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Competitive secretarial market is driving greater job perks, says new survey

An annual review of salary and benefits by London-based support recruitment agency, Tiger Recruitment, reveals that while there has been broadly little movement on salaries in the capital, employers are needing to offer more innovative and generous benefits to attract the right people to their jobs.

Tiger’s Salary Review 2018 states that in the current candidate-led market, jobseekers are placing greater importance on a more health-conscious working environment than on higher salaries, pensions and healthcare.

Perks that secretarial and other business support candidates are attracted by include gym membership, complimentary meals and cycle to work schemes. Other key benefits being offered to entice the best candidate include flexble working, the ability to buy and sell holiday, and tax-free season ticket loans, together with more creative inducements including complimentary dry cleaning, and massage and beauty treatments.

David Morel, Tiger’s CEO, commented: “Clinching the dream candidate has become very competitive so when you’re offering much the same salary and bonus, employers are turning to a more attractive all-round package to help them stand out from the crowd.”

Despite salaries for business support roles generally showing little movement, the report reveals that senior-level Executive Assistant salaries are starting to increase significantly for exceptional candidates who can perform a more complex role beyond traditional EA duties.

The report also states that the high employment rate in the permanent market is impacting on the availability of quality candidates for temporary positions. As a result, companies are now paying more for temps, with the average hourly rate increasing by 13% from 2016 to 2017, rising to £12.50.

The study by Tiger also gave forecast salaries for 2018 for a range of London-based business support roles. Secretaries are expected to command salaries of between £35,000 - £45,000 except in some sectors where starting salaries are £25,000, while the salary range for Personal Assistants is expected to span from £30,000 to £60,000.

Commenting in the review on the effects of the UK’s imminent departure from the EU, David Morel said: “The market has proven to be resilient in the face of Brexit and, as such, we anticipate continued buoyancy next year - unless we fail to negotiate a favourable departure from the EU.”

Tiger, which specialises in recruitment for a wide range of support job functions in London, the UK and internationally, experienced a significant increase in demand for its services, with a 47% increase in instructions received for permanent positions and 37% for temporary staff roles. Reporting on its performance in the market, Tiger stated that it saw an 36% increase in permanent placements being successfully filled and a 32% increase in temporary positions being met. 

A copy of the salary review and forecast will be available at www.tiger-recruitment.co.uk from mid-January. Alternatively, call 020 7917 1801.