscape. Close to two-thirds of managers surveyed (46%) have added new worker benefits since the start of the pandemic, including:
- Mental health resources or assistance (at office and/or remote) (51%)
- Wellness programmes (47%)
- Allowance for work-at-home office equipment (47%)
- Additional paid family leave (40%)
- Outside office-based childcare assistance or programmes (38%)
Remote and flexible working remain ‘must-haves’
Maintaining an appropriate work-life balance is also a priority, post-lockdown, with 72% of managers surveyed committed to offering remote work for the foreseeable future. Flexitime policies – i.e. allowing employees to structure their workday or week as they please – are in place amongst 62% of UK companies, with working a compressed work week (54%) and permanent part-time arrangements (50%) also favoured by the majority of survey respondents.
"Salary definitely remains an important consideration. But nonmonetary benefits such as enhanced wellness resources, remote- and flexible-working options and achieving a better work-life balance all figure prominently amongst COVID-19’s longer-term legacies, from a workplace perspective,” adds Weston. “With current economic volatility likely to continue for some time yet, even the prospect of a salary freeze over coming months can be made more palatable if managers can ensure that nonmonetary benefits are sufficiently tailored supportive and value-adding for employees.”
Companies are still hiring
Seventy-five percent (75%) of companies surveyed hired and/or onboarded new staff remotely during the recent lockdown. Interviewing via video and shortening the hiring process were the most common recruitment changes made over recent months. What’s more, of those companies who hired remotely, 88% plan to hire full-time or temporary/contract staff between now and the end of December.
Sectors showing strong post-lockdown demand for new hires
|Top industries hiring|
Said Weston in conclusion: "Whilst it’s true that job losses here in the UK as well as globally have been an unfortunate consequence of the current pandemic, COVID-19’s impact has been far from uniform across all industries. There are still opportunities out there – a considerable number of them driven by the shift to remote working. Many companies are struggling to find the talent they need to support new business priorities sparked by the pandemic. Professionals with in-demand skills know they still have options, and employers must realise they need to offer competitive salaries and benefits to retain key personnel as well as attract and secure top candidates for the remainder of 2020 – and beyond.”
We’re here to help
Click here to access the 2021 Salary Guide.
Additional Information & Resources
Robert Half understands that it takes time and effort to evaluate the best talent strategy for different businesses. For further independent advice to assist with your recruitment and workforce planning efforts, visit RobertHalf.co.uk
1Based on Robert Half-commissioned research amongst 1,502 respondents using an online data collection methodology during July 2020. This was comprised of 300 interviews in Belgium, 300 in Brazil, 301 in France, 300 in Germany, and 301 in the United Kingdom. Respondents included General Managers, Chief Financial Officers and Chief Information Officers with hiring responsibilities across small (50-249 employees), medium (250-499) and large (500+ employees) from private, publicly listed, and public sector businesses across the five countries.