Uk   Business Support Q3 2018

Business Support Market Insights Q3 2018

Published on 12th July 2018

The demand for candidates across Business Support functions remains extremely high and looks set to continue, with the Legal sector leading the way in terms of new jobs taken.

Across the first half of 2018, we have seen over double the number of new jobs taken compared to 2017, driven by firms continued growth.

Skills in demand

There has been a marked increase in the demand for candidates at the senior end of the market, with more Secretarial Manager, Team Leader and Executive Assistant roles being taken in Q2 than across the whole of 2017.  The temporary market has increased dramatically, with firms that have previously dismissed the use of temporary candidates seeing the tangible benefits of having a flexible workforce to support projects, cover long-term absences and to provide short-term cover during the recruitment process for permanent roles, which can be lengthy.

Predictions for the coming quarter

It looks set to be an interesting quarter with news of several firms restructuring their Business Support teams in order to change the scope of the roles. Traditional secretarial roles are on the decline with firms moving more towards PA roles, to offer stronger support to fee earners in terms of horizon scanning and organisational & operational support, with support from junior level roles such as Team Assistant or Team Administrator roles to take the admin burden away from PAs. 

Several firms have implemented a ‘hub’ system for lower level admin support tasks and early indicators show this has been working well and has been positively received across firms.

More firms are focussing on ensuring that senior leadership teams have dedicated support in order to assist in some exciting change and innovation projects - the demand for Executive Assistant roles has increased significantly and we expect to see this continue.

The need to utilise temporary PA’s, EA’s and Administrators looks set to continue particularly across the coming summer months were firms find themselves shorthanded. 

Advice for employers

Be decisive! Whilst the number of new job requirements has doubled in H1 of 2018 versus H1 of 2017, the number of good quality candidates has not increased at the same rate!  If you interview a candidate you like, move as quickly as you can - these candidates will be interviewing with at least 2 or 3 other firms so speed-of-process is essential to secure the best talent. 

Advice for jobseekers

Add value! Employers are looking for candidates with that little extra ‘something’ so really think about where you can add value and what makes you unique - it may be a project you supported on, a cost-saving initiative you led or a new process you implemented - whatever it may be, make sure you can demonstrate your point of difference in a competitive market.  


Business Support Salaries Q3 2018

Legal Sector

Job title Permanent salary
per annum (£)
Contract rate per hour (£)
(based on 35 hour week)
PA Services Manager 65K - 80K 40 - 50
PA/Secretarial Manager 48K - 60K   29 - 37
PA Team Leader/Coordinator  38K - 48K 23 - 29
Executive Assistant to Managing Partner 45K - 50K 27 - 31
Senior PA to Senior Partner / Management Team 39K - 46K 24 - 28
Legal PA 36K - 42K 22 - 26
Legal Float Secretary 34K - 38K 20 - 23
Legal Secretary 32K - 36K 17 - 20
Junior Legal Secretary (6 - 12 months experience) 22K - 28K 13 - 17
Trainee Legal Secretary 18K - 23K 11 - 14
Administrator / Admin Assistant 18K - 26K 9 - 16
Document Production Manager / Supervisor 38K - 46K 23 - 28
Document Production Operator 35K - 40K 20 - 23
Weekend Document Production Operator 38K - 42K (pro rata) 23 - 25
Evening Document Production Operator* 36K - 42K 22 - 26
FOH Leadership 33K - 45K 20 - 28
Receptionist / Switchboard Operator 24K - 30K 14 - 18
Facilities Assistant 22K - 28K 13 - 17
Post Room Assistant 18K - 24K 11 - 14
Reprographics Assistant 22K - 27K 13 - 16

*Discretionary enhancement for twilight/unsociable hours

Practice, Property & Consultancy Sectors

Job title Permanent Salary
per annum (£)                   
Contract rate per hour (£)
(based on 35 hour week)
Office Manager 35K - 45K 21 - 27
Executive Assistant 36K - 45K 22 - 27
Senior PA 36K - 40K 22 - 25
PA                                                                                                                  32K - 36K                                            19 - 22
Secretary / Team Secretary 26K - 33K 16 - 20
Team Administrator / Administrator                           24K - 28K 15 - 18
Receptionist 24K - 28K 15 - 18
Switchboard operator 23K - 27K 14 - 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.