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Positive job market driving Health and Safety salary rises

By Richard Gelder, Director of Hays Construction & Property

Health and Safety professionals have seen above average salary increases in the last year, driven by both a busy job market, and continuing skills shortages which are impacting the whole of the industry, but particularly manufacturing and construction and property.

The Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 guide shows that 78% of employers say their top challenge when recruiting is a shortage of suitable applicants. However, 67% of employers are expecting their business activity to increase in the year ahead, causing nearly three-quarters planning to hire staff over the next 12 months.

Salaries on the rise across health and safety

The focus on increased hiring and business activity in the year ahead are influencing the salary rises we have seen across all health and safety roles. As employers compete to secure the most in-demand skills, they are willing to pay that little bit more to try to encourage top quality candidates to move role.

Within the construction sector, a lack of CDM coordinators and principal designers means professionals in these roles have seen some of the highest rises within health and safety, at 3%. Health and safety managers have also seen an average salary increase of 3%, and senior health and safety managers have received an average rise of 2.2%.

Health and safety directors and advisors both saw salary increases of 2% in the last year, which is above the overall UK average of 1.8%.

Thinking outside of the salary box

Skills shortages have far-reaching consequences, including impacting on employee morale, productivity and business growth. Employers must therefore look further than just salary in order to recruit and retain health and safety professionals in a skill-short market.

1. Invest in your employer brand to compete for talent

A strong employer brand can work wonders when it comes to attracting talent. Consider what you are able to offer to candidates and package these into a strong employee value proposition. This not only includes competitive salaries, but also any investment in training you are able to offer along with progression opportunities.

2. Make workforce planning a key strategic priority

To limit the impact that skills shortages are having on productivity and growth, workforce planning needs to be a core component of every business strategy. Ensure you understand the full breadth of workforce solutions which are available, and consider factors such as how to mitigate risk and manage costs in the long-term.

3. Utilise contingent workers for more than just projects

Help to mitigate the impact that skills shortages can have on employee morale by reconsidering how you use temporary workers. They can not only provide specific skillsets on a project by project basis, but can be used to a greater extent to alleviate some of the pressure caused by increased workload.

For further insights into recruiting trends for the year ahead, request your copy of the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 guide.

For more information or to discuss your recruitment needs in this field, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

Richard leads specialist recruiting consultants across the sector. He joined Hays in 1991 and quickly worked his way up through the ranks and was appointed Director in 2001.

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