Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland bosses ramp up rewards

Rewards and incentives for Northern Ireland professionals showed improvement in 2011 as employers sought to retain top talent, according to a new survey.

According to the annual Salary Survey from Brightwater Recruitment Specialist, IT, along with accountancy, legal and human resources, ranked as the best-performing sectors in terms of payment increases and benefits.

The detailed Salary Survey is based on data gathered from hundreds of employers across a wide range of industries. Its findings suggest a mood of cautious optimism with many respondents reporting plans for slight salary improvements across a number of areas in 2012.

Michelle Kearns, commercial manager of Brightwater's Belfast Division, said:

"The results show that top quality individuals are being rewarded by employers who are keen to invest to retain their best people. Though salaries in some sectors remain frozen, remuneration packages as a whole are improving with an emphasis on lifestyle benefits rather than salaries alone."

Designed to help employers accurately plan for recruiting and rewarding staff, Brightwater's Salary Survey provides detailed market insights and identifies payment trends across a wide range of professions.

Human Resources - often viewed as a market indicator - reflected an increased trend in learning and development roles which, according to Brightwater, indicates that companies are willing to invest in their staff and release budget to do so.

David Bloch, managing director of Brightwater Group, believes a number of factors have led to increased movement in a number of areas over the last year.

"Restructuring has been prevalent across Northern Ireland in the last 12 months but there have also been exciting new developments in terms of new entrants to the market."

The findings follow recent figures released by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment that show Northern Ireland full-time weekly private sector earnings increased by 3.5% over the year compared to 0.8% in the UK.

To download a copy of the Brightwater Northern Ireland Salary Survey log on to

Belfast Telegraph