Work and pay report 2021 – Consultancies and Corporates

Work and pay report 2021 – Consultancies and Corporates

Our 2021 work and pay report, Understanding the Impact of COVID-19, is out. It is based on more than 35,000 data points, combining proprietary data from with a survey of our candidate community of 50,000 strategy and commercial professionals.

To receive the full report, click here.

1. Pay breakdown by company

In comparison to startups, private equity, and venture capital, compensation split at corporates and consultancies remains quite even across seniorities. 

At corporates, from Associate to Director, the percentage of package attributed to a bonus goes from 11-14%. There is a jump in equity percentage from 2-7% as you go up to director level, but the jump is lower than startups, private equity, and venture capital where equity is 17-18% of total package. For consultancies, there is only equity at Director level (2% of total package).

2. Pay rises

Around a fifth of all corporates, consultancies and startups have taken government support during the pandemic. At the same time, they gave pay rises to about half of their employees (down from ~2/3 of their employees in 2019). Corporates gave a pay rise to 59% of their staff; Consultancies gave a pay rise to 58%.

3. Working hours

Across all industries and seniorities, working hours were 4% higher in 2020 than in 2019, indicating that – for the people who retained their jobs – the pandemic made work more intense. This trend holds true for all company types. However, corporates increased by 1% and consultancies by 2%. This trend is particularly pronounced for startups and PE/VCs. 

4. Impact of working hours on job happiness

We tested two long-standing questions with our candidates – how important is money for happiness and what’s the influence of working hours? Overall happiness is roughly constant up until 60h worked per week, but anything above that has a serious negative influence.

5. Pay expectation gap between employer and candidate

The gap between salary advertised and candidate expectations decreases with seniority. For all levels of seniority, the gap between expectation and reality has become a lot narrower in 2020 – overall more than a third of the gap has disappeared. This points to a softer labour market in which the balance of power has somewhat shifted to employers because of the pandemic. The differential between candidate and employer expectations for Corporates is 14%, which is almost double Consultancies (8%). The biggest differential is at startups – 23%.

6. Gender pay gap

The gender pay gap exists and is substantial across all levels of seniority, though it’s particularly pronounced at Director level with 23%. Half of this gap comes from bonuses, which are significantly lower for women than for men.

In our data and as shown in other research too, the gender pay gap is persistent and hasn’t changed much over the years (25% in 2018, 19% in 2019, and 22% in 2020).

7. Impact of Covid-19 of employer opinion

Across Corporates and consultancies (at all seniority levels), about 1/4 of professionals have been or are likely to look for a new position specifically due to COVID-19.

21% of the candidate said COVID had an impact on opinions towards their employers. This is more prevalent amongst junior positions and decreases as seniority increases.

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