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50% of PR people would change jobs for a 10% pay rise, claims recent research

Most communications professionals are keen to change jobs claims a study by VMA Group. Almost 80% of respondents applied for a new job in the last 12 months and 85% are, or are considering, looking for a new role in 2018.

An indicator of how disengaged comms people are with their emplyers is that half of respondents would move to a competitor for a salary increase of less than 10%. Salary is not the only reason people would move, the study finds that the most attractive employee benefit is a pension contribution, followed by non-financial incentives such as more than 25 days holiday and flexible working. This highlights a common failing amongst employers, as it appears many organisations are not embracing more flexible ways of working – only 49% of respondents occasionally work from home and just 3% of respondents currently work on a part-time basis.

Other key findings

  • The majority of respondents agree they are fairly rewarded financially, but this does not seem to make them loyal. For instance, 59% received a salary increase in the past two years; 61% of communicators feel adequately paid for the work they do; and 57% expect a pay rise in the next 12 months  
  • Key motivators for moving jobs include: challenge, progression/promotion, and career development  
  • There is a lack of learning and professional development – 60% of respondents have not had any communications related training in the last 12 months and of those that did 32% of the training was funded by their organisations  

Discussing how employers need to engage their comms staff more successfully, Melissa Pierson, head of the external communications practice UK at VMA Group, says: “It is worrying that a large portion of communicators are looking to jump ship. A key challenge for organisations in the year ahead is to re-engage this group of professionals. Employers must not forget to leverage non-financial incentives and offer opportunities for career development when attracting and retaining talent.”  

If is an expensive business finding new talent, so if employers want to hold on to the people they have they must wake up to the importance of offering packages that include flexible working, better pension provision, proper training and more holiday entitlement.  


The VMA report The View is compiled from responses to a survey conducted in 2017. The report delves into skills in demand, team resources, professional development, remuneration, opportunities and challenges within the communications industry.

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