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Professional services salaries & market trends

What key trends have you observed  in 2017?

The model of consultancy continues to diversify beyond pure strategy, with themes such as leadership, cyber, AI, data analytics, full-stack digital transformation, futureof-work and customer journeys now central to most consulting firms. Data and digital, overall, are now very much the dominant themes for consultancies across every sector.
 
Leveraging both digital capability and another marquee theme, flexibility, the LLPs have crafted cloud-based services and platforms which freshen their models and encourage higher-contact client relationships. This has led to marketers from ecommerce brands and fresh B2B tech firms being in much higher demand than usual.

In the legal space, consolidation through mergers continues to grow, with lawyers’ increasingly courting talent from the Big 4, which has created new opportunities.

We have also seen event budgets take a big cut, which started with Brexit. Roles for events specialists have been reduced mostly to freelance with job security a real issue for this group. In contrast, designers and bid cycle specialists still remain in high demand.

What key trends do you expect to see over the next 12 months?

We are likely to see an increase in innovative challenger brands, as we have seen in the fintech industry; which will create more opportunities for B2C marketers, especially those from technology and agency backgrounds.

Across law and accountancy, the cultural veil-lifting with regard to fee earning and personal branding is set to continue in an effort to reduce client churn, drive trust and attract growth firms to the roster. This will increase demand for client listening and feedback skills, automation, as well as CRM specialists who can slicken these processes.

The bid cycle, which has always struggled to retain talent, should continue to become more automated, allowing the specialists to focus on bid/no-bid advice, pricing, reporting and perhaps copywriting and generalist marketing.

We expect platform marketing to grow, as candidates from tech firms will be in greater demand. Use of video interviews during hiring processes will continue to rise, especially first stage interviews. Finally, candidates with B2C and agency consumer brand experience are likely to be in more demand.

Do you anticipate any changes to permanent salaries and bonuses over  the next 12 months?

No, any changes are very unlikely, other than for mid-range business developers, systems experts, marketing operations and bid cycle specialists.

What methods are companies using to attract and retain top talent?

On top of salaries, competitive packages with extra benefits and attractive bonus schemes are also common. Companies are offering candidates more overseas secondment opportunities as well as the freedom to rotate industries. In 2017, we saw a real drive in developing ethical CSR and wellness policies, driven equally by HR and comms as well as marketing.

Contract roles & day rates

For professional services, we would typically be tasked with finding business development candidates, however we are now noticing the element of marketing in these positions is increasing.

The legal space is typically stringent about requiring previous legal experience while consultancies and accounting are more open to other backgrounds.  Roles at the junior end of the professional services market have been more competitive, which indicates  a lack of high quality candidates at this level.


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