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PR & Communications Recruitment: 2018 Review

The political turbulence of 2018 and the continuing repercussions of events from the last couple of years including (of course) Brexit, the US election results, not to mention the troubles further East, seem to have had a minimal impact on recruitment and hiring within the United Kingdom's PR industry.

Added on 03.01.2019

In fact, companies have had the confidence to increase head count.

Over the past twelve months we've experienced:

  • an overall increase in the number of permanent agency hires;
  • a significant increase in in-house roles;
  • a slight decline in freelance.

The main areas of growth and demand have been (in order):

  • B2B Technology;
  • Financial Services;
  • Healthcare;
  • Consumer;
  • Property and Retail; and
  • Fashion.

Salaries are up

We have also noticed significant pay increases across all disciplines, both by progression within the same company or by moving jobs. Some sectors (particularly Technology) outperformed others due to supply and demand.

Account Managers most in demand

The hot position this year has been at Account Manager level and this has been the case across all sectors. This demand has led to some strong competition for the talent and has in turn seen an increase in the salary offering at this level.

Why did people leave their jobs?

The main reason given is the same as last year - career progression, followed by renumeration. However this isn't just about base salary, but also the entire benefits package. As we've noted before, candidates will on the whole not stay just for the salary.

Work / life balance

Work life balance is becoming more and more important, with work from home options and flexible working becoming ever more popular with both employers and employees. We've found that this is increasingly the most desirable benefit and is even favoured over a bonus. Employers therefore need to be mindful that they are competitive in this area in order to attract the best talent. Around a quarter of candidates work from home at least one day a week now, and where this is offered you will find the candidate will stay with the employer far longer than industry average (which is 3.2 years).

How are people finding jobs?

Most PR professionals will choose to use a specialist recruiter to find a new role (but of course we would say that wouldn't we), with their internal network the second most successful method, followed by LinkedIn.

What are they being paid?

Here's the data from the last 12 months' worth of job vacancies that PR Futures have handled...

Agency, Permanent

  average pa min max
Account Executive £22,000 £20,000 £25,000
Senior Account Executive £27,000 £23,000 £30,000
Account Manager £36,000 £30,000 £40,000
Senior Account Manager £39,000 £35,000 £43,000
Account Director £48,000 £41,000 £50,000
Senior Account Director £60,000 £55,000 £65,000
Associate Director £70,000 £65,000 £75,000
Director £90,000 £80,000 £100,000
Managing Director £120,00 £100,000 £150,000

In-House, Permanent

  average pa min max
Press / Comms Assistant £22,000 £20,000 £25,000
Press Officer / Comms Executive £30,000 £29,000 £32,000
Senior Press Officer £37,000 £35,000 £38,000
PR / Comms Manager £45,000 £30,000 £50,000
Head of PR / Comms £60,000 £55,000 £75,000
Director of PR / Comms £85,000 £70,000 £100,000

Freelance

  average pd min max
Press Officer / Comms Executive £115 £100 £130
PR / Comms Manager £220 £190 £250
Head of PR / Comms £355 £340 £370
Director of PR / Comms £500 £450 £550
Account Executive £115 £100 £130
Senior Account Executive £135 £120 £150
Account Manager £165 £150 £180
Senior Account Manager £200 £180 £220
Account Director £235 £220 £250
Senior Account Director £385 £250 £520
Associate Director £375 £350 £400
Director   £400