Increase Trends Hold Steady
Almost 8 in 10 workers participating in the 2016 survey reported a salary increase in the last 12 months. Total compensation rose by 5% for fulltime non-executive employees, matching last year’s increase. For those in new jobs, increases were more robust (12%) underscoring that the fastest track to higher pay is making a job move. In fact, when examining average increases by tenure, those at their company the longest saw the lowest average total compensation increase.
High Hopes vs. the Real Deal
When asked about increases in the coming year, 37% of workers were extremely optimistic, expecting total compensation to rise over 10%. Another 38% anticipated increases between one and 9.9%. Managers provided a reality check, forecasting that the majority of raises (67%) would likely fall in the 1-4.9% range.
Good Benefits outside of medical and dental insurance offered by a vast majority of companies, workers are most interested in tuition/continuing education reimbursement and 401K with company match. When it comes to soft benefits, employees are most interested in summer hours/comp days and on-site fitness facilities (such as a gym, athletic field or yoga). While a majority of workers surveyed desired these soft benefits and tuition/continuing education reimbursement, few received them. This creates an opportunity for companies to differentiate their employment brand by upgrading the employment experience with sought-after extras.
Workers Looking to Make a Move for More Money and Growth
Two-thirds of workers (66%) are planning a job change in the next 12 months – a slight drop from last year’s 70%. However, more workers are looking to switch both job and the company this year (79% vs. 63%). Workers are turning to job placement agencies or relying on their own network for new opportunities. Of all the workers surveyed,
Of all the workers surveyed, one-fifth were considering an offer at the moment (significantly down from 40% last year). Salary and growth potential still drive those looking to make a move. However, if a new job comes up short in dollars, job seekers said they’re likely to consider other aspects of the employment proposition to soften the blow.
Trade-offs & Pay-offs
There’s no denying that salary & benefits play an important role in the worker’s evaluation of an employment situation, and influences worker attitudes & perceptions. Year after year, our workplace research finds that salary is the number one reason for making a job move, feeling engaged at work, and experiencing stress on the job.
However, when a company comes up short on the salary side of the equation, workers said they’d consider options like a flexible schedule or more paid time off to balance things out. Further, generous soft benefits positively impact workers’ appraisal of company culture, their engagement at work, and their job loyalty.
A company can signal its concern for worker well-being by tweaking the compensation and benefits aspects of the employment experience. The advantage: employees who said that they feel cared for are less likely to feel burnt out and more likely to be the happiest and productive.
A Job Seeker’s Market
For the 66% of workers who said they’re looking to make a move, the hiring outlook is bright with 79% of hiring managers planning to fill existing or new roles, or both. Most hiring managers see their company’s employment brand as a draw and view their HR department as a collaborative and understanding partner. However, when it comes to finding the talent their teams need quickly, they are less confident in HR’s ability and are frustrated with their company’s slow recruiting process.
Talent Most In Demand
Across the creatively-driven sectors for which 24 Seven recruits, hiring managers reported that design & creative, sales and marketing talent are the most difficult to hire. When it comes to which talent is most in demand, professionals with digital & interactive, design & creative, and sales backgrounds will find themselves holding the cards. This talent demand isn’t limited to jobs in advertising agencies or marketing firms – as hiring managers in the retail, fashion, beauty, e-commerce, design sectors also indicated a need for professionals with these backgrounds.
Workers Hungry for Skills & Growth, But Companies Not Serving Up Opportunity
Our study finds that workers are focused on growing professionally both within their organization today and further down the career road. Almost all are proactive in seeking out training and development on their own to stay relevant – with good reason. Less than half say their current employer offers professional development opportunities, and even fewer report being trained for the next role on their career path.
For those that receive any training, there’s a disconnect between the programs they want and get. The majority seek formal coaching and mentoring – which may explain why they prefer more frequent managerial feedback (rather than a one-time annual review). And when it comes to career pathing, less than half of respondents say they have a somewhat to very defined course while the rest have little to no idea where they’re headed.
The lack of support in training, development and path clarity ranks among the top reasons for on-the-job stress. For companies looking to improve morale, productivity, retention and engagement, our study shows that specifically providing clearer career paths to employees has direct impact on those goals.
Culture Makes a Workplace Sticky
Companies have long known that hiring for cultural match is important. But there seems to be room for improvement, as only 3 in 10 respondents felt like they had made the ultimate culture connection. Improving the cultural fit of new hires has immediate positive impact on the company.
Employees who reported feeling that they click with their company are happiest, loyal, highly engaged, and least likely to feel burned out. Think your company is culturally hopeless because it doesn’t feature a cool loft office space with foosball and nap rooms? Fret not – while physical environment rounds out the top ten aspects of culture, it’s chosen significantly less often than more attitudinal dimensions.
At the end of the day, fancy fixtures lose their luster when one doesn’t click with a manager or feels out of whack with the company’s approach to work life balance, authenticity, and employee development.