Recruitment on the rise but salaries set to fall, research finds

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New research has revealed that a third of event agencies have begun recruiting again but the average salary has decreased.

The ‘What Happens Now?’ research from event agency recruitment company The Hub, found that 32 per cent of 1,000 polled event professionals have begun the recruitment process.

A further 40 per cent said they were beginning the process in September, 16 per cent plan on leaving it until later this year and 12 per cent are waiting until 2022.

Nearly half (48 per cent) said they would be looking to hire back the people they made redundant throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, while 52 per cent said they will look to recruit ‘new blood’.

Robert Kenward

During the last 18 months, 250,000 event profs were made redundant; 100,000 have already been re-employed but 10 per cent of those who left the industry will not be returning.

Robert Kenward, chief cheerleader for The Hub said: “The jobs that were lost first were positions focused on sales and delivery; the industry had nothing to sell and nothing to deliver. The senior teams were the last to go. As we rebuild, the jobs that are coming back first are business development, marketing, client services and account management because businesses will want to get the clients back that they had before (account management), they will want to grow those accounts (client services) and they will want to find new clients (business development).

“Roles and job titles have changed too; event managers are now event producers because so much has gone online, and content or communications is now broadcast.”

When respondents were asked when they thought the industry would return to pre-Covid levels, the majority (63 per cent) said they expected this to happen in 2023 and a third (37 per cent) predicted a quicker return in 2022.

Flexible working is also a hot topic with 73 per cent of respondents claiming they will be offering flexible working arrangements to employees, while 22 per cent said their teams would work remotely. Only 5 per cent expect all staff to be office based.

Kenward added: “It’s very positive to see that a third of agencies have already started to recruit again and that three quarters are offering flexible working arrangements as standard, but it will be interesting to see how the remaining 25 per cent of agencies fair without that flexibility.”

However, despite employment increasing across the industry, 35 per cent of employers anticipate salaries to decrease in the post-pandemic period, but 55 per cent think they will stay the same. Optimistically, 10 per cent expect salaries to increase this year.

“As we rebuild, it is interesting to see how salaries are changing; we are already seeing that pre-Covid level salaries are something to attain, rather than being the norm,” Kenward added.

“A third of agencies expect salaries to go down, but that’s simply because they don’t have the funds to pay the salaries that they used to. Six-figure salaries are simply not as common as they used to be.”

Holly Patrick
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Holly Patrick
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A desire to travel led Holly Patrick to the business meetings and events world and she’s never looked back. Holly takes a particular interest in event sustainability and creating a diverse and inclusive industry. When she’s not working, she can be found rolling skating along Brighton seafront listening to an eclectic playlist, featuring the likes of Patti Smith, Sean Paul, and Arooj Aftab.

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