Job seekers in the driving seat as salaries increase

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Data from HIJOBS, one of Scotland’s leading job sites, shows that advertised salaries have risen by more than 50 per cent in some sectors in the past year.

The hospitality sector leads the way with an increase of 59 per cent in advertised salaries in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the same period of 2021, jumping from £18k to £28k. Not far behind are jobs in science, management and property, whcih all show rises of more than 30 per cent in advertised salaries. Careers in driving, transport and logistics also show significant increases of between 18-40 per cent. Other sectors showing double-digit growth in salaries are in care, admin/secretarial and the NHS.

The date was gathered from more than 23,000 vacancies posted on between January and March 2021 and 2022 respectively.

Speaking about the results, HIJOBS co-founder and chief technical officer Christopher Snelgrove said: ‘We had a strong sense that advertised salaries were increasing, as we encourage all our clients to post salaries on their job vacancies – our research shows jobs which include a salary get 50 per cent more applicants than those that don’t – but we had no empirical research to confirm that. But after we did the research, even we were amazed to see extent of the rises.’

Mr Snelgrove puts the increases down to seismic changes in the job market caused by a combination of Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

He continued: ‘There is little doubt that Brexit has fundamentally shifted the balance in favour of job seekers, particularly in areas such as hospitality, catering, transport and logistics, and in the NHS and care sectors. The exodus of relatively inexpensive EU labour has forced companies to raise the salary bar.

Throw the pandemic into the mix and people are now reluctant to leave the relative comfort and certainty of an established role to switch to the uncertainty of a new job unless there is a significant financial or lifestyle upside.’

Mr Snelgrove does, however, sound a note of caution about reading too much into the figures, saying: ‘You have to remember that these are advertised salaries rather than actual salaries. We don’t know for sure that someone who successfully got a job with an advertised salary of £25,000 wasn’t able to persuade their new employer to pay them for example £30,000.

‘However, I think, given the fact that we have analysed over 23,000 vacancies, we can be sure companies are having to have a major rethink about pay levels and that salaries are on a significant upward trend.

‘Like the property market, we are experiencing a sellers market where a shortage of applicants with the requisite skills is driving up wages.’

For job seekers the message is clear; if you are considering a career move, this might just be the optimal time to jump ship – and in the middle of a cost of living crisis it might just ease some of the financial pressures we are all facing.

The original data discussed in this article can be viewed at