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2023 Salary Survey: business services market trends

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For this week's insights from our 2023 Salary Survey it's the turn of business services, our catch-all term for the operational and support roles that keep organisations running and make things happen.

You'll find the latest figures for jobs in operations, admin and support, data management, projects & programmes and HR in the survey itself, available to view or download below.

Meanwhile here's what our specialists had to say about what's happening in the market.


Business services market trends

If you’re working in one of these areas, encompassing most of those who deliver an organisation’s work or provide essential support, you’ll likely be happier with the state of the market than your employer, struggling to hire anyone like you (but of course…)

Sure, advertising jobs is easier than ever, but what comes rolling in will more likely be tumbleweeds than great applications. That’s why most of our placements in the last year have resulted from proactively seeking out candidates, taking the job to them rather than the reverse.

Saving the day

Like others, professionals in these areas have begun to realise their value and expect increases worthy of the name. So it’s good news for them that many organisations made savings from slimming down operations during the pandemic – extra budget they can now (in theory) spend on staff.

Charities, for the most part, are clear-eyed about the challenges and the need to do more, although many continue to try their luck offering low rates, before invariably having to raise them to fill the positions.

Some now provide allowances on top of regular pay, for things like equipping your home workspace, while those who can’t offer such extras are generally aware of it and working on ways to do so.

Candidates, meanwhile, are making full use of the upper hand while they have it, moving on quickly and frequently for a better offer, and waving away those that don’t come with the desired flexibility.

They’re also keeping options open until the very last minute, even after accepting a role – something better may be just around the corner, after all.

This means it’s hard to be certain anyone’s truly on board until they’ve walked through the door on day one, stood for their unflattering security-pass photo, and been awkwardly introduced to a load of people who might as well all be called Barbara for all the names they remember right now.

Or at least until they’ve joined an introductory Zoom call, this being 2023.


Even once they’ve started, there’s no rest for the wicked (or in this case, HR) with staff often moving on after as little as a year in post.

Cost-of-living crisis or not, there’s even a notable rise in people jumping ship before they have anywhere to land, such is their confidence in getting more offers — confidence that’s rarely misplaced, as it turns out so far.

In response, we’ve seen some employers trying to introduce longer notice periods, such as three months rather than one, in a bid to slow down the dizzying turnover of staff.

What else can charities do?

Tough as the competition for talent may be, there are ways for employers to increase their chances of success without necessarily increasing the budget - look out for our forthcoming post on how to secure new talent without spending a fortune.

To see the salaries, as well as those in all other major charity departments, see the full 2023 Salary Survey here, while for help with recruiting or your job search in one of these areas, please contact our specialists:

Belton Bass

Data, Operations, Admin & Support

​020 7820 7310

Email Belton

Emma Stone

HR, Operations, Admin & Support

​020 7820 7304

Email Emma

Faye Marshall

Projects & Programmes, HR

​020 7820 7303

Email Faye

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