What we pay at Collective Content

I’m very happy. Not just because it’s the morning of the final of Euro 2020. (Disclosure: I’m less happy now.) Or because it’s my birthday. (Hello bad guys! I’m turning 30, by the way.)

I’m happy because we’re making more new hires. We have a writer starting in three days and a project manager in eight. There could be more to come soon, if things pan out.

Finding talented people is just about the favourite thing I do. But it can be hard.

In our world, as an agency working for B2B tech clients, there is a talent grab. We’re emerging from almost 18 months of pandemic and, at the same time, content has never been a more essential building block in marketing.

And it’s not like we hire just anyone. Over the years, Collective Content has always favoured growing slower than others if we couldn’t find the right people. It’s an approach that always works out in the long term. Our current team, our client roster and the way we work all prove that.

Open salary?

Which all brings me to something I’ve considered for a year or two — making team salaries public.

This isn’t an easy decision. Yes, it might feel very 2021, and it might help us recruit and retain staff. But it comes with uncertainties.

For now, we’re not posting individuals’ specific salaries and benefits. An on-ramp to all this — I’m making this up as I go along, I should warn — is publishing the minimum starting salaries for different roles.

As you can imagine, there will be some people with the same job title who don’t earn the same because one person has been here five years and the other five months. No one on the team has a problem with that.

But my hope is that this makes us more attractive in an increasingly tight labour market. No one is getting rich and it doesn’t give the full picture of working here. But it might help.

When I’ve been interviewing more junior new starters, I talk about longer-term career progression and rewards. That’s especially so for someone just starting out in a big city on £30K a year. (Though note we don’t pay someone less if they live in a lower cost part of the world.)

We still pay better than equivalent roles in media and some other agencies. As writer, friend and sometime Collectivist Rupert Goodwins is fond of pointing out, starting salaries in journalism haven’t risen in 30 years. (Though I’d also counter — not to stand up for the higher-ups, mind you — that the average media business model isn’t as robust as it was back then. But I digress.)

It’s good for our existing team to embrace this openness and know they’re in a fair place, relative to each other, as well as the market.

It’s good for those applying for jobs and new starters who can see what lies ahead.

And it’s good for me, to help show talent that we’re transparent and a decent place to work.

Salary information here.


Follow me on Twitter — @tphallett

Photo by Debby Urken on Unsplash

Media, marketing, tech, b2b, London. Runs Collective Content (UK). Previously: CBS, CNET, Silicon, Japan.