Paris Secretarial & Support salary survey & trends Q4 2014

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]High end recruitment is still slow, as a general trend, with few people moving between permanent (CDI) jobs. This is for roles such as PA to CEO, dedicated Executive Assistant for a Head of Division or Partner, Team Assistants with a specialisation such as Investor Relations or M&A, or for roles such as Office Manager in Private Equity, Law or Boutique Investment Banking / M&A.

When positions do become available, clients are quite rightly being highly selective, and candidates that are in work now and looking to move have an advantage over those who are not. This means that a lot of the best candidates are going to be passive candidates. These candidates are also able to leverage higher salaries, because in most cases they are not interested in moving for a lower salary than they are currently earning. Candidates who may not currently be in a role, but who previously had very well paid positions at this level, are continuing to find it difficult to find a new position that pays equally well.

Typically we are seeing salaries in the following bracket:

Salary expectations (candidate): >€50K + bonus + package.

Actual basic salaries are ranging from €40K up to the high €50Ks for these types of position. Mostly we are seeing replacement positions rather than newly created roles.

Positions for experienced hires with 5 – 15 years experience such as Bilingual Executive Assistant, Polyvalent Executive Assistant, or a Team Assistant role with a speciality (PE, IB, Luxury Goods, Consulting, etc) continue to be an area of high demand. Salaries at this level have a wide degree of variance – as is to be expected when candidates have such a wide range of experience.

In this early – mid career bracket, there is often the highest discrepancy between what a candidate thinks they are worth, and what the market is prepared to pay. A lot of candidates in this bracket look to move for financial reasons (as well as for general career progression and evolution). For example, we are seeing some very good people that are being paid around the €30K – €35K mark who are looking to move for about a €5K increase on average. This is quite realistic, even given the difficult job market. As with more senior hires, employers are being highly selective and also have very high expectations. This is again good news for candidates in work, and who are ambitious and motivated.

In addition to the expected / required skill sets, employers are putting greater stock on hiring people who will bring complementary skills to the table. This might be in the form of additional languages, or could mean experience of managing projects such as communications, events, intranet or database management.

Changing sector remains tricky (this is France!), but increasingly employers, especially managers as opposed to HR, are happy to hire people based on attitude and ambition as much as previous sector experience.

Typically we are seeing salaries in the following bracket:

Salary expectations (candidate): >€38K + bonus + package.

Actual basic salaries are ranging from €30K up to about €45K for these types of position. Mostly we are seeing replacement positions, but there have been an encouraging trickle of newly created roles.

Entry-level or junior roles have, for us, seen a definite increase in volume in 2014. However, we have been mainly working with very high calibre bilingual or trilingual candidates. Because of this, we are perhaps not very well placed to comment on general trends.

Our experience has been, however, that employers are prepared to offer roles to exceptional junior candidates that would previously have been reserved for candidates with 3 – 5 years experience. We have seen this trend with Bilingual Assistants, EMT (English Mother Tongue) Assistants, Polyvalent Assistants and even Office Manager roles in smaller firms. Sectors include Investment Banking, Law, Consulting.

Salary expectations are actually very realistic among candidates.

We have been seeing salaries in the €24K – €28K bracket for these types of position.

David Greaves.


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