Information technology salaries to grow by 4 per cent in 2016

Starting salaries for professional occupations including finance and accounting, financial services, information technology and administration will grow by an average of 3 per cent over the next 12 months, according to the Robert Half 2016 Salary Guide. This is a higher increase than predicted in last year’s guide, which identified a 2.6 per cent rise.

It is also slightly higher than the average annual salary rise of 2.9 per cent announced by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) in September 2015 and well ahead of the current inflation rate of 0 per cent.

The roles that are the most difficult to fill are predicted to see salaries rising the most quickly in 2016, including those in the risk and compliance function within financial services firms (4.9 per cent) and information technology (IT) roles (4.0 per cent on average), particularly digital and IT security roles.

Phil Sheridan, Senior Managing Director, Robert Half UK commented: “Businesses are actively seeking the skilled professionals they need to achieve their growth goals. With the growing supply and demand imbalance, salaries for specialised roles are expected to rise. Hard-to-fill roles are experiencing higher than average pay rises due to the increased competition for these candidates.”

Technology

Hiring within the IT function is predicted to see the greatest rise overall (4 per cent). Digital technology and IT security functions are expected to see the highest raises, including digital technology specialists (7 per cent) and IT security (6 per cent). Key drivers behind these substantial rates in the IT industry include the need to introduce innovation to drive growth and productivity, as well as the burgeoning technology sector itself, which is recognised as one key area to deliver future growth for the UK economy.

Table 3: technology highest rises by role

Top three 2015 UK average 2016 UK average % change
Mobile applications developer £31,250 - £56,250 £32,500 - £61,500 7.4
Web developer £34,500 - £50,750 £36,500 - £55,000 7.3
Senior web developer £48,500 - £62,000 £51,750 - £66,750 7.2

Accountancy and finance

Starting salaries for accountancy and finance roles are predicted to rise on average by 2.2 per cent across 100+ positions in SME and large businesses. Overall, there are higher rises on offer for more senior-level roles, reflecting the ongoing need for finance professionals who can add value through business partnering and providing strategic insight for the business, not just fiscal control. The highest average rises for finance and accounting roles are around 4.0 per cent, so hard-to-source senior and specialist professionals can expect a steady climb in remuneration prospects.

Table 1: accountancy and finance highest by role

Top three 2015 UK average 2016 UK average % change
Financial analyst £37,250 - £44,500 £37,500 - £47,500 4.0
Chief financial officer £85,500 - £105,250 £85,750 - £112,500 3.9
Finance director £62,250 - £102,250 £63,250 - £107,500 3.8

Financial services

Compliance remains top of the agenda for financial services firms as the sector balances revenue-generating activities and the need to remain compliant with heavy regulation. As such, nearly all (98 per cent) finance directors reported that they are challenged in finding skilled financial services professionals. Salary raises for risk and compliance roles are predicted to increase by 4.9 per cent, the highest average rise for any category within financial services in this year’s Salary Guide.

Starting salary increases for finance and accounting roles in the financial services sector are slightly outpacing finance and accounting within commerce and industry at 2.7 per cent (compared to 2.3 per cent). Salaries for banking operations functions (including trade support, and back and middle office roles) are predicted to grow more slowly than the average for the category at 1.8 per cent.

Table 2: financial services highest rises by role

Top three 2015 UK average 2016 UK average % change
Senior operational risk manager £70,000 - £102,250 £74,750 - £109,250 6.8
Junior compliance analyst £21,500 - £33,250 £22,500 - £36,000 6.8
Head of operational risk management £90,250 - £165,250 £97,250 - £175,000 6.6

Administration and office support

As businesses pursue growth strategies, there is an increased need to enhance the internal structures required to support expansion activities and this is creating demand for talented administrative staff. Average starting salaries for certain roles are predicted to grow beyond the average, including receptionists at 3.4 per cet and administrative assistants at 3.2 per cent. The average rise for all roles across the function is predicted to be 2.1 per cent.

Table 4: administration and office support highest rises by role

Top three 2015 UK average 2016 UK average % change
Receptionist £15,250 - £21,750 £15,500 - £22,750 3.4
Administrative assistant £15,500 - £23,250 £15,500 - £24,500 3.2
Customer helpdesk £17,750 - £20,500 £18,250 - £21,000 2.6

Sheridan added: “As the UK economy continues to rely on specialist professionals who are able to add value from day one, there is a growing need for businesses to offer candidates competitive market salaries. In the lead up to 2016, proactively benchmarking salaries could provide businesses clarity in meeting their retention and hiring needs. Ensuring star performers are receiving competitive remuneration helps businesses remain attractive to both existing staff as well as potential new recruits. Also, as hiring requirements become clearer, benchmarking salaries will ensure budgets accurately reflect business needs.”