How to secure your dream PA. Is your salary and benefits package competitive enough?

Many Employers are keenly looking over their shoulder to make sure they are offering a compelling package to secure the best talent.

The growing candidate market might temporarily be on hold because of Brexit, but high quality Support Staff are still in demand and Employers are having to compete at offer stage.

So what are your competitors offering that you may not be?

1. Higher salaries

Tiger Recruitment has seen salary levels for support staff increase by 10-20% in the last 15 months. They are expected to increase by a further 0-5% for the remainder of 2016.

2. Substantial “core” benefits

- The majority of employers offer a pension scheme and even boutique companies have had to fall in to line with government legislation. Did you know that some larger companies are now offering up to 20% non-contributory pensions? The majority fall in the 10-20% bracket.

- Life assurance is more commonplace and it is not unheard of for companies to be offering x10 of salary. The majority of our clients offer x3 or x4.

- Gym membership. This is being offered as standard by most employers. If not paid for in full, then it is subsidised, but most companies subscribe to the view that a healthy workplace is a more productive one.

- Breakfast & lunch. I have included this as a core benefit because more and more companies are offering free breakfast and/or lunch. If not offered in full, then it is subsidised by many. N.B. I have recently recruited an “office host” for a small company to look after their catering requirements. In this way, the company can restrict the amount of “out of office” time and ensure that good quality/healthy food is ordered in.

3. Better “soft” benefits

- An increasing number of employers are offering “extra” days off in the year. E.g. duvet days, charity days and even a shopping day. This isn’t just the domain of the creative industry, some corporates are doing the same in recognition of the emphasis on work/life balance that many job-seekers are looking for.

- This is further reflected in the better hours and extended holiday entitlements on offer. 25 days is the norm now and some employers are offering 28-30 days excluding bank holidays.  Hours are shortening too, certainly amongst the bigger employers. 9am-5.30pm is normal and 9am-5pm is becoming increasingly common. Smaller employers are still tending to stick to 9am-6pm and some 8.30am-6pm. Those that offer longer core hours than these will struggle to recruit talented support staff.

- Flexible working hours for staff, the opportunity to work from home, part-time hours for returning Mothers and extended maternity pay are also being offered as standard across many businesses.

4. Increased bonus levels

Finally, bonus levels and consequently bonus expectations have increased across the board. It is a key question we are asked as recruiters and job seekers want to know what level of bonus they can expect and how it is calculated. This is a key component of any package and those employers that offer no bonus at all are few and far between. The norm is between 5-20% with the majority paying between 5-15% for a member of their support team who has positively contributed over a 12 month period.

In short, employers need to ensure that their benefits package is competitive to secure the best talent out there. Work/life balance is more important to job seekers than ever before and this trend is only set to continue. 


David Morel is the CEO/Founder of Tiger Recruitment, one of London’s leading secretarial/administrative recruitment agencies. David founded Tiger in 2001 and has written extensively in the press and wider media advising both Employers and Job seekers on best recruitment practice.

020 7917 1801 / [email protected]

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