UK Landscape & Digital Salary Analysis - 2021
2020 is unlikely to be remembered with enduring affection as a global public health emergency led to worldwide lockdowns, business closures and high unemployment.
However, it was also a year of breakthrough transformation and reinvention. Rapid and continuous change created a hugely challenging environment for multiple professions, and perceptions of existing working practices were questioned.
Countless organisations that did not adapt swiftly enough fell, whilst many that pivoted quickly by shifting their working patterns and modifying their business models not only stayed afloat, but reached new heights of success.
2021 will bring its own challenges too, however the record growth experienced by online retail in the past year will keep it at the forefront of economic growth as the population continues to shop online.
Flexible working will continue to be a major draw for employees as they search for more balance in their lives and ecommerce and digital skills will be in high demand as employers build digital-first business strategy.
Should you have any questions or if you’re looking to hire top digital talent into your business, our consultants are always on hand to help.
The UK economy shrank by a record 9.9% in 2020 (more than twice as much as the previous largest annual fall on record).
During the first two months of lockdown UK GDP fell by 24% (April vs February 2020); this was followed by a short term recovery as the economy opened up during the spring and summer and then further shrinkage later in the year as restrictions returned.
However, it is expected that the economy will avoid a double-dip recession after economic growth of 1.2% in December.
(David Malpass, President, World Bank Group)
The Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR)
Unemployment, unsurprisingly, spiked (especially in the younger age groups) in 2020 as nearly 3/4 million people lost their jobs. The UK national unemployment rate currently sits at an estimated 5.1% and is expected to peak at 6.5% next year (although this is much lower than the original prediction of 11.9%).
Data: UK unemployment rate by age (aged 16 years and over), seasonally adjusted, cumulative growth from October to December 2019, for each period up to October to December 2020
The UK redundancy rate increased during 2020 to 12.3 per thousand as businesses laid off staff. Non-essential businesses closed in sectors such as travel, entertainment and hospitality and huge losses in profitability followed as the population hunkered down.
After a period of austerity often comes a boom and given the end of Brexit transitions and the success of the British vaccination programme, we're in a better position than most other nations to get our economy back on track.
The Government has a plan in place for a gradual easing of restrictions in England which will result in the economy being fully open by late spring 2021 and although there will be some caution (as unemployment is expected to rise further throughout the year) there is also room for huge optimism.
According to PwCs annual survey of global CEO's, 11% said the UK was in its 'top 3 targets' - an increase of 9% vs 2019.
There will be no slowing down in the ecommerce & digital marketing space. Indeed new research carried out by hosting.co.uk has recently reported that the UK has been rated as the top European country for ecommerce startups.
(Source: Internet Retailing, ONS)
The average national salary has increased by 7.4% over the past 12 months to just under £37,000 (similar to a Digital Marketing Manager role).
Source: Adzuna (data correct as of 1358, 02/03/21)
Digital and ecommerce jobs will continue to grow in number as both B2B and B2C companies conduct business (primarily) online.
We've already seen a sharp rise in the number of executive and manager roles being advertised (and placed) and predict that come the summer, more higher level roles will start to open up as organisations battle it out to find best in class digital leadership.
(Patrick Tame, CEO)
Below are average salary ranges based on roles that Beringer Tame have recruited during the past 18 months.
Below are average salaries by role type;
(Sources: Beringer Tame, YouGov, ONS, findcourses.co.uk, Reed, Adzuna, Michael Page)
National salaries remained steady throughout 2020 with ecommerce and digital manager roles sitting above the national average.
Source: Adzuna Labour Market Stats
Sharon White, John Lewis
During the middle part of 2020 organisations no longer wanted to spend money on recruiting, high salaries or large bonuses - little wonder given the tightrope many businesses were walking at that point. However, that all changed from mid September 2020 when ecommerce and digital marketing recruiting really took off again.
(Source: Beringer Tame)
Beringer Tame has seen the dot-com crash and the boom that followed. We've seen digital and ecommerce change beyond all recognition and the top echelon of talent get better and better. We have also witnessed many individuals try to enter the space without the technical skills needed to really drive their career forward.
(Patrick Tame, CEO)
In the current climate where digital is (and will continue to be) a growth market, salaries will rise vs other sectors, job scope will broaden and the potential for career growth is insurmountable.
According to the WEF, Data Analysts, Digital Marketing & Strategy Specialists and Digital Transformation Specialists are in high demand along with Ecommerce Managers.
This is in line with the roles we have seen being advertised during 2020 and the early part of 2021.
This is unsurprising given changing consumer habits and the length of time we are now spending shopping online.
(Source: World Economic Forum)
(Patrick Tame, CEO)
There has been a staggering rise in the number of executive and manager roles being advertised versus previous years. These jobs are more often than not 'doing' roles, essential for facilitating the pivot into digital work practices vs the more strategic thinking of more senior roles.
With this comes the need for employers to hire professionals with first-class technical skills.
As people spent more time in their property, seeing imperfections on a daily basis, inevitably it created the desire to renovate and redecorate both their inside and outside living spaces.
(Source: Beringer Tame)
It has been abundantly clear that most people have wanted to stay 'safe' during these tumultuous times and not move job. However, many still have - but not for the reason you might think.
Whilst having a bad boss is still classed as the number one reason for leaving a job (according to Gallup 2020), this has not been true of our candidates.
In the past year, our greatest successes have come from headhunting (not asking candidates to respond to an advertised roles).
This method has also provided both candidates and clients with reassurance throughout the hiring process, leading to high quality and efficient recruitment.
The recruitment process is costly and time consuming. Working through a pandemic year has not only enabled creative ways of working with clients and candidates, but also allowed us to adapt and improve processes and increase efficiencies. We’re all the better for it.
This is unlikely to change as the fight for talent gets ever more competitive.
(Patrick Tame, CEO)
Hiring will take off across most industries in 2021, but digital and ecommerce are set to skyrocket. As the fight for talent gets ever more competitive, there will be some very strong benefits for companies and internal talent acquisition professionals who partner with a really good recruiter; especially in niche markets such as digital.
As quality of hire becomes ever more important, a good recruiter will help to build successful working teams whilst also providing hiring strategy as recruitment demands evolve. They will also ensure you don’t miss out on passive talent by implementing headhunting strategies.
The Future of Jobs Report 2020 - World Economic Forum
Employment in the UK - ONS
Salary Statistics Centre - Adzuna
Average Salary - Find Courses
Coronavirus: Economic impact - House of Commons Library
UK Ecommerce - Statista
Ecommerce grew by 46% in 2020 - Internet Retailing
Global Economic Prospects - The World Bank
Covid’s digital impact - The Global Recruiter
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