Business Support Market Insights Q2 2018

Business Support Market Insights Q2 2018

Published on 3rd April 2018

Continuing the Q1 trend, the demand for talent for Business Support functions across Professional Services remains extremely strong, particularly in the Legal sector. Ambition has seen record numbers of new jobs taken across the first quarter of the year; most of which have been attributed to new headcount, underpinning the growth that most firms forecasted going into 2018.


The mid to senior end of the market has been more buoyant in Q1 and going into Q2 than throughout 2017, where we saw the majority of Professional Services firms hire at the junior end of the market.  As firms continue to develop and grow, experienced PA’s and EA’s with their wealth of skills and experience are in demand.  Particular hot spots within Legal include Real Estate, Litigation and Document Production.  


Many firms across Professional Services continue to review efficiencies and best practice amongst their Business Support functions. Allocations are changing, processes are being evaluated and with the advent of new hiring budgets, Q2 looks set to continue the upward trajectory for recruitment

The temp and contract market has steadily increased throughout Q1 and we expect this trend to continue. Many firms that have previously discounted the use of temporary Business Support professionals are now seeing the value these candidates can bring, whether it’s to cover a gap in a team whilst permanent recruitment processes take effect, to support a project or simply to help with an increased workload; the rise of the ‘professional temp’ is on the up. 

The market continues to be candidate led. Outside of Legal, the candidate flow remains steady and firms are more open-minded to hiring outside of the sector. The Professional Services sector continues to be an attractive proposition to candidates outside of the sector. This maintains a steady flow of active candidates approaching us for assistance, coupled with passive candidates from within PS keen to see what the market has to offer. 

Within Legal, candidate flow is slowly increasing. As market confidence increases so does the confidence of passive candidates. We are also seeing more approaches by candidates, many of which have been with the same firm for a number of years and are keen to explore what else might be on offer for them.


Process - there is more choice in the market for good candidates than ever before; speed of process is key to securing the right person for your organisation.

Transparency - in order for us to manage the recruitment process effectively for you, transparency is key as is keeping open lines of communication so expectations are managed throughout the process on all sides.


Help us help you - be open and transparent throughout the process.  Being as responsive as possible and knowing what you want from your search means we can deliver the right results for you.  If you aren’t sure then talk to us; we are here to help! 

Business Support Salaries Q2 2018

Legal Sector

Job titlePermanent salary
per annum (£)
Contract rate per hour (£)
(based on 35 hour week)
PA Services Manager65K - 80K40 - 50
PA/Secretarial Manager48K - 60K29 - 37
PA Team Leader/Coordinator 38K - 48K23 - 29
Executive Assistant to Managing Partner45K - 50K27 - 31
Senior PA to Senior Partner / Management Team39K - 46K24 - 28
Legal PA36K - 42K22 - 26
Legal Float Secretary34K - 38K20 - 23
Legal Secretary32K - 36K17 - 20
Junior Legal Secretary (6 - 12 months experience)22K - 28K13 - 17
Trainee Legal Secretary18K - 23K11 - 14
Administrator / Admin Assistant18K - 26K9 - 16
Document Production Manager / Supervisor38K - 46K23 - 28
Document Production Operator35K - 40K20 - 23
Weekend Document Production Operator38K - 42K (pro rata)23 - 25
Evening Document Production Operator*36K - 42K22 - 26
FOH Leadership33K - 45K20 -28
Receptionist / Switchboard Operator24K - 30K14 - 18
Facilities Assistant22K - 28K13 - 17
Post Room Assistant18K - 24K11 - 14
Reprographics Assistant22K - 27K13 - 16

*Discretionary enhancement for twilight/unsociable hours

Practice, Property & Consultancy Sectors

Job titlePermanent Salary
per annum (£)                   
Contract rate per hour (£)
(based on 35 hour week)
Office Manager35K - 45K21 - 27
Executive Assistant36K - 45K22 - 27
Senior PA36K - 40K22 - 25
PA                                                                                                                 32K - 36K                                           19 - 22
Secretary / Team Secretary26K - 33K16 - 20
Team Administrator / Administrator                          24K - 28K15 - 18
Receptionist24K - 28K15 - 18
Switchboard operator23K - 27K14 - 17

Notes on salary table:

*Discretionary enhancement for twilight/unsociable hours
1. Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
2. The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
3. 12-month base salaries are assumed.
4. All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.