ECM's Salary and Benefits Report 2018 analyses up-to-date information surveyed directly from client companies and gathered indirectly from recent data covering job seekers, vacancies and placement data. Its findings allow companies to compare salary levels and benefits packages, to ensure they retain key staff and can continue to attract the most highly sought-after candidates.

  • Overall, recruitment activity in 2017 was noticeably higher than in 2016. Particular areas of growth were in robotics, big data analytics and artificial intelligence, particularly ‘machine learning’.

  • Although employees’ salary levels have remained roughly the same, companies are having to offer noticeably higher starting salaries to attract the best candidates.

  • Last year, typical graduate starting salaries reached the £30k level for the first time, and now there is more competition at the top end, pushing starting salaries up still further. The most well-qualified (with a 2.1 or 1st class degree from a top university) are commanding an increased premium.

  • One particular theme carried on from 2016: Brexit. Companies were asked if they experienced, or anticipate, impacts due to Brexit uncertainties – many had noted a significant drop in the number of EU27 applicants.

Martin Constantinides, Director, says:

“In general, in the course of our work at ECM, we collect a large amount of data about the salaries and benefits being offered in the local area. We’ve always been happy to provide informal advice to our clients so they can ensure their packages remain competitive.

“Since 2008 we’ve produced a formal, annual Report based on detailed surveys of the salaries and benefits being offered. Clients surveyed range from those with fewer than 10 employees, up to large enterprises.

“Our survey provides a general guide – obviously individual benefits packages vary considerably with a particular company’s situation. We are happy to continue to offer advice on a case-by-case basis.”

Advance copies of the Report have already been sent to participating clients, but it is now available more generally. Please contact ECM for details of the survey. Their website is at