Booming demand for data experts triggers salary war

city of london2Data professionals no longer have to traipse to London to secure the big bucks, with regional companies increasingly matching the pay of those in the capital in an effort to retain local talent.

According to recruitment specialist Harnham, regional salary differences between London and the rest of the country have closed by up to 75% in the past year alone, signalling a huge shift for the industry and the wider business landscape.

In its 11th annual salary guide, which quizzed over 9,000 respondents, Harnham found many firms recruiting for data and analytics roles are paying high salaries to both entice and retain talent away from London companies.

With most firms offering hybrid working – staff spend just 1.5 days in the office on average – data professionals have the freedom and capability to work for anyone from anywhere.

This has forced regional companies to bolster their salaries in a hope to retain local talent. Indeed, for the first time in four years, a lack of competitive salary is the key motivator for people to leave a role.

As a result, this year’s salary guide found a significant closing of the salary gap salary between London and the rest of the UK. This was most pronounced in digital analytics and risk analytics, where the gap closed by 73% and 65% at entry level, respectively.

In many areas, London salaries are being matched or even bettered by companies outside of the capital. In risk analytics, for example, mid-level roles can command the same salary (£55,000) either in London or outside. Within marketing and insight, entry-level candidates can expect to out-earn their London counterparts by £4,000.

Even so, London firms are also increasing their salaries; a campaign and CRM analyst can expect to earn over 18% more this year than last.

Harnham chief executive David Farmer said: “It’s certainly been a turbulent time for the recruitment market over the past two years, and things are changing once again.

“As companies cement working strategies and procedures, they are now facing a salary war.

“While some areas of data and analytics remain more lucrative in London, it is likely that we will continue to see the gap closing as employers battle with talent shortages, staff retention and salary expectations. This is a trend we will see not only for data and analytics but for numerous other sectors, too.”

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