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2022 - what a year...!

As we approach the end of 2022 there are a number of macro-forces having effects on the hiring market, which makes for a much more nuanced landscape than in previous years.

Across the last few years, we have seen the hiring taps turned off through the Covid period, and then very much turned to full again as restrictions eased and businesses sought to make hay and recoup their losses.

That resultant hiring boom created a jobseekers’ market with a high level of vacancies and a lower level of candidates – exacerbated by fewer digital, marketing and advertising talents moving to the UK from Europe and Australasia particularly. This all conspired to drive salaries higher, which is reflected in this latest survey. This is perhaps most keenly felt in the junior to mid-weight market where the battle for talent is fierce. The exceptionally limited number of junior hires that were made in the two years when Covid bit hardest are now manifesting as high middle-weight salaries.

The boom has slowed however and the dual headwinds of inflation, and overall economic instability have broadly led to much more considered hiring, replacing growth at all costs attitudes.

In the wider market there have, of course, been wide-scale redundancies across ‘big tech’ with Meta, Twitter, Snap, Peloton and more all making large cuts to their workforces. This influx of available talent could very well create the conditions for an employer’s market (high competition for positions) across a range of digital roles. It feels unlikely that this competition will cause salaries to dip in 2023, but companies who are in a positioned to hire the former big tech diaspora certainly stand to benefit.

Across the agency space big holding groups have been reporting strong results throughout the year, with digital performing strongly, but interestingly the market is now starting to see the maturation of some of the newer independent creative shops and they are increasingly becoming a honeypot for top talent. The competition between the two could well become more than an ideological one and may have an impact on salary levels across the coming year.

Within the freelance market IR35 continues to influence day rates but to a large degree higher day rates have become normalised on both the employee and employer side. Fixed term contracts continue to be an attractive and popular solution for hiring businesses, however. All of the rates shown on this salary survey are indicative of the ‘outside’ rates.

Overall, there can be no doubt that we are in a very chargeable period, but as always in our dynamic market there are a wealth of opportunities, new challenges, new frontiers and there will always be a home for the top talent we represent.

As ever, if you are looking for a bit of market intel, a new move or are looking to hire for your team then please do get in touch.


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