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Number of job opportunities in Essex increases for the first time since the recession

The number of job opportunities available in Essex has continued to increase for the first time since the recession, according to the latest salary and recruitment report by Pure.

The 2016 report, released by East Anglia’s professional recruitment specialists, reveals that an increase in Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) and Private Equity Investment has continued to have a positive impact on recruitment. The construction sector has also been another driving factor with all the major companies located in Essex recruiting across a number of different job roles within the last year. As a result, organisations in the county are starting to increase salaries and introduce more innovative benefit packages as the job market becomes more competitive.

Ben Farrow, Manager of the Pure Chelmsford office, said: “In general, salaries across Essex have remained consistent, but there are signs that salaries are starting to increase and we predict that these will continue to rise as the job market becomes more buoyant. We have already seen some increases in salaries in Essex, particularly in temporary and permanent office roles. This could be partly attributed to the introduction of the national living wage. For example, the average salary for a receptionist has risen to £18,000 in Essex, an increase of £2,000.

“However, we expect to see salaries continue to rise as competition for talented employees increases. With more job opportunities available, people are becoming more confident about switching companies. Candidates feel more empowered to negotiate better terms and employers need to be prepared for this. Our salary survey is not just provided for job-seekers; we also compile it to provide employers with the research needed to benchmark how competitive their salary offering is.”

The report also reveals that the positive increase in recruitment has resulted in employers focussing on other ways to retain their best employees, as well as to attract new talent.  

Ben added: “Employers in Essex face the increased pressure of being situated close to London and competing with the capital’s weighted salaries. However, candidates are still reluctant to move on salary alone. Travel time, benefits, career progression and workplace culture are also significant deciding factors when it comes to choosing a new job or deciding whether to move on.

“To try and remain as competitive as possible employers should review whether the benefits they offer are still as compelling as possible. Pensions used to be a key differentiator, but with the Workplace Pensions roll out almost complete, employers are now starting to offer enhanced pensions to entice new employees. Benefits which used to make employers stand out from the crowd are also becoming more common place, for example 85 per cent of the companies we’ve surveyed now offer flexible working hours.”

Pure’s salary report covers its core industry recruitment sectors of Accountancy, Financial Services, Human Resources, Office Support and Marketing. The 2016 report also includes results for the IT sector, following the launch of Pure’s IT recruitment specialism in 2015.  

The findings have been compiled using information from Pure’s Compare my Salary tool and the team’s extensive knowledge of the recruitment market in East Anglia. Compare my Salary is a unique online tool for candidates to benchmark their salary and benefits against like-for-like job roles in the region. It is also used as a benchmark for organisations to gauge salaries to acquire and retain top talent.

For more information or to see the full 2016 salary survey email chelmsford@prs.uk.com