- Only two-fifths (41%) say firms have indicated they will receive a bonus in 2017, whilst last year 59% received a bonus
- More women than men received a bonus in 2016, 62% compared to 57%, and are more optimistic than male colleagues about this year’s outlook
- Hays warns that financial services firms cannot rely on salaries alone to retain staff during these uncertain times
As Theresa May triggers Article 50, City firms are bracing for Brexit, unaware that 82% of their staff are tempted to move roles due to salary or benefits packages on offer elsewhere. The latest finding from Hays reveals a worrying outlook for the City as it enters one of the most uncertain periods in the Square Mile for a generation.
Although bonus culture is still prevalent, 2017 looks set to be challenging for City workers as nearly two-thirds (59%) said they received a bonus in 2016, whereas only two-fifths (41%) say their firms have indicated that they will receive one this year.
The Hays Financial Markets Rewards Report 2017 reveals a challenging post-referendum landscape for City workers as over a third (35%) of employees said their base salary had not changed in the last year, with 6% seeing a salary decrease.
City employers are already seeing the effects of salary dissatisfaction. Nearly half (47%) say they have lost out on candidates because their salary or benefits package were not competitive enough. As a result, a third increased salaries (36%) to combat recruitment challenges.
Bonus culture beats the gender pay gap
However, the study by Hays also found that interestingly, more women than men received a bonus last year, 62% compared to 57% respectively, whilst female City workers are more optimistic they will receive one again this year at 45% compared to 39% of men.
Despite this development, bonuses look set to be less prominent in 2017 as only two-fifths (41%) of workers say bosses have indicated they will receive a bonus, compared to a significantly higher 59% who received a bonus last year.
The research, compiled by recruiter Hays, includes a survey of around 900 employers and employees working within financial markets.
Tough times ahead for the City
Commenting on the findings, Carolyn Dickason, Director of Hays Financial Markets, said:
“Whilst City employers are distracted by Brexit, workers are mindful of the uncertain times ahead but are still looking at other career options. Our research has found that the majority are predominantly driven by both salary and benefits, which will become especially important in 2017 as bonuses look set to be less prevalent in the market. We recommend City employers review their talent acquisition strategies to avoid disappointment as many candidates at the moment can expect multiple job offers and City firms need to maintain the competitive edge over rivals.”
Career development and benefits
As the market remains steady, financial firms must look to develop their strategies for talent attraction outside of improving salaries and benefits. Nearly two-thirds of employees consider career progression an important factor when looking for a new role, alongside a culture incorporating development and learning at 50%.
Employers should look to review their training and development processes, as only just over a quarter of staff said their organisation offered financial support for professional studies.
Additionally, employees are keen to utilise flexible working options, especially when starting a new job. 84% said flexible working would be important in a bid to improve work-life balance. This is at odds with financial firms, as less than a quarter (24%) of organisations don’t offer any flexible working options, and as a result may find themselves left behind when attracting new staff.
Staff are also willing to sacrifice some of their salaries in return for flexible working options. Nearly half (45%) would be happy to do so, with the majority willing to sacrifice 10% or less. Staff working in operations, technology and change are the most likely to take a pay cut in return for more flexi-working.
For further information visit hays.co.uk/city-rewards