2016 Salary Survey & Benefits Guide
View the key findings from our 2016 Salary and Benefits Guide across office support, legal support and customer services.
Evolving skill sets
Office Support & Customer Service Permanent Recruitment
The positive market trends we saw in 2014 have continued throughout 2015 with recruitment in the office support market continuing on its upward curve.
In the past year the growth was especially strong in the permanent market as companies felt more confident about increasing headcount for the future at all levels.
The required skill set has evolved at senior level, with assistants expected to take on greater levels of responsibility such as providing specialist advice and support to the executive team. Typically, in addition to the usual Microsoft Office skills there is strong demand for PAs who bring the advanced PowerPoint knowledge needed to produce highly professional presentations.
As well as the replacement headcount due to attrition, many new roles were created in 2015 to cope with the growth of the economy, sometimes requiring specific experience such as handling office moves and building management exposure.
Demand for customers service professionals continued unabated throughout 2015 and looks set to continue into the next 12 months as companies expand their customer support and sales team. The quality of the customer experience is of paramount importance to many companies wishing to grow market share, there has been a consequent upward pressure on salaries. The salary for a senior role that would have been offered at €55K twelve months ago is now likely to be set at €60K. There is a good supply of talent as job seekers have became more active over the past year, with many looking not only for higher salaries but also for new challenges after the slow post-recession years.
Office Support & Customer Service Contract Recruitment
2014 saw continued hiring of temporary and contract staff, primarily to assist with projects, annual and maternity leave. In 2015 there has been greater emphasis on longer-term contracts of 12 months or more signifying renewed confidence in the market. In a very buoyant permanent market these opportunities are seen as most attractive if there is the possibility of conversion to permanency at the end of the contract.
There is also continuing demand for customer service staff with specific order management experience within the multinational sector. Contract rates are increasing, although not significantly, at all levels including junior administrative and receptionists positions.
Legal Support Recruitment
Legal recruitment in 2015 saw a steady increase in new jobs as firms continued to build on the incremental growth of confidence in the commercial and corporate market. Small to medium-sized companies have tended to focus on recruiting traditional legal secretaries who are have strong typing skills and experience of document management. This talent pool tends to be very loyal to their firms. If companies have remained trading through the recession and subsequent years, legal professionals are often reluctant to leave their present employer and are unlikely to be attracted even by a substantial salary hike.
Many of the larger firms have already outsourced much of their typing and document management, and are now recruiting PAs who offer advanced Excel and PowerPoint skills, can manage multiple partners’ diaries and travel arrangements and are generally more client-facing. These job seekers are more highly motivated by salary. Demand for corporate legal PAs is especially strong.
Salaries and benefits, even at the larger law firms, are lagging behind those in other sectors such as accountancy practices and this means that employers will need to adjust their salary levels if they are to attract and retain the more financially motivated and better qualified job seeker, in particular legal PAs and junior legal secretaries.
Please click the discipline below to view the findings.