Contract marketers’ wages outpace perm staff

Contract marketers are seeing their pay rise at three times the rate of permanent staff, fuelled by increased demand for contract staff from cautious companies looking to reduce fixed costs, according to research.


Recruiter Robert Walters’ annual salary survey of marketers found that contractors on fixed long or short-term deals saw their pay increase buy an average of 3.4% year-on-year in 2011. Permanent marketers’ salaries grew 1.1% last year.

Use of contractors is increasing but their number is not rising with demand, pushing rates up, Robert Walters says.

Tim Gilbert, director of marketing recruitment at the recruiter, says: “Currently we’re finding that when a marketer leaves a job, employers are looking to make absolutely sure they appoint the right replacement.

“In essence, hiring firms are being cautious when making decisions. Employers are therefore recruiting contractors to fill vacancies initially on an interim basis, giving them extra time to ensure they make the right permanent hire.”

David Thorp, research director at the Chartered Institute of Marketing, says that it is not just a cost saving exercise but a strategic move to pick and choose from a wider talent base.

“The use of contractors not only enables businesses to harness the skills of individuals who are best aligned to a particular project or priority for them, but ensures a better ROI by removing the longer-term commitment associated with a full-time position.”

Increased rates for digital marketing contractors climbed at the steepest rates. The top rate director level temporary staff can expect is £100 per hour, up from £80 in 2010. Manager level contractors can demand £45 per hour, up from £40 a year earlier.

Permanent digital marketers also enjoyed the biggest increases with digital directors paid £120,000, up from £100, 000 a year earlier. These findings were echoed in the Marketing Week/Ball & Hoolahan salary survey earlier this year.

The report was based on an analysis of jobs that Robert Walters worked on in 2011.

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