In the current jobs market, workers have the upper hand. With record numbers of vacancies, would-be employees can demand higher pay and more perks.
Jamie Hall, of Robert Walters, a recruitment company, said: “Many companies are willing to pay above and beyond to get the top talent. People at senior levels who might usually struggle to get a pay rise are earning £20,000 to £30,000 more by moving elsewhere. Graduates are being offered £5,000 more than they normally would, fresh out of university.”
If you want to secure the highest salary possible, where should you apply? Here, Telegraph Money reveals the 20 firms that pay the most in the UK.
The top-paying companies
Top of the list is Citadel, an American hedge fund. It pays its British employees on average £121,759 a year across all its roles, according to Glassdoor, a jobs website.
Contino, a consultancy, and White & Case, a law firm, came next on the list; they have average base salaries of £108,128 and £107,115 respectively.
Google Cloud and Meta (which owns Facebook and Instagram) are also among the highest-paying employers in the UK, although their average salaries are lower than you may expect, at £88,321, in the case of Meta. This reflects the inclusion of lower-paid administrative roles in the analysis, which brings down the average base pay, particularly of larger companies.
This data takes into account base salary, that is pay packages with all the extras stripped out. In high-paying jobs, much of the pay comes in the form of bonuses, share options and equity, which pushes salaries far higher than is stated here.
Tech vs finance
Young people at the start of their careers focused on making a six-figure salary may find themselves torn between finance and the technology sectors. These were almost neck-and-neck in Glassdoor’s data: while seven of the top 20 firms for average base salaries were in financial services, nine were tech firms.
The tech sector has the highest number of vacancies for roles paying over £100,000 on job search engine Adzuna. Nearly 4pc of IT vacancies promise salaries exceeding £100,000, compared to 1.5pc in finance and accounting. Healthcare also had high numbers of job adverts offering more than £100,000, reflecting the huge numbers leaving the sector.
The company advertising the most roles with salaries above £100,000 was IT consulting firm CGI International.
The most sought after employees – who can demand higher pay
Simon Winfield, of recruiter Hays, said data analysts and software engineers in particular are highly sought after by employers. Three out of five of the roles that had the biggest salary increases in the last year were in cyber security. Roles as security architects had a 16.4pc bump in their average base pay in the last year.
With the job market so hot, a good salary alone might not be enough to reel in the top talent right now. Across sectors, competition is forcing companies to get creative. Paul Lewis, of Adzuna, said: “Beyond bumper pay cheques, employers are also offering other sweeteners to attract the best talent, like digital nomad policies, childcare support, and even fertility benefits.”
People moving jobs are also being lured by big signing-on bonuses. According to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics, total wages grew 6.8pc in February to April 2022, largely due to strong bonus payments. More than 12,000 vacancies on Adzuna are currently offering a golden handshake to new employees, which can be as high as £20,000.
But bonuses aren’t the only perks jobseekers should look out for. “With the cost of travel only going one way, more companies are offering to subsidise employees’ transport costs,” Mr Hall said. “Other perks such as free lunches and a paid-for gym membership are not to be sniffed at; they can go a long way in the current climate.”