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Why South West firms are using benchmarking to become an employer of choice

February 22, 2022

As a leading regional HR Consultancy we have started the year with an influx of requests for benchmarking. Our clients are all trying to ensure they attract the best candidates in a flooded jobs market, as well as ensure they don’t get hit by ‘the great resignation’.

Unemployment figures are down by 47% across the region, and with hybrid working becoming increasingly favourable this means employers have a much wider talent pool.  Those who may have previously lived in big cities have relocated to the South West away from the hustle and bustle, some now enjoying cheaper mortgages and rent whilst still being on enhanced city weighting. Whilst this is great for the employee it can become problematic for the employer.

Benchmarking is a valuable tool for businesses to utilise and ensure a firms Salary and Benefits packages are both fair and competitive. Recent benchmarking data from Reed shows that Salaries in London compared to the South-West are 22% higher across all fields for the highest paid jobs. For the lowest-paid jobs, this figure increases to 26%. This is a significant increase for those now working remotely but still on London weighting.

Here’s what one of our Bath based clients said: “Keeping abreast of market salaries after the turmoil of the last 2 years has become increasingly tough.  In the space of a few days Rise HR Ltd had conducted a company-wide benchmarking exercise for us and delivered a comprehensive report with clear recommendations.  We set our 2022 salary increases with confidence knowing we were competitive with the external market.” Kate Brain, Finance Director, Sims Hilditch.

 Why is Benchmarking Important?

Ultimately, benchmarking is important for SMEs to remain competitive. Firms need to understand, adapt, evolve and grow with their market. By comparing Salary and Benefits packages to competitors, organisations can more efficiently recruit and retain staff. In 2021, over 4.4 million people left their current jobs in search of new, rewarding opportunities amid the global pandemic. Being able to offer competitive salaries and benefits packages will help to retain those employees who are considering future opportunities. You may have heard about ‘the great resignation’ – where more than ever employees are leaving their long-term roles and switching careers or moving to rival firms.

Our Key factors in Benchmarking

Look at the Role, not the person – a common error when benchmarking comes in the form of what you benchmark against. It is easy for companies to benchmark on responsibilities, experience and alignment within the Company, but it would be more advisory to focus on the qualifications and experience needed for the role.

Responsibilities not roles – whilst it may seem that you are comparing identical roles, a Business Analyst in one Company may be a low-level role, whereas it may be a high-level role in another. We encourage that benchmarking focuses on responsibilities that match your job role.

Size matters – a multinational organisation with Headquarters in London will have drastically more means to offer better packages than SMEs. Benchmarking around similarly-sized organisations in your region will help to deliver the best results.

How to Benchmark

Benchmarking on your own without the help of expensive resources and software may be difficult and time consuming. Here at Rise HR Ltd, we have the expertise, knowledge, and resources available to help you benchmark for your upcoming and current roles. Please speak to your usual HR Consultant or get in touch if you think this would be beneficial to your organisation: hello@risehr.co.uk.