What’s going on with salaries? Are they rising or stagnating?

As a HR professional, whom do you listen to when an industry expert – the Recruitment and Employment Confederation – says its July report showed pay rates for both permanent and temporary staff are rising quickly but on the other hand the Office of National Statistics (ONS) says the growth of average weekly earnings across the UK has been slowing down?

It’s a conundrum. In the majority of circumstances HR and recruitment professionals can see synergy between different reports and surveys, reflecting a similar trend in pay rates.

This year something has changed. Perhaps it’s the uncertainty surrounding Brexit or a difference in how recruiters have interpreted the market, compared to what is in fact happening.

Of course, there is some disparity between the two. The REC surveys look at recruitment figures – what are employers offering when hiring? This doesn’t necessarily reflect what is being paid right now but it’s still a crucial figure for employers to be aware of: you need to know what your competitors are offering to attract the best candidates.

Results from the REC survey are more qualitative too, as oppose to the quantative approach of ONS. Yet the REC surveys rely on the feedback back from 400 UK recruitment and employment agencies – they are a key benchmark used by many in the industry to help anticipate the changing sector.

How can you make sense of the pay and benefits landscape?

Regardless of this clash between the two sets of results, employers still need to know what is happening with pay rates. Whether you’re planning to recruit for temporary or permanent staff soon, or you are preparing for salary reviews, you want to know what rate of pay – and benefits package – is required to keep you competitive in both recruitment and staff retention.

Whether pay rates are increasing or decreasing, the cost of hiring and inducting a new employee remains high for any organisation. You want to make sure you get your hires right and bring top talent into your business.

With that in mind we are urging businesses to focus in with their salary reviews. Look at what is happening locally and use this as a benchmark. Be savvy about the data you choose to rely upon – do you know the source of the data? How has it been gathered? Is it a true representation of salaries and benefits?

That’s why our annual Greater Peterborough Salary Survey uses data direct from employers to benchmark salaries. Participants are HR professionals and employers, inputting actual salary data that experts at Paydata analyse and segment appropriately. The result is a survey that looks at salaries for over 5,000 employees in Greater Peterborough – the 2016 survey revealed an expectation for the majority of 2017 pay reviews to be around 2 per cent, within a range of 1.5 to 2.5 per cent.

Take part in a trusted, local salary survey

Participants in the salary survey will receive a first, exclusive look at the full salary survey report – revealing salary data per job role and an insightful look at the benefits being offered locally.

In the last 20 years we have seen some intriguing results come from the salary survey with predictions for pay reviews often coming true in the following year.

This year, however, the pay and benefits landscape is difficult to interpret – giving even more urgency to our call for employers and HR professionals to look locally to reliable salary data to help make sense of the differing opinions coming from national reports.

Take part in the 20th Salary Survey and receive:

  • Exclusive first look into the full report
  • Benchmark salaries against your local competition
  • Access to a detailed and accurate insight into Peterborough’s pay and benefits landscape
  • Insight into results, making your business more competitive and armed with the data to help with your retention policy
  • Acquire the most talented employees and stay ahead in your sector. Offering competitive salaries will make you a more viable option for talented job seekers.


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.