Businesses ramp up customer service salaries as job applications tumble

4th May 2017

After suffering years as one of the worst paid sectors in the UK, new research suggests that customer service staff are finally seeing their hard work rewarded with improved salaries.

Two years ago, research by UK job site CV-Library, revealed that customer service roles were the worst paid of any sector in Britain.

The study revealed that the average annual salary for a service-related job dropped 4% from £20,831 in Q3 2014 to £19,992 in Q3 2015 - the lowest across all sectors and 36.8% lower than the nation’s average income of £31,625 per year.

Unsurprisingly, this began to have a detrimental impact on recruitment. 2015 figures revealed that job postings in the customer service industry rose by a whopping 58.1% as staff attrition rose, while the number of applicants for roles in service-related jobs failed to maintain pace, resulting in an overall deficit of 12.8% in terms of the number of applications per role.

And this trend has continued. CV-Library reports that jobs and applications are down 10.2% and 18.3% year-on-year.

But new data from CV-Library reveals that brands are responding to this resource drain by pumping up salaries in a bid to incentivise job seekers into the sector.

According to its research, which compared April 2017 job market trends with April 2016, the customer service sector was one of the top five industries for a pay rise last month.

The top 10 UK industries for a pay rise right now are:

  1. Hospitality – Salaries rose by 11.6%
  2. Education – Salaries rose by 7.8%
  3. Customer Services – Salaries rose by 7.4%
  4. Accounting – Salaries rose by 7.3%
  5. Manufacturing – Salaries rose by 6.6%
  6. Recruitment – Salaries rose by 4.9%
  7. Agriculture – Salaries rose by 2.0%
  8. Electronics – Salaries rose by 1.9%
  9. Retail – Salaries rose by 1.7%
  10. Catering – Salaries rose by 1.6%

Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library, notes: “It’s very promising to see that the customer service industry experienced positive pay rises last month. Clearly, the competition to secure the best candidates is showing no signs of letting up, with companies across the sector looking to bolster their ranks with the top talent. Increasing advertised salaries on job postings is just one of the approaches that companies are taking to attract candidates, which is great news for job hunters out their looking for their next opportunity.”

However, Biggins adds: “Whilst the positive salary growth in the customer service sector hasn’t been replicated across jobs and applications, we are hopeful that the increased salary offerings will see candidate appetite strengthen in the coming months. Offering stronger salaries will ensure that business in the sector attract the top talent and provide them with the best possible collection of candidates to choose from when it comes to hiring.”

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