Summary and market trends

Next year...’ we wrote this time last year, ‘...we’ll be publishing this from somewhere outside the EU. Or not.’ Which was either exceptional foresight, or shamelessly covering all bases to be right either way, but why not pretend it’s the first one?

These days of course it’s hard to predict what even next week might throw up (perhaps the appropriate term), but we can tell you what’s happening with third sector salaries and what we’re seeing in the market right now.

We’ll look at different job functions in detail elsewhere, but for the sector-wide salary news, it’s safe to say you won’t need a seat.

Reassuringly short on shocks and surprises, this year’s stats suggest it’s largely been business as usual, demand for most skills has been strong (and dare we say stable?) with recruitment being remarkably robust, in spite of the considerable turbulence elsewhere.

This year’s most wanted

Fundraisers are still in greatest demand, raising remuneration for some, while roles with a digital remit have dominated proceedings in marketing.

That’s because charities, once seen as a little late to the digital party, have been gaining lost ground with gusto, investing in new skills, new channels and new websites, aiming to maximise the potential of their digital streams.

Meanwhile the trend of bringing functions like finance and HR closer to core activities continues, creating more opportunities for the word ‘synergies’ than anyone’s entirely comfortable with, but opportunities too for business partners who can integrate with other teams to achieve their common goals.

Temps are also in high demand, as are many short-term and project-based workers who’ve seen some rises, albeit highly dependent on the project.

Flexibility is your friend

Connecting all of these areas, highlighted by each of our specialists and coming through loud and clear from the thousands of candidates we’ve interviewed this year, is the strength of demand for flexible working.

As little as a year ago, flexible hours, working from home and similar arrangements were often discussed as an optional extra, a way for savvy charities to give themselves an edge in the tussle for talent.

That’s simply no longer the case: flexibility has quickly developed from ‘often requested’ to ‘fully expected’ and we’ve seen otherwise-excellent offers turned down if that expectation isn’t met. With such tough competition for candidates, it can easily be the difference between recruiting new talent or not, something few can afford to ignore.

Fortunately it’s something charities tend to be rather good at, with many pioneering examples to be found throughout the sector. And while more commercial firms are getting the memo all the time, it’s still a huge part of the appeal for external applicants, frequently happy to trade their higher salary for a more flexible lifestyle and more fulfilling career.

If flexibility now comes as standard, how can charities stand out?

This is where the hiring process can make a real difference, with a clear understanding of your employer brand: what makes your organisation a great place to work, and why would candidates choose to?

Understanding this and articulating it clearly and consistently in job ads, interviews and at every step of the way is simple, adds no extra cost, and yet it’s surprisingly often overlooked.

As a result, those who do it well, keeping candidates engaged and making them feel valued (not least because you’ve considered the experience from their perspective), have a clear advantage when it comes to attracting the best.

Download the full 24-page 2019 Salary Report

Welcome and introduction 

Summary and market trends 

Fundraising ►

Marketing, PR & Digital ►

Business Services ►

Policy, Advocacy & Campaigns ►

Finance ►

Human Resources ►

Projects & Programmes ►

Temporary & Interim ►

Executive salaries ►

Candidate insights ►

Career shifters ►

Regional updates ►

Methodology & FAQ ►

Advice, news, events and specialist insight from the Harris Hill Blog