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Maximising your team performance with competitive salaries.

By: Aquent

LAST UPDATED: 22 February, 2024

Key Takeaways

  • The success of organisations in the dynamic work landscape of 2024 hinges on high performing teams and competitive compensation.
  • To attract and retain top talent, organisations must offer compelling compensation packages that reflect their value.
  • Remote work has become a defining feature of the post-pandemic era, broadening the talent pool and extending operational hours for certain roles.
  • Gender pay parity is still a pressing issue, with women on average earning 92.6% of what men do.

As we navigate the landscape of work in 2024, two factors stand out as pivotal for success: high performing teams and competitive compensation. High performing teams, the bedrock of any successful organisation, drive innovation and provide a competitive edge in today's evolving business environment. However, to attract and retain such top-tier talent, organisations must offer compelling compensation packages that reflect their value.

Understanding and setting competitive salaries is a complex task. It requires a thorough grasp of market trends, industry norms, and the impact of location on pay scales. Salaries often mirror the cost of living in a given area, contributing to a widening salary gap between different positions and regions. Aquent's 2024 Netherlands Salary Guide proves indispensable in navigating these complexities. Offering comprehensive data on salaries across various professions and contract types, it aids employers in setting competitive wages to foster characteristics of high performing teams.

Insights from the 2024 Netherlands Salary Guide

When it comes to talent acquisition and retention, having reliable and comprehensive data at your fingertips can make all the difference. That's why we're excited to introduce our 2024 Netherlands Salary Guide—the culmination of a year's worth of real placement data representing nearly 100 job titles across the Netherlands. Packed with data highlighting the latest compensation trends and strategies, this resource is a must-have for any organisation seeking to attract and keep top performers.

What makes our 2024 Salary Guide truly unique is that it's actionable. We don't just present raw data. We translate the data into talent insights you can use to refine your recruitment and retention strategy, from developing competitive job offers for specific roles and contract types to closing the gender pay gap to understanding the going rate for emerging roles. So, if you're looking to gain a competitive edge in the talent market, our guide on attracting and retaining high performers is the resource you need.

Expertise matters: Market trends and hidden talent pools 

With a rise in return-to-office mandates and a shrinking number of fully remote opportunities, business leaders are regaining the upper hand in negotiations as the Netherlands sees a shift away from the candidate-led market of post-pandemic years. Whether an on-site or hybrid model is more productive is still hotly debated, particularly when many Creative, Marketing and Technology roles can be done just as effectively from anywhere in the world. However a greater presence in-office does allow for easier collaboration, more close-knit teams, and – in many cases – the opportunity for leader oversight on activity.

From a salary trends perspective, our 2024 report has highlighted some key developments – many as a result of economic or technological developments.

In a year with tight budgets and limited headcount, organisations were keen to splash out on skillsets that developed, retained or gained business. This included hikes for salaries advertised to Marketing Directors, E-commerce Managers and UX Designer.

Roles with little variance over the last 12 months included Graphic Designers and Copywriters – both key roles impacted by swiftly developed AI technology. It's worth noting that training and upskilling is a must for specialists in these spaces to stand out, maintaining a competitive advantage.

Finally, fields that were hit hardest were ones that had potentially seen the most substantial growth in recent years and so ultimately faced salary correction. These titles included Creative Directors, UX Strategists and Account Directors.

The emergence of remote work: A new era in the workplace

The post-pandemic era has witnessed a seismic shift in work arrangements, with remote work becoming a defining feature. According to Aquent's Talent Insights Report, high performing teams are increasingly likely to be remote, challenging traditional notions of productivity and collaboration.

Historically, over 90% of employees lived within commuting distance of their workplaces, underlining the importance of location. However, the rise of remote work has altered this dynamic. It has broadened the talent pool, enabling companies to hire from diverse backgrounds and geographic locations. This “follow-the-sun” model also extends operational hours, particularly beneficial for roles like Social Media Managers and communication professionals who need to stay abreast of trending topics throughout the business day across time zones.

Remote work offers numerous advantages, with flexibility as a crowd-pleasing standout. Recent studies indicate that employees value flexibility so much that they are willing to take pay cuts for it. One study showed that employees were willing to accept an 8% pay cut for increased flexibility. Similarly, a survey found that two-thirds of employees would trade a portion of their salary for more job flexibility, with women valuing flexibility more than men. 

The emergence of remote work is reshaping the world of work at an unprecedented pace. From the rise of AI and immersive technology to the debates about remote versus in-office work, these changes are creating new opportunities and challenges for both employers and employees. As we navigate this new landscape, understanding and adapting to these trends will be key to success in the evolving workplace.

Pay gap: A persistent issue

Despite strides toward gender equality, women continue to earn an average 7.4% less than their male counterparts. What's more concerning is that the gap isn't closing at a meaningful rate either. This pay inequity is influenced by several factors, including negotiation difficulties, reluctance to switch companies, the “motherhood track” stigma, and the cost of flexibility.

Achieving gender pay parity is not just a matter of creating an inclusive and equitable workplace; it's also about boosting team performance. Research has shown that teams with greater gender diversity perform better, and it stands to reason that high performing employees should be paid equally, regardless of their gender.

Intermediair and the Nyenrode Business Universiteit reported in October 2023 that the wage gap has increased from 5% in 2021, with men's wages growing 16.4% whilst women saw an average increase of 9.1% (less than inflation) over the past two years. Women in media were in the only sector that saw higher pay than men, though by a small margin of 2.5%. Conversely, IT and Tech roles saw men earn on average 22% more than women.

These disparities may be attributed to negotiation hurdles, as hesitance to negotiate can lead to lower initial salaries and fewer pay raises. Reluctance to change companies can also hinder opportunities for increased compensation and bonuses. The “motherhood track” stigma, where requests for flexible or remote work schedules are interpreted as decreased dedication, can also hinder career progression. Finally, the cost of flexibility is another factor, with employees willing to take pay cuts for flexibility, a trend more common in women.

Addressing the gender pay gap is an urgent issue that requires immediate attention. As an industry, we need to actively work toward creating equitable workplaces where all employees are valued and compensated fairly.

Conclusion

In today's rapidly changing work environment, businesses are evolving their strategies to attract and retain top talent. As our reports highlight, the success and growth of any business hinge on building high performing teams and offering competitive pay. The rise of remote work and its inherent flexibility has broadened the talent pool and reshaped our understanding of productivity and collaboration. However, with this evolution comes new challenges, including the cost of flexibility, which some employees are willing to bear in exchange for increased work-life balance.

Regrettably, a persistent issue marring this progress is the widening gender pay gap. It is crucial to address these issues and strive for gender pay parity, enhancing team performance and creating an inclusive and equitable workplace.

Now is the time for action. Employers must adapt, consider changing preferences, and understand these trends to succeed in this evolving world of work. Let us strive to bridge the pay gap and foster a truly inclusive and equitable workplace. Every pound counts toward building a successful team. Download the Aquent 2024 Netherlands Salary Guide to see the data for yourself.