Marketing & Growth

What’s the true cost of hiring a marketing assistant?

10 min read


Well, according to PayScale, an online salary, benefits and compensation information company, the average salary for a Marketing Assistant in the UK, as of October 2017, is £18,328 per year – and that’s without the hidden costs of hiring them.

What hidden costs?

Whenever you hire a new employee, there are various costs that need to be factored into the equation to determine the true cost of hiring. There are other variables that contribute to the overall costs; things such as Employer National Insurance contributions, pension contributions, holiday pay, sick pay, training, hardware, administrative costs, maternity/paternity pay and others.

With all of this considered, the actual cost of a marketing assistant is much greater than the £18,328 stated above. According to an article by RI5, a staff member on an average annual salary of £27,600 would cost the company, in total, more than £50,000 in the first year. Further research from RI5 indicates that the true costs of hiring an employee is almost double their salary during the first year of work!

To get a better estimate of the costs of hiring a marketing assistant, we conducted some research. Remember, these variables are estimates and generic cost structures that will not be entirely representative of your business, but they should provide a minimum benchmark for possible expenditure. For more accurate costings, specific to your business, please use this calculator.

1. Employer’s National Insurance:

On a salary of £18,328 a year, your National Insurance contributions will be 13.8%, which is £2,529.

Total: £2,529

2. Work mobile phones:

Businesses usually buy employee mobile phones on 12 or 24-month contracts. The total cost of ownership (TCO) over the 12 or 24-month period is higher than buying the phone outright, but businesses benefit from phone insurance, warranty and “phone refresh” schemes once the contract period is up. As your marketing assistant is likely to be managing a lot of activities and communicating with clients wherever, whenever – they’ll need a decent phone with a good amount of data.

So we had a look at one of best rated, yet affordable, business phones (according to TechRadar), the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge 32GB edition and found out how much it would cost you (at its cheapest) for a year. The cheapest deal we found for the 8GB version of the phone with unlimited texts and minutes was on Three. The total cost of the mobile would be £696 (calculated it’s £672, but the deal included some extras) over 24 months, but £348 over 12.

Total: Between £350-400 (rounded up) – we’ll settle for the lower end of the scale at £350.

3. Employee specific costs:

This includes purchasing hardware and peripherals, such as: laptops, mice, keyboards and headphones, as well as software that enables the employee to do their job properly. In addition, it also includes the costs of training that employee on specific programs and having someone in-house or externally who can provide regular IT support.

  • The basic Office 365 Business package costs £7.90 per user every month. That’s £94.80 for the year, but we’ll round down to £90 – it includes all the standard programs; Word, PowerPoint, Skype for Business, Excel etc.

  • Hardware: generally a one-off cost. Mid-range laptops cost around £500-800, the Lenovo V110 is a great pick, for example, but let’s go for the lower end of the scale at £500

  • Depending on the marketing programs you use, this cost will vary. We’ve based this cost on the price of our HubSpot Marketing Software Training, which is £495 per person – rounded up to £500.

  • Regular IT support: £1,200 (the cheapest IT support packages charge £100 a month.

Total: £2,390

4. Apportionment of business costs:

This includes the acquisition of things like a desk, stationery, cupboards, chairs and others for the year. Of course, these costs vary from business to business. Getting a concrete average for these costs is difficult, so we’ve voided it from our calculation – but be sure to include it in yours!

5. Cost of recruitment, including advertising, interviewing and recruiting:

According to Monster, the average cost of recruitment using either external or internal recruitment methods is believed to be around £4,500. This includes everything from advertising and shortlisting to interviewing and actually acquiring a candidate.

Total: £4,500

6. Employee benefits

To ensure your marketing assistant performs to the best of their ability, it’s important that you provide benefits, perks and a healthy environment that cultivates their growth. These benefits will help your marketing assistant to thrive, but will cost your business. You need to account for healthcare benefits, gym membership schemes and pension schemes.

Total (estimate): Around £1,000 to £5,000 – but as these figures are hard to get an average for, we’ll leave them out of our total.

Pension arrangements/payments

Pension contributions are usually expressed as a fixed sum or a percentage of earnings and are deducted from an employee’s gross earnings – i.e. before PAYE tax is assessed or deducted.

At present, the government auto enrolment pension scheme means that employers pay a minimum of 1% of salary into an employee’s pension. From April 2018, it will increase to 2%.

For a marketing assistant on £18,328, earning £1,527 a month before tax, an employer’s monthly contribution would be £15.27 or £183.24 a year.

Total: £183.24

7. Holiday, sick days and training days

After employee benefits, you need to take into account holiday days, bank holidays, days for formal training and sick day allocation. On average, employees get:

  • 28 days of paid holiday – meaning someone else in the business will need to pick up the slack in the employee’s absence, creating undefinable costs.

  • For a small business with 25-49 employees, an average of 7.7 training days (according to Statista). No doubt you’ll want to get your marketing assistant ready as soon as possible, but training days cost money! For example, let’s say you wanted to get your marketing assistant CIM accredited. Accredited marketing courses at the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) typically cost £595 for a one-day course – multiplied by seven (for accuracy) equals: £4,165 a year.

  • An average of seven sick days. The rate of Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) is calculated according to the employee’s normal weekly earnings, so for a marketing assistant on £18,328, with no student loan payments or other taxable income, take home, after tax and national insurance contributions (based on the 2017/18 tax year) would be £302.74 a week – but let’s round down to £300.

Total: £4,465

8. Wasted and unproductive time

There’s also wasted and unproductive time, which, according to the Telegraph, is 759 hours each year due to workplace distractions. For a marketing assistant on £18,328 – their daily take home is £60.55. On an average work day of eight hours, that’s £7.57 an hour. £7.57 times by 759 equals £5,745.63. Quite a lot, right? Of course, that’s assuming your marketing assistant is actually unproductive. We’ll leave this figure out of the equation as it differs from person to person, but it’s food for thought.

Total: £5,745.63

Having added up the above totals, the cost of hiring a marketing assistant is approximately £32,745.24 a year – almost double their salary – and it doesn’t include the costs we have excluded!

What does this mean for you?

Another difficult to quantify expense is the amount of time your more senior employees dedicate to assisting and mentoring your marketing assistant - you can't put a figure on the quality education your team can provide. As the old saying goes, time is money. As more senior employees take the time to mentor the marketing assistant, they have less time to spend on core activities. This is, of course, a necessary expense – whenever you hire someone new the expectation is that your senior employees will help them succeed and hence repay the business once they are fully trained.

Also, marketing employees and assistants will develop and learn in different ways – and how quickly they progress is entirely down to how your business operates with regards to training and professional development. The more you put in, the more you get out!

If, however, your marketing goals are of the highest priority and need to be achieved over 6 to 12 months (or ASAP, as ever, right?), it might be more beneficial to work with an agency or consultancy where you can outsource some of the work, and get up to speed with your current progress and requirements in weeks, rather than an employee who might need nine months to settle into the role.

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