What is a salary survey?

Salary surveys can provide essential market insight into salary trends. They give you access to detailed salary benchmarking data that helps to remove guesswork and supports you to make data-driven decisions on pay and reward.  They offer important insight on how your pay levels align to the sector and whether your reward package will support you to attract and retain great people with the skills and experience you need.

Why should you consider a salary survey now?

In November 2023, the Chancellor announced further changes to the National Living Wage, increasing it by 9.8% to £11.44 per hour from April. This new rate will also, for the very first time, be applied to 21 and 22-year-olds.

With such sizeable increases to the Living Wage, it can sometimes be hard to keep up with changes being made to salaries in the sector. Vacant roles that previously were attractive and competitive risk becoming overlooked by prospective candidates who are focusing on pay to give them greater financial security in an uncertain time. Whilst we may have seen the worst of the price increases to fuel and food, living costs remain high and so attracting and retaining great people into the third sector is increasingly becoming a numbers game.

Are you paying enough to attract people with the skills and experience you need?

Are you rewarding existing staff with the pay and benefits they need to stay?

Many studies show that charity and public pay rises have traditionally lagged behind those in the private sector and so the search for talent at an affordable, yet competitive salary can be challenging. Over time, we have seen many voluntary organisations turning to non-pay benefits to encourage prospective employees to join them by offering generous annual leave entitlements and a relaxed approach to working hours. These benefits will undoubtedly help to create and maintain a supportive and inclusive culture, but the extent of their impact may be limiting when faced with escalating living costs and bills.

When the ability to offer a competitive salary is often constrained by budget and occasionally through internal pay structures that set a clear and definitive cap, we expect that some companies may not be in position to consider raising salaries or be in a place where they can embark upon a recruitment campaign that offers an attractive salary to their next new hire. So what can be done to address this?

Understand salary trends in your sector.

Firstly it’s important to get a better understanding of what exactly is happening to salaries in your sector. Don’t lose all hope after seeing a single advert that sets an alarmingly new high bar, this could be the exception, rather than the norm. Instead carry out some benchmarking to help evidence what the pay trends are and how your salaries compare.

We understand this can be a daunting exercise, which is why we offer salary surveys that provide you with a comprehensive pay benchmarking report that gives you all the data you need to help you make those important pay decisions.

Consider what other benefits are important.

You can also reconsider those non-pay benefits and push these even further. Reducing the number of hours in the full-time working week without reducing pay can reposition your existing salary offer and present this in a whole new light. There continues to be positive outcomes following the 4-day working week trial, and these findings give food for thought when considering how to attract and retain talented employees looking for flexibility.

Our salary surveys include insight on non-pay benefits as standard, so you can be armed with information on new reward trends and ways of working via our reports.

Get flexible.

Taking a flexible approach to remote working may also help to give you an advantage. The cost of commuting can be significant – not to mention the time involved in making regular journeys to the office.

At Peridot, we support our employees to work from home as often as they like and set no minimum requirements on how many times people should come to the office. We’ve been responsive to our colleagues request to have access to co-working desks in places local to them and understand that this is critical to keep colleagues connected and to help us attract talent from all four corners of the UK.

As organisations prepare to implement the new National Living Wage rates (or Real Living Wage rates), it will inevitably force changes to internal pay structures with the lowest salary bands being reset with a new minimum. If previous rises are anything to go by, we can expect this reset to influence the positioning of other roles and salaries within those structures, so it’s important to consider what information you need to get ahead of these changes now. We can help you to navigate these challenges using our recruitment and HR expertise so for more information on how Peridot can help give you confidence in your pay decisions please visit our website or contact us to find out more.



Vicky Hossack is our Associate Head of HR. With extensive experience across the charity and voluntary sectors across the UK, Vicky is passionate about supporting employers to create vibrant, inclusive spaces for their teams to thrive. To learn how Peridot can help give you confidence in your pay decisions please email Vicky, or connect with her on Linkedin.