Recruiters enjoy biggest pay rise in three years alongside growth in family-friendly work practices - REC

Filed under Press release

Thursday, 09 August 2018

Recruiters received an average pay rise of 3.6 per cent in the last financial year, the highest for three years, as their hard work in an ever tightening labour market appeared to pay off.  Attract and retain top talent – Pay and benefits in the recruitment sector a new report published today by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) in partnership with Croner also found that 40 per cent of consultants and 53 per cent of managers received a pay rise in the past year, including one in seven (15 per cent) who received a pay rise of 10 per cent or more.

The survey of over 300 recruiters found that the top three considerations for recruiters when thinking about a change of job are pay, followed by flexible working opportunities and a commitment to invest in their personal development, all of which carry more weight than a generic ‘benefits package’. 


Flexible working is appreciated by both consultants and managers: over half of women (53 per cent) and a third of men (33 per cent) working in recruitment had used at least one method of flexible working in the past year whether that was working part-time, compressed hours or working from home. The proportion of recruiters offered benefits such as training days and childcare assistance appears to have increased since the REC’s last salary survey in 2015, a further sign of a growth in family-friendly working practices and non-financial benefits.


The report also found that the gender pay gap identified in the REC’s previous survey still persists. Male consultants earn on average 9 per cent more than women and male managers earn 6 per cent more than their female counterparts. The pay gaps increase to 14 per cent and 10 per cent respectively when bonus and commission are included.

Commenting on the new report which is designed to help industry leaders benchmark their current salary and benefits offering against industry trends REC chief executive Neil Carberry says:

“As with all areas of the labour market at the moment – there is increasing competition to secure top talent. The number of members telling us that attracting and retaining staff is a top concern is steadily increasing. This is a great industry to build a career in, but we must always work to ensure that people can see this. When I started as a consultant, it offered me a crash course in business and people management that still benefits me every day.

“Business owners need to think about what they can offer that makes their agency more attractive to in-demand consultants and managers. While people will always be motivated by pay to some extent, we found that there various other benefits that recruiters value. Providing flexible work, and training and development opportunities are relatively low-cost ways to make your agency the first choice for talented recruiters.

“Evidence of persistent gender pay gap is a real area of concern. Reviewing pay and bonus policies to ensure they are gender neutral is absolutely vital, as is ensuring men and women have equal opportunity to grow into more senior roles.”

The report is available online at and is free to REC members and for sale to non-members. It has been produced in partnership with Croner subscribers to Croner’s online Salary Search product can access the data digitally.


Notes to editors:

1. For more information, contact the REC Press Office on 0207 009 2157/2192 or An ISDN line is available for interviews on 0207 021 0584.

2. Jobs transform lives, which is why we are building the best recruitment industry in the world. As the professional body for recruitment we’re determined to make businesses more successful by helping them secure the people they need.  We are absolutely passionate and totally committed in this pursuit for recruiters, employers, and the people they hire.  Find out more about the Recruitment & Employment Confederation at

3. Croner Reward is dedicated to providing comprehensive, accurate and detailed pay and benefits services that can be used to grow and develop your organisation and its employees with confidence and peace of mind. An employee’s financial reward is one of the primary motivations for them to come to work; it is also one of the organisation’s highest costs. Achieving the balance that suits both staff members and benefits the business’ development goals is one of the most difficult skills facing the HR professional. Croner have been managing small and large-scale projects in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors for over 40 years. From a constantly updated pay and benefits database, used in the compilation of pay and reward surveys and reports, to a range of consulting services, everything Croner Reward has to offer has been specifically designed to provide clients with the maximum benefit of Croner’s experience in the UK reward and recognition field.

Back to top
Award winning services AEA award logoAssociation Excellence Awards 2017MemCom 2017 Awards