One of the questions I get asked a lot right now is about salary expectations. “If I’m a £100k candidate, should I start looking at jobs at £85k?” The answer is yes, but with a big caveat:
Think about this from an employer’s point of view. You’ve advertised a sales role, and you're looking at over a 100 applications, many of whom are looking at taking salary cuts. Of those 100 people, a good proportion of those won’t be happy three, six, 12 months down the line because they're not getting paid what they’re used to. The client may think “Hell, I’m getting a bargain – a £100k sales director for £85k!” But we’re advising our clients not to see applicants through COVID-19 glasses.
When the market stabilises and opportunities are there again, that ‘bargain’ candidate will be looking for a move back to the salary range they’re happy with. It’s common sense. But it’s also true that candidates will take a pay-cut for now – just don’t expect that to last.
If there’s a bottleneck at the top, it means a lot of middle-of the-road sales candidates are going to find it even tougher to stand out in this market. If you’ve got a superstar sales director willing to take a pay cut to secure a role, then the £35-60k salespeople stop looking as shiny as they might have.
But it’s not doom and gloom by any stretch. People that are in a business right now and they've kept their sales job have got a great opportunity ahead of them. Because it's almost like a blank canvas to start again. Everybody's got a fair game. There's so many opportunities to sign new businesses that have been let down by their current suppliers. Good sales people will take advantage of that, regardless of where they sit on the payroll ledger.