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Nigel Wright Recruitment’s report highlights rising North East salaries

ByDave Stopher

Sep 24, 2016


The leading recruitment consultancy surveyed over 1,000 North East respondents working across different disciplines and levels, in all sectors including manufacturing; business support and professional services; public and third sectors; consumer; and the digital and creative sectors.

Nigel Wright cross referenced the survey data with findings from its extensive regional database to analyse information on the salaries and benefits people receive, as well as data on job satisfaction, the reasons for leaving jobs, gender differences in pay, and the methods used by candidates in their job search.

Some of the highlights of the survey are outlined below:


  • Executive salaries saw the biggest increase at 4.9%, on average, followed by Finance at 3.7% and Manufacturing, 3.4%. Increases in other disciplines varied from between 2.1% to 2.9%;
  • The gender pay gap between male and female salaries was 12%, the same as last year, which is below the current national average of 18%;
  • Satisfaction of remuneration has increased slightly again, this time by 2%, with 78% of respondents feeling satisfied.


  • The number of people who said they received a guaranteed bonus in this year’s survey declined by 2%, but the average guaranteed bonus received increased from 7% to 11%;
  • Company bonuses increased, on average, from 8% to 10%. Personal bonuses declined, falling from 10% to 9%. In both instances, there were fewer people receiving them, compared to last year;
  • Over a fifth (21%) of the workforce indicated they would be tempted to change jobs if offered better flexible working conditions elsewhere. 71% said they already enjoy some flexible working arrangements in their current role, the most popular being flexi-time (39%) and being able to work from home (38%);
  • The greatest area of dissatisfaction in the survey (43%) was the length of people’s working hours and the detrimental effect this has on their work life balance.  Where respondents highlighted other issues, the keys things mentioned were that people would prefer less stress and a greater ability to work from home.

Job satisfaction

  • Overall job satisfaction has remained static during the last twelve months, with 78% of people saying they were either satisfied or very satisfied in their current role. Job satisfaction had previously fallen by 12% between 2014 and 2015;
  • There are differences by gender with 81% of female respondents saying they were satisfied, compared to 76% of men.

Searching for jobs

  • Alongside approaching recruiters and employers directly, using job boards and social networking continue to be popular methods for job seekers when securing a new role;
  • Utilising social networking sites when searching for a job has increased by 30% in our survey between 2011 and 2016 and is now an integral part of the recruitment process.

Hiring intentions

  • Over a third of respondents (35%) said that they expected their company to recruit more people in the next 12 months;
  • A shortage of suitable candidates (80%) followed by competition from other employers (39%) were cited as the key challenges faced by companies seeking to increase headcount;
  • To address the skill shortage, respondents highlighted how firms are seeking to recruit apprentices (31%), increase training budgets and recruit from other industries (21%). Only 7% said sourcing talent from overseas was a priority.

Paul Wilson, CEO at Nigel Wright, commented on the findings:

“The market is moving forward again after a period of relative stability. Companies are becoming used to diversifying into related markets and where growth is driven by finance, there is ready access to private equity.  Consequently, there are more opportunities emerging, particularly at the mid-level and more senior ends of the market.

“At the same time, companies can’t afford to lose key people.  Because of this, we’re seeing a significant increase in the number of counter offers. At the extreme end of the scale, firms are offering up to 40% pay rises to persuade their star people to stay. It is then down to our skills as a recruiter to manage these situations. Firms have also put succession planning very much back on the agenda.

“There’s an increasing awareness of the importance of strategic talent.  Employers need to consider not just the basic salary but also bonuses and other flexible benefits if they want to retain and attract the right sort of talent.  Professionals want to work for companies with the right attitude and as a brand they believe in and want to work for.

“It’s worth noting that our survey was conducted prior to the Brexit vote, but it was reassuring to see that recruiting talent from overseas wasn’t a major priority for firms seeking to increase headcount this year. We are not experiencing any less activity by clients or candidates since the Brexit vote.

“Finally, as more individuals are now using online media in their job search, it is increasingly important for businesses to invest in their employer brand and in resources that can maximise their potential of attracting the best candidates.”

The full report can be downloaded from http://www.nigelwright.com/media/2368/web-6321-north-east-salary-survey.pdf