Over half receive pay rise in north's growing professional sector

New research from Abacus Professional Recruitment shows Northern Ireland companies are delivering increasingly competitive workplace packages including salary increases, flexible working, bonuses and professional membership. Pictured are: Abacus associate directors; Stuart John, head of legal recruitment and Damian Farrell, head of financial services.
Gareth McKeown

OVER half of those working in the north's professional services sector saw an increase in salary last year, according to a new survey.

New research from Abacus Professional Recruitment has revealed that 55 per cent of professionals received a pay rise in 2017, with the rate highest in the accountancy (61 per cent) and technology (58 per cent) fields.

Over half (55 per cent) of all those surveyed also received a bonus last year, with this increasing to 63 per cent for the financial services and insurance sectors.

Further good news in the local employment market was seen through the fact that 42 per cent of respondents now benefit from flexible working hours. This includes working from home, receiving time in lieu and flexible working around contracted hours.

In spite of the positivity Abacus is concerned that demand is beginning to outstrip supply in the local employment market. Skills shortages and a talent 'brain-drain' are also cited as ongoing concerns.

Abacus director, Justin Rush said the current employment market is an attractive one for professionals.

“Demand is peaking for professionals across a range of areas and the benefits they are receiving have risen in tandem. There is an increasingly rich diversity of professional job roles in Northern Ireland. These offer not only competitive salaries, but highly rewarding career paths with companies also investing significantly in skills development. Benefits in Northern Ireland are moving towards cities like London or Dublin, emphasising how the local employment market is progressing at a fast pace, despite current political concerns, including Brexit and a lack of Executive.”

The regional Salary Survey Report encompassed 1,000 employees across 20 professional service disciplines such as law, accountancy, IT, sales, analytics, financial services, insurance, compliance, office support, HR and marketing.

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