Rising business confidence drives up secretarial and support salaries in 2016

  • In commerce and industry senior support roles will see the strongest growth with personal assistant and executive assistant positions seeing salaries rise by 11%.
  • Among financial services employers strongest salary growth will be seen at junior level: junior secretary salaries will rise by 15%, while junior administrator and junior receptionist salaries are set to grow by 5%.
  • In the North West junior positions related to business expansion will see the strongest growth with HR administrator and Recruitment Administrator positions set to see salaries rise by 9%.

The results of the Robert Walters Salary Survey2 have shown that secretarial and support roles are set to see salaries rise in 2016. Overall, salaries are set to grow by 2%, but will increase by up to 15% for some specialist positions.

As confidence rose among employers throughout 2015, demand grew for secretarial and support professionals to support business growth. Despite a rise in the number of candidates in total, employers still struggled with a shortage of top calibre professionals. This has resulted in streamlining recruitment processes and rising salaries to secure the best candidates.


Among employers in commerce and industry personal assistant and team assistant roles will both see salaries grow by 11% in 2016, while executive assistant positions will pay on average 5% more than they did last year.

Rebecca Gaden, Manager for Secretarial and Support recruitment, Robert Walters London, comments,

“In commerce and industry, senior positions are being held in increasingly high regard as employers come to recognise the pivotal roles these professionals play in enabling businesses to grow effectively. This shifting attitude, combined with rising business confidence throughout 2015 means that top calibre candidates who possess the range of skills and versatility to excel in these positions became increasingly sought after by employers.”

“We will see the continued impact of this in 2016 as salaries rise for senior support positions, even among employers in creative industries where candidates could traditionally be secured at lower rates of compensation.”

“These hiring priorities are in contrast to those of financial services employers, where junior roles will see the steepest increases in salaries. Junior secretary positions along with junior administrator and junior receptionist roles are all anticipating salary growth above the industry average as employers seek to attract high potential candidates for entry level positions with the aim of long term staff retention.”


A buoyant economy in the North West is driving employers in the region to increase salaries for roles relating to increasing headcount and managing human capital. HR administrator and recruitment administrator roles are both expected to see salary growth of 9%.

Gillian Owen, Manager for Secretarial and Support recruitment, Robert Walters Manchester, comments,

“A combination of major companies moving mid and back office functions to the region as well as a broadly buoyant economy left employers in Manchester keen to expand headcount in 2016. This planned expansion has in turn driven demand for secretarial staff to support increased recruitment and headcount, with salaries growing to attract top talent as these roles take on an increasing prominence.”

“While many roles have seen significant salary increases, we are also aware that some employers are offering flexible benefits packages as an alternative to higher wages. Working practices such as flexible working hours and the option to buy additional annual leave are becoming increasingly popular as a strategy to secure top talent, particularly at the more senior end of the market.”

To request further information, please contact:

Alan O’Doherty

Tel: 0207 509 8839

Email: alan.odoherty@robertwalters.com