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Pure’s salary survey shows a positive 2014 – increased income, more jobs and rise in wellbeing benefits

Whether you work for an SME, a blue chip company or an international corporation, you are probably curious about what you could be earning in your sector. As good news filters through that the economy is on the way to recovery, some people could be preparing for their next career move after a long hiatus.

As the market picks up people can expect to receive more calls from headhunters and recruitment agencies. The latest industry research shows that permanent placements have risen the strongest since October 1997 and salaries for permanent staff in southern England have increased at the fastest rate since May.

Therefore, it is even more important that during this time employers look at how they can retain talent to help them keep up with economic development. This salary survey can be used as a useful a benchmark for what organisations should be paying its staff this year.

Pure Resourcing Solutions (Pure), the recruitment consultancy with offices in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, has gathered the latest salaries across the East of England for jobs in Accountancy, Financial Services, HR, Marketing and Office Support.

Looking at sectors including high tech, pharmaceuticals, professional services, health services and not-for-profit, the extensive research indicates a positive picture for 2014. Regional salaries have remained very steady over the last three years, and in the last 12 months, there appears to have been a trend towards focussing more on additional benefits such as study packages and flexible working.

With trading prospects anticipated to be more positive over the next six months, businesses are expecting to see increased demand and profits, and take on more staff by the end of this year. This could trigger increased pressure on salaries with a continued focus on those employee benefits to keep them on board.

Focus on the East of England

It has been an interesting year in Cambridgeshire. Recruitment has increased significantly, although Pure’s research found that despite a rise in permanent recruitment, employers are keeping a strong focus on fixed-term contracts and temporary roles. The regional economy has continued to grow as international businesses expand within the Cambridge tech cluster. In addition, local SMEs, the education and retail sectors have expressed more confidence in 2014.

Our survey results from Norfolk reveal that food production, manufacturing, tourism, public sector, financial services, energy, and oil and gas play a significant part in the county’s economy with employers indicating a positive outlook over the next year. Vacancies among

professional accountancy firms are on the rise.

Suffolk’s diverse industry, which includes manufacturing, brewing, the ports and financial services, is seeing new staff arrive as the trend of relocation from London continues.

Conversely, Essex employers are under pressure as some struggle to attract and retain quality talent without the ability to compete with the higher London-weighted salaries. The regional strategy has been to place more emphasis on the benefits of work-life balance and short commute times, which in turn enables companies to successfully attract candidates.

Average regional salaries

Overall, Cambridgeshire employers offer some of the highest average salaries. Below is a glimpse at some of the survey results:

  • For businesses with more than £100 million turnover, a Cambridgeshire finance director’s typical annual wage is £140,000 and dips to a lower £93,000 in Suffolk.
  • The income for an HR officer varies little across the region (between averages of £26,000 and £28,000), but director-level salary peaks at £110,000 in Essex.
  • PA to directors can expect a yearly average of £24,000 in Norfolk and Suffolk, while Cambridgeshire and Essex offer £27,000 and £25,000 respectively.
  • If you are a marketer, or you employ marketing staff, you may like to know that Suffolk boasts the highest figure of £110,000 for a director role. Cambridgeshire employers pay marketing executives up to £35,000.

Staff benefits on the rise

As mentioned above, employees around the East of England also enjoy a variety of benefits. Health and wellbeing appear higher on the agenda this year with companies offering perks such as discounted gym memberships, counselling, free fruit and private health cover. Such packages create incentives and organisations are seeing increased success in attracting and retaining staff.

Flexible working is prominent in Cambridgeshire as the survey shows an increasing trend to offer employees the option to work from home. While in Norfolk and Suffolk there is more interest in benefits. The salary reveals that:

  • Half of companies offer childcare vouchers
  • Two-thirds provide a form of private healthcare
  • 8 out of 10 offer flexible working hours
  • 70% offer staff study support for professional qualifications
  • 1 in 10 employers give staff more than 27 days of annual leave
  • 40% have a form of bonus scheme

For more information on the salary survey, contact Anna Hill, Marketing Manager at Pure, on: 01223 209888 or Anna.Hill@prs.uk.com.

Click here to view our 2014 Salary Survey