[ Chicken Counting Time continued... ]
Most of the levels have seen a fall in remuneration
over the last 6 months – the main exception is clientside Research Managers, whose
pay has maintained its new level after a steep climb over the previous year. However,
mean salaries fluctuate quite a lot if considered in 6-monthly slots and it's
more sensible to look for longer-term trends. In particular, a comparison with
the second half of 2000 – the same period of the year but pre-slump – is instructive.
This shows that all salaries from JRE to ‘Director Plus’ have increased, but in
two categories the increase has been very slight – RE and SRE. SRE salaries in
particular have risen by only 200 pounds in three years – about 0.7%, while clientside
RMs and agency ADs have seen ten times that increase. This is more interesting
when considered alongside one of Liz Norman's comments:
‘there is a particularly critical shortage of candidates with around three
years experience, looking for roles in research agencies, and this is bound to
drive salaries in the near future’.
SREs, often the engine room of agencies, are more than ever in demand and their
remuneration over the past 3 years has not reflected the shortage of good candidates.
We predicted 6 months ago that their salaries would increase fast and if we were
a bit premature it’s true that salaries on SRE vacancies have fallen less than
those for REs, PMs or ADs since July. In the first two months of this year 173
SRE level ads have appeared, with a mean salary of £28,000 – and there are a growing
number of ads posted for SRE positions at £30,000+.
For the coming year, therefore, we’ll happily stick our necks out and suggest
that SRE salaries will average closer to £29,000 than the current £27,500 – and
what’s more that agency side positions from Project Manager up to ‘Director plus’
will also show a healthy increase. As for the number of positions available, that
is unlikely to stop growing – it has already risen from 1,045 in the first half
of 2003 to 1,359 in the second half, all the more striking since it actually fell
in the second half of 2002. There are a number of specific features of the jobs
market at present worth mentioning. One is the number of high level, very well
paid roles for senior personnel, especially where they have business development
experience. This has been noticeable since the winter of 2001-2 when companies
put a premium on directors who could help them hang onto business and find more
in a time of difficulty – but it shows signs of accelerating rather than tailing
off with the upturn in the industry – obviously the remit now is to help make
the most of good conditions.
Mean salaries for UK Exec positions on MrWeb in £ sterling
(shown in brackets for each): all jobs advertised with salaries or salary ranges
Salaries for Field & IT/DP Positions (all levels therefore influenced by seniority
of positions posted)
shown do not include benefits, packages or bonuses. Note that mean salaries are
for interest only and do not serve as a guide to what constitutes good remuneration
for particular levels of seniority – nor do they take account of sector,
working conditions etc ... Please use with caution!
‘We currently have director roles with packages in excess of £85K’ says Garreth
Ball of RP Cushing. He adds that ‘Candidates who have market
research experience and can sell have become very sought after... many researchers enjoy the project
element to their roles but those
that have honed their sales skills
are being rewarded handsomely.
Both large and SME agencies
have taken to this practice, and
agencies are prepared to pay
basics of up to £70k for a good
Note that as usual, the numbers represent only ads where salary or salary range
is stated, and not those where it is given as ‘negotiable’, ‘excellent’, ‘aae’
etc. however this should not impact figures significantly as the percentage of
ads stating no salary has not changed.