December 14, 2023
Irina Loncar

Agency Recruiters Salary: A Comparative Analysis of UK vs Australia

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Considering our extensive recruiter salary survey conducted earlier in the year, we've developed a detailed comparative analysis focusing on the recruitment industry in Australia as opposed to the UK.  

This analysis sheds light on the differing salary scales, commission structures, and benefits between these two countries, providing invaluable insights for UK agency recruiters contemplating an international career move. With this comprehensive guide, UK agency recruiters can gain a clearer understanding of the opportunities that lie in the Australian market Read on!

Higher Salary Prospects in Australia

A standout difference between the recruitment sectors in the UK and Australia is the salary range. Australian recruiters enjoy significantly higher salaries across all seniority levels. For example, an Associate Recruiter in Australia earns between AUD $55,000 - $65,000 (approximately £30,700 - £36,300), markedly higher than the UK average of around £25,000.  

This trend of superior compensation extends to upper management, with Australian Recruitment Directors earning over AUD $150,000 (about £83,700), a sharp contrast to their UK counterparts, who earn just over £73,500.

Recruitment Commission Structures: UK x Australia

Both the UK and Australian recruitment firms offer a range of commission models, but there are notable differences in their structure and potential earnings.

In the UK, commission models are diverse and include:

  • Flat Percentage Schemes: These are common, with percentages often starting at around 10-15% and can go higher based on the seniority and performance. For instance, an Associate Recruiter with a salary of about £25,000 might receive a 10% commission on billings over a certain threshold, such as £5,000 per month.
  • Tiered Percentage Increases: For roles like Senior Recruitment Consultants (earning approx. £38,600), commissions might start at 15% for monthly billings up to £10,000 and increase to 20% for billings above that.
  • Discretionary Bonuses: Particularly at higher levels (e.g., Recruitment Directors with salaries over £73,500), there may be additional discretionary bonuses based on individual or team performance.

Conversely, in Australia, commission structures are more directly tied to performance:

  • Higher Flat Percentages Without Thresholds: An Associate Recruiter earning AUD $55,000 - $65,000 (approx. £30,700 - £36,300) might receive a 20-25% commission on all billings, regardless of a threshold.
  • Aggressive Commission Rates for Higher Roles: Senior Recruitment Consultants (AUD $75,000 - $100,000, about £41,800 - £55,800) can expect commissions of 25-30%, reflecting the market's focus on performance.
  • Significant Earnings for Top Performers: Recruitment Directors, with salaries above AUD $150,000 (£83,700+), could earn commissions of 30-35%, a testament to the high-reward structure in the Australian market.

In summary, Australian recruiters often benefit from commission schemes where they can take home around a third of their total billings, a model that heavily values performance and results. This contrasts with the UK's more varied commission strategies, where the correlation with billing performance is less direct. The Australian emphasis on incentivising high performance offers recruiters the opportunity to significantly increase their earnings based on their success, a stark difference from the UK model.

Recruitment Market Sectors and Career Opportunities

The UK recruitment market is renowned for its diversity and maturity, with key sectors including Banking & Financial Services, Legal, Risk & Compliance, IT & Tech, Healthcare, and emerging areas like Renewable Energy, Manufacturing, and Engineering. These sectors offer stable and diverse opportunities, with London being a pivotal financial and legal hub. The UK's burgeoning tech scene, especially in fintech and cybersecurity, is creating new avenues for recruiters.

In contrast, the Australian recruitment market is dynamic and evolving, with a strong emphasis on sectors like Information Technology, Accounting and Finance, Construction, Manufacturing & Engineering, and notably, Oil & Gas. These industries are experiencing significant growth, driven by Australia's infrastructure development and its position as a resource-rich region. The market presents unique opportunities, particularly in high-value sectors like Oil & Gas, which are less prevalent in the UK.

Why Consider Australia Over the UK?

The reasons for UK recruiters to consider a move to Australiaare compelling:

  • Higher Earning Potential: The pronounced difference in salaries and commission structures is a major draw.
  • Career Advancement: Australia's performance-driven recruitment sector offers a challenging yet rewarding environment for professional growth.
  • Varied and Dynamic Market The focus on key growth industries in Australia presents a wider array of opportunities.
  • Quality of Life: Australia is known for its excellent quality of life, offering a perfect blend of work and leisure.

If you're a UK agency recruiter considering a career change, this comparative analysis is just a sneak peek at what Australia can offer you. Our Australian clients are actively seeking talented professionals, particularly in vibrant cities like Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane.

Reach out to our dedicated Rec2Rec team to assess your options and opportunities. Your future in the Australian recruitment market might just be a conversation away.

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