Tight labour market fuels higher pay and bonuses in internet sector


Tight labour market fuels higher pay and bonuses in internet sector

IT, marketing and sales staff working in e-commerce businesses can earn higher salaries and bonuses than in bricks-and-mortar organisations, according to a survey by HR consultants William M Mercer.

The survey shows that three-quarters of internet businesses either provide, or are considering providing, retention bonuses and project milestone/completion bonuses to these staff. Even more are looking at short-term incentives such as annual and bi-annual bonuses.

The explosion of e-commerce means that IT and marketing staff are now in very hot demand, said Karen Kreidler, a senior consultant at William M Mercer. Clearly, this is creating a new set of issues on how companies can differentiate themselves to attract and retain the right people.

More companies focusing on total rewards

A particularly noticeable finding to emerge from the Mercer research is that some employers are starting to broaden their reward packages in an attempt to attract the talent they need. One in ten organisations now offers its e-commerce professionals special perks such as home-working, flexitime and dress-down policies. A third are considering this sort of approach.

Kreidler commented:

Companies that focus on the 'total work experience' are more likely to be successful in attracting and retaining staff in the long term. Such organisations not only understand the importance of reward packages, but also work at creating challenging jobs and development opportunities, strong management and leadership, and an environment of empowerment.

Key findings of Mercer research

  • The median base pay for senior executives is £ 110,000 a year, rising to over £ 135,000 for some positions. The median base salary for web design managers is £ 57,750, whilst junior web designers earn £ 25,100. E-commerce marketing managers receive a median salary of £ 58,500.

  • Nearly a third of participants have introduced more aggressive pay increases in their e-commerce businesses than in other parts of their organisation — typically using a separate, higher pay range or adding a special premium of between 6% and 10% of base pay.

  • Average salary increases for e-commerce staff were pitched at 4.8% in 1999/2000, although some companies awarded as much as 9.4% to certain staff. The average projected rise for next year is 4.9%.

  • Just under a third of companies have introduced a special recruitment and retention programme for e-commerce professionals, while a similar proportion is considering doing so.


Survey details

Title: 2000 UK e-commerce compensation survey, by William M Mercer.

Sample size: the survey draws on information provided by 22 of the UK’ s largest e-commerce suppliers and dot-com companies. The average e-commerce workforce was 79 the average number of contractors was 30.

Methodology: Mercer’ s analysis focuses on 20 e-commerce roles covering a range of specialist positions from web developer to top e-commerce executive.

Business sectors: the majority of participating organisations were subsidiaries or divisions of parent companies. Half of the respondents were financial services organisations.

Want to know more? Further information and copies of the survey are available from Julia Clement, tel: 01753 848 040 or email julia.clement@uk.wmmercer.com

Check out the press release . . .