Starting salaries for professional occupations are predicted to grow by an average of 3% over the next 12 months, according to recruitment consultants Robert Half.
The 2016 Salary Guide revealed the jobs that will experience the biggest salary hike are risk and compliance roles within financial services firms (with a predicted rise of 4.9%) and information technology positions (with a 4% increase on average) – particularly digital and IT security roles.
More than four in 10 (41%) UK companies said that they plan to increase the number of IT jobs. Reasons cited for this growth in demand were the need to expand teams to cope with new IT projects and initiatives (62%), moving to cloud-based infrastructure (51%), and product or service expansion (40%).
Finding the right candidates has presented difficulties over the past 12 months. Almost all (92%) chief finance officers (CFOs) believe finding skilled professionals is a challenge in the current market, and 59% of businesses have relied on interim or temporary staff for management-level roles.
When asked what factors are driving the stronger labour market, 35% of CFOs chose ‘higher confidence among employers’, 33% suggested the economic climate, 32% said higher confidence among employees, and 22% cited increased job creation.
Phil Sheridan, senior managing director, UK and South America at Robert Half, said businesses are actively seeking the skilled professionals they need to achieve their growth goals.
“With the growing supply and demand imbalance salaries for specialised roles are expected to rise,” he said. “Hard-to-fill roles are experiencing higher than average pay rises due to the increased competition for these candidates."
He added: “As the UK economy continues to rely on specialist professionals who are able to add value from day one, there is a growing need for businesses to offer candidates competitive market salaries. In the lead up to 2016 proactively benchmarking salaries could provide organisations [with] clarity [for] meeting their retention and hiring needs. Ensuring star performers are receiving competitive remuneration helps businesses remain attractive to both existing staff and potential new recruits.”