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Organisations in Cambridgeshire are starting to pay more to attract and retain high calibre employees

Salaries across Cambridgeshire are starting to increase as the job market becomes more competitive, according to the latest salary and recruitment report by Pure.

The 2016 report, released by East Anglia’s professional recruitment specialists, reveals that employers in Cambridgeshire, and across the region as a whole, are now having to work harder to attract and retain high calibre staff. Previous reports showed salaries remained steady for the last five years, but this year average salaries are beginning to rise and more innovative benefit packages are being introduced.

The salary increases are particularly noticeable in Cambridgeshire, where there are currently a number of industries facing a shortage of experienced employees. In the accountancy sector, salaries have remained reasonably consistent for higher level managerial positions but have significantly increased for the part-qualified market where demand is much higher. The average salary for newly qualified accountancy professionals in Cambridgeshire is now £45,000, a 20% increase over the last two years. 

David Culley, Associate Director and co-Manager of the Pure Cambridge office, said: “The increase is salaries could be partly attributed to the introduction of the national living wage, for example hourly rates are also increasing for temporary and permanent office support roles.  

“However, as the Eastern Region economy improves more organisations are expanding and recruiting. Competition for talented employees is increasing and 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.”

HR salaries in the county have also increased as this is another candidate driven market. The average salary for a HR administrator in Cambridgeshire has increased to £21,000. At the more senior end of the scale the average salary for a HR director has increased by 11 per cent.

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 demand for highly skilled IT professionals in Cambridgeshire continues to grow and companies are also having to consider the additional benefits offered to ensure they are competitive when recruiting and retaining the best technical expertise.

Caroline Batchelor, Associate Director and co-Manager of the Pure Cambridge office added: “Candidates are still reluctant to move on salary alone. Benefits, career progression and workplace culture remain significant deciding factors. However, employers also need to review whether the benefits they offer are still competitive. 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.”

The 2016 salary and recruitment survey has 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 cambridge@prs.uk.com