Most people in legal and financial roles are happy in their work

A new survey by specialist recruiters, Engage People, shows that a majority of professionals appear to be happy at their work.

However, while 63% expect a salary increase over the next 12 months, almost a quarter (23% ) of the 795 people questioned did not get a pay increase in the past year. 11% was the average increase in salary, for those who did.

61% saw their hours impacted by Covid-19, and 47% took a Covid-related pay cut. Of those, the average drop in pay was 12%.

“Anecdotally, the flexibility to work from home has saved employees money, while also contributing to a better work/life blend. So, a short-term impact on compensation hasn’t upset too many in the professions.

“Plus, on top of base salary, many will have a car allowance and fuel cards, and most get an employers’ pension contribution, meaning total remuneration is generally higher than basic pay,” Paul Mc Clatchie, founder and CEO of Engage People, said.

On the bonus front, 75% of respondents in accountancy, banking, financial services and legal roles say they received a bonus last year. Two-thirds, 67%, were satisfied with the level of bonus. 26% of base salary was the average bonus for junior roles, across those surveyed, where earnings were predominantly under €35,000.

A sum of 10-15% was the mean annual bonus in the accounting area, with higher bonuses in banking relationship manager and sales roles.

Although 82% claim to have worked some form of weekly overtime, up to three hours a week, under half, just 41%, received paid overtime. Again, overtime was more common in junior level roles, up to a €40,000 base salary.

In total, 55% anticipate their company’s staff numbers will grow over the coming 12 months.

Happy Out

A figure of 84% of those professionals responding confirmed they are happy with their current work-life balance. But, while 58% in financial and legal roles are satisfied, or very satisfied, in their current role, almost two-thirds, 62%, admit they would leave their role if the right opportunity came up.

The survey also identified that the top considerations when looking for a new role are salary or compensation, followed by career progression opportunities, the people in the company, and the company culture.

Pay remains the top motivation to move, and a 10% salary increase was the average expected by those surveyed to leave their job for a new role. However, 58% also said that they would turn down an offer, if their current employer were to make a suitable counteroffer.

In terms of desirable benefits employers can offer, the top answers concerned flexible working, including both hybrid working and flexi-time. The offer of career breaks and a company car or a car-loan were the next most sought-after perks.

The survey, commissioned by recruiter, Engage People, covered feedback from 795 professionals working in financial, legal and HR roles in Ireland. 57% of respondents worked for a multinational company, while a quarter, 24%, were female professionals.


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