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Organisations in Suffolk are starting to increase salaries and benefits to attract and retain high calibre employees

Organisations in Suffolk are starting to increase salaries and introduce more innovative benefit packages 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 across Suffolk, and the region as a whole, are now having to work harder to attract and retain high calibre staff. Previous reports showed salaries had remained steady for the last five years, but this year a trend is beginning to emerge which shows an increase in salaries and more attractive benefits packages. The sectors of insurance, shipping, construction and energy have all played a significant factor in a steady growth in the Suffolk recruitment market. An increase in the number of marketing and learning and development job roles also shows a renewed confidence in the economy.

Jodie Woodrow, co-Manager of the Pure Ipswich office, said: “In general, salaries across Suffolk 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, particularly in temporary and permanent office roles in the county. This could be partly attributed to the introduction of the national living wage.

“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 across the region focussing on other ways to retain their best employees and to attract new talent. In Suffolk there has been a noticeable trend for increased investment in career development opportunities, highlighted by the number of businesses seeking to appoint learning and development or training specialists. Organisations in the county are also increasing their involvement in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities for the first time since the recession.

Paul Sheldrake, Co-manager of the Pure Ipswich office added: “Being able to demonstrate an investment in employee development and promoting an organisation as a socially responsible enterprise are both excellent ways to help attract high calibre candidates. Candidates are still reluctant to move on salary alone. Organisations which can show a commitment to their local communities are particularly attractive to the millennial generation as they are generally looking to work for ethical companies with responsible values. Benefits, career progression and workplace culture also 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.”

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 ipswich@prs.uk.com