Salary Survey

Market Insights October 2023 to March 2024

Spring 2024 brings our bi-annual salary survey where we present the results from our detailed research for our sector, drawing from recruitment industry professional bodies, government statistics, and a comprehensive survey reaching over 5000 candidates.

According to the Labour Market Tracker produced by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), figures reflect that the jobs market has slowed with the economy over the past year. However, the level of hiring in the market remains resilient, driven by a tight supply of labour coupled with rising business confidence.

More than ever, there is a significant gap between clients' and candidates' understanding of each other's labour markets. Some businesses are still realizing the impact of the recession and the scarcity of candidates. Combining the retirement of the Baby Boomer generation and decreasing birth rates since the 1960s, the era of easy access to labour markets is over. Navigating this market requires changes in some elements of the recruitment process to remain competitive and secure the best candidates for your hire.

With the decline in employment rates in recent months, companies looking to hire are likely to continue facing challenges in securing good candidates. Julia Turney, a partner at Barnett Waddingham, a professional services company, highlighted the challenges faced by employers in attracting talent in the current climate, particularly with higher starting salaries putting strain on companies' budgets. To attract the best candidates, companies need to showcase their offerings beyond pay and ensure they highlight any value-add initiatives such as career development, training, and sustainability approaches to remain competitive and appealing as an organisation to work for. In such a dynamic recruiting marketplace, developing relationships with trusted recruitment professionals is key to securing the best talent.


Of our candidates surveyed across business support roles 67% had received no pay rise in the last 6 months and 41% were not expecting to receive a pay rise in the future with 31% unsure. This would resonate with budgets for salaries being a limiting factor for employers in this period, and shows little movement since our last analysis.


41% of respondents are not expecting a bonus this year, this figure is 5% up on the previous 6 months.

12% are expecting a bonus of between 5-10%. 9% expecting 10-20% bonus. These figures are depressed on previous months and resonate with the economic climate.


Salaries have remained relatively stable across the board in the last 6 months. Data collected from Bain and Gray suggests that salaries have plateaued following the surge in 2022/23. The Financial Services and Boutique Finance sectors continue to offer the highest pay for business support roles. There has been an increase in the volume of Office Manager and Operations roles, reflecting more companies returning to 5 days in the office. This is evident in the spike in the Office Manager role, which now commands an average salary of £46,670 across all sectors.

The PA and Private PA roles have seen the most significant increase, with a 23% rise in the private Family Office and UHNW sector. Salaries for EAs and EAs to C-suite positions vary by sector, with the highest-paying EA position found in Boutique Finance.

Graduate recruitment remains robust, with the average entry-level salary for these hires remaining at £30,000 over the last 6 months. Team Assistants' salaries are also increasing, indicating strong demand for degree-educated talent with experience at this level.

There is a decline in Business Assistant roles, with a growing trend towards Chief of Staff and upskilled EAs taking on more business and management responsibilities. The average salary for a Chief of Staff across industries is £113,750.


At the time of writing 44% of all live vacancies being recruited by Bain and Gray offered hybrid working (less than 5 days in the office), suggesting a continuing shift by companies to full time office based roles. This is also reflected in the continued demand for office space and the up-tick in the rentable value of office space. This is new data we have captured over this 6 months and we will continue to monitor the hybrid work vs full time office work, as we see an ongoing push/pull with employees and employers requirements in a market that remains competitive for talent.

60% of our respondents currently work in remote or hybrid roles, with 79% of those candidates surveyed having daily or weekly facetime with their colleagues and/or bosses.

50% of those surveyed say flexible/hybrid working is extremely important to their job search criteria.


In line with the ongoing increase in living costs, and inflation rates, our survey shows that salary is still the number one reason for candidates seeking a new job, with better work/life balance running a close second. The third highest reason being career progression.

Our survey showed that of all benefits on offer, a majority of 78% rated flexible working as their first priority, with generous holiday allowance being second to this. This highlights a real disconnect in the market between what employees are seeking, and what employers are offering.

If candidates continue to feel the pinch financially, they are likely to continue to leave for higher a higher salary. While acknowledging this we continue to see enhanced benefits and flexible working as key components to staff retention.



The lack of communication and feedback continues to be a frustration for candidates interviewing. Time lag between interviews and to make decisions was also cited as a negative factor, and may also be a reflection of a nervous market over the last few months, and missing out on their preferred candidate due to not managing the process expediently.

Over 70% of those surveyed prefer face to face interviews to gain a better feel and understanding of the role and company culture. We have noted that face to face interviews result in a more successful hire.


Our own experience of the temporary workforce in our sector is contrary to more general statistics across all roles. At Bain and Gray there has been a continued growth in the temporary workforce over the past 6 months; an increase of 22% in terms of volume of roles. In the wider market there has been a decrease in the temporary workforce population, (Office of National Statistics) along with a decrease in billings for temporary workers (4.1% REC report on Jobs April 2024).

In our sector, we expect to see a steady ‘hold’ of the temporary market whilst companies navigate the wider economic environment and external challenges their individual company may have. A temporary workforce means companies can be agile with their workforce, whilst meeting demands of their own clients or customers.

As the previous 6 months (April 2023 to September 2024) candidates looking for temporary work are landing work quickly but the hiring process on occasion is quite protracted. Clients who are taking longer with the hiring process are finding they are losing out on the best candidates. In our view, making the process as streamlined as possible, with perhaps an initial meeting online, followed by subsequent face to face meetings is the most productive interview process. It means that candidates can get an initial feel for the role and the organisation in that first virtual meeting before then taking more time out to meet face to face. Temporary workers are increasingly being considered for permanent roles as clients like the tried and tested option of candidates who have already been working within their organisation. They can see that they are enjoying the office environment and know how the organisation works; giving the candidate the edge on other unknown candidates from a permanent shortlist.

On the temporary to permanent roles, our client base at Bain and Gray have instructed us on approximately the same volume of roles as the previous 6 months.

Rates remain largely unchanged other than some small scale increases at the more junior end of the roles we cover. See the table below.


72% of our candidates surveyed responded that their current employers were positively engaged with EDIB, which is really encouraging. At Bain and Gray, we continue striving to keep EDIB at the forefront of our work and ethos. As a team we consistently train on and discuss issues we face from clients around biases, slurs and micro aggressions, keeping our allyship a constant in our business.

The Bain and Gray team recently took part in a training workshop led by our partnered charity Astriid, whose mission is to connect people with long -term health conditions with suitable and meaningful jobs. The training was around invisible disabilities; how to respond to them and how to create an environment which accommodates and welcomes them. This was valuable learnings for the team, realising how much brilliant talent might often hold themselves back from applying for a job due to an invisible disability requiring (often minor) adaptions to their working environment. Armed with new skills and knowledge, Bain and Gray now aims to become part of the disability confident scheme.

If you are interested in hearing more about training for your own business please get in touch with


  • Market conditions remain challenging for hiring, with a talent shortage and unsettled economic landscape pending elections later in the year.
  • 67% of our respondents had no pay rise in the last 6 months and 41% have no expectation of a pay rise this year.
  • Salary increase remains the number one reason for employees to look for another job and will remain a deciding factor in hiring strategies.
  • 78% of respondents have flexible working as their number one ‘benefit’ in their job.
  • Return to 5 days in the office is becoming more prevalent in new hires, we will continue to track this trend.
  • 49% of candidates surveyed will receive no bonus this year.
  • Graduate entry level jobs pay an average of £30,000.
  • EDIB is remains top of the agenda for companies with diversity in the workforce and empathetic leadership key to engagement and inclusivity.
  • Communication and feedback are crucial to hiring, as well as clear job descriptions and timely offers.
  • The temporary workforce is key to an agile business being able flex up or down with the demands of it’s customer base.

To read our previous salary survey, click here

If you would like to discuss this further or are looking to hire, please contact us on 020 7036 2030 or email

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