An annual survey run by global recruiter Hays Plc has indicated that building experts are being paid as much as £110,000 to leave their job and join a competitor.

Quantity Surveyors working in London have traditionally been among the highest-paid in the building and construction industry, but this appears to be a whole new level. In the last 12 months salaries have increased by 10% with the average pay now showing as £100k and upwards. This has lead to fierce competition among rival firms to hire the best. One partner at a London firm said: “I think we’d be looking to pay between £85,000 and £120,000, somewhere in that ballpark.”

One company with offices across the United Kingdom said: “£100,000 is about right. I would say £110,000-plus is there, but the person has to have something to bring to the table like clients.”

Since the pandemic, many companies have seen a leap in profits as middle management and other roles have been cut. One senior executive was quoted as saying. “It is then about what you do with these profits – hand them out as earnings to the top table or reinvest them in the business?” He continued: “Some will have seen the pandemic as an opportunity to do some trimming, which has created space to try and attract stronger individuals to the business. To make sure we get the very best, it is not uncommon to pay 100% bonuses upfront as a finders fee.”

Gaelle Blake, director of Hays Construction and Property, said firms need to step up their efforts to keep staff. She added: “Many professionals feel disengaged or that they are being overlooked in their current capacity, and this will inevitably lead to switching jobs.

The survey, which ran for three weeks until the middle of last November, had 435 responses from those working or employing professionals in the building industry.