Our industry-leading Salary Guide is just around the corner

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Posted: Feb 2022

This is what we know so far

Salaries and benefits have fluctuated wildly over the last two years, with the market completely turning on its head – going from lots of available candidates and few jobs, through to a surplus of jobs and not enough people to fill them.

Given this environment, it’s become even more essential for both comms employers and employees to know the value of every job. Which is where the value of an up-to-the-minute salary guide comes in, as an essential and invaluable tool to inform decisions in a market that is at its most competitive in over a decade.

We are delighted to announce that we will be launching our survey to gather data for our Annual Salary Guide this February. This year will be its 13th year of publication. Its findings are widely read by both employers and employees across the industry. Companies use the data contained in our Guide to benchmark salaries to inform their employee retention and candidate attraction policies – which have become even more critical given the difficulties businesses are facing in finding the right people.

With the present job market tilted in favour of job seekers, these professionals can turn to our Guide to discover their market worth – essential in salary negotiations with current and prospective employers.

Whether you are planning your next career move or looking to retain and hire high performing talent, our Guide will provide the numbers worth knowing in the 2022 hiring landscape.

What were the key findings last year?

Our Annual Salary Guide 2021 reflected the economic turbulence the industry experienced throughout the pandemic – smaller pay increases, more pay cuts, more redundancies, and fewer bonuses to name just a few issues.

We saw the world adapt to a work from home model, which was later followed by a cautious return to the office, and more companies adapting a hybrid working model. The pandemic took employee compensation on a rollercoaster ride – leaving hopes of pay rises and juicy bonuses for many in its wake.

  • Agency salaries and bonuses were hit hard over 2020; it was also a disastrous year for women
  • Companies had to make significant changes to their benefits packages to adapt to the altered way of working
  • In-house companies’ benefits evolved to support employees’ health, with increased uptake on offerings such as mental health and wellbeing programmes, private health insurance provision, enhanced sick pay, and cycle schemes
  • 2020 saw a similar shift in focus for agency benefits, with a significant increase in mental health and wellbeing programmes on offer
  • Men reported a salary increase of 3.26% compared to only 2.96% for women
  • Women also came off worse when it came to pay cuts, with 16% taking a salary cut compared to 12% men; 6.4% women were made redundant compared to 3.5% men
  • Over twice as many women had their bonuses cancelled compared to men.
  • Fewer women received bonuses: 54% compared to 68% men

Then came the mass vaccine roll-out and the widespread easing of restrictions, triggering a positive effect on business confidence – and with that came the return of hiring. With a bang! Pent-up desire to move jobs was unleashed early in 2021, and candidates flooded the market, putting them in the position of power – with the hottest talent able to command competitive pay increases and deciding between multiple offers.

What can we expect from the 2022 Salary Guide?

We believe the candidate shortage will continue into 2022, and it is here where companies will need to work harder to convince professionals to join their team. Employer brands will need to be enhanced, and benefits packages revised in line with post-pandemic expectations. We hope that the insights and findings in our Salary Guide will hope steer decision making as companies navigate the upcoming hiring landscape.

One thing is certain, with the cost of living in the UK soaring, pay rises (even a cost of living pay rise) are likely to be at the top of many employees' to-do lists this year.

We sense that salaries have bounced back and are looking forward to gathering the data. With such a competitive candidate pool, salaries will need to be competitive. Judging from the number of briefs we handled last year, we can safely say there will have been a lot of movement. After so many people sitting tight for the first year of the pandemic, we experienced a resurgence of confidence as the market stabilised, and professionals took the opportunity to find new roles.

Stay tuned for more details of taking part in this year’s survey – we really would love you to take part. All participants can enter a prize draw as a thank you for taking part. As for the prize, you will have to wait and see...

The Works Search is a search consultancy specialising in PR and corporate communications. We have unrivalled matching abilities and are known for finding the top 5% performers in the industry - the ones who deliver and make your reputation great. For more advice or market insights, do get in touch with us on 0207 903 9291 or email

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