Are retention and attraction driving salaries and benefits?

Retention and attraction are two key issues in HR departments at the moment – and both are having an impact on salary and benefits packages. That is the view of Paydata, one of the UK’s leading reward management consultancies.


Research carried out last month by Paydata suggested that 65 per cent of organisations questioned across the Greater Peterborough area expect to have difficulties in recruiting the right quality of staff during the next 6 months.

The same research, produced for the Peterborough Pay Club made up of 25 leading local businesses, suggested that 65 per cent of respondents had offered new recruits more money than existing employees doing the same role – simply to secure their services. In many cases, the newcomers were receiving up to 10 per cent more.

The three most challenging job functions for recruitment were IT/digital; sales and marketing and engineering.

The research, undertaken in association with Anne Corder Recruitment, pointed to average pay increases of between two and three per cent in 2016 – with most respondents choosing to increase pay on an individual / merit basis to encourage retention and reward performance.


The whole issue of recruiting the right quality of staff and then retaining them makes it even more important for employers to get involved in salary and benefits benchmarking, like the 20th annual Anne Corder Salary Survey, in association with Paydata.

There is a strong focus on staff retention as recruitment mobility has slowed, which puts even greater emphasis on ensuring that remuneration packages are both competitive at the recruitment stage and remain so to help with ongoing retention.

It may seem easy for employers to gloss over the importance of benchmarking salaries locally and focus on the national picture instead. But local trends are critical to help employers remain ahead of other competitors in the city who will be looking to hire the same candidates.

In simple terms, how do you know whether you are competitive in the jobs market if you have no idea what the going rate is for a given role? You may ultimately choose not to be driven by the market but it is essential to make an informed decision, knowing what the market is doing.

Last year almost 30 local companies employing around 4,000 local people – from large corporates to SMEs – took part in the ACR survey, providing information confidentially. Participating companies receive a detailed breakdown of the findings in the full report once the data has been analysed.

The more pay and benefits data gathered from local companies, the more the results can drill down to specific detail, which will be of benefit to HR departments as they seek to be competitive in the jobs market.

Wider Benefits

But we all know that candidates don’t simply make decisions on salary alone – very often, the wider benefits available can add up to a more persuasive offering. Things like flexible working, private medical insurance, holiday entitlement, enhanced maternity/paternity benefits, health and fitness schemes and even free parking can all make a big difference. Lifestyle choices are becoming ever more important in the decision making process.

With mandatory Gender Pay legislation due to be introduced later this year, it is increasingly important to get a clear handle on the size of jobs so that employers can analyse their pay exposure on a like-for-like role basis. Paydata’s research indicates that almost 40 per cent of local businesses have never carried out an equal pay audit. Given the risks involved, Paydata is seeing more demand for its job evaluation and equal pay audit services.

About the Author

Anne Corder

Anne Corder


Whilst still actively handling recruitment assignments, Anne specialises in Human Resources with many years of experience in that sector. She blogs on wider recruitment issues affecting both candidates and clients, commenting and offering tips and advice to help achieve the right outcomes.