Salaries on the rise in a candidate-driven job market, employment report shows

Posted at 11:42 AM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 11:42:24-04

CLEVELAND — Companies need to sweeten the pie to keep top talent and attract new hires — that's one of the big takeaways from Robert Half's new salaries guide. It is an annual report that companies use to make sure they're competitive in pay and benefits.

The Robert Half's regional director for the Toledo and Cleveland area says it's the biggest candidate-driven market she's seen in more than 20 years.

"Salaries are on the rise in Northern Ohio," said Jill Turski. "The market's hot right now. Companies are really evaluating their internal salaries to make sure they're in line with the market, and then making appropriate changes to attract talent."

Robert Half's latest analysis highlights several key trends in post-pandemic hiring.

First, employees feel underpaid —more than 50% in Cleveland. Specifically, Gen Z professionals and women.

Also, workers may walk without a raise. The analysis found one in three employees would consider quitting without a raise by year's end, especially, parents and Gen Zers.

And, like Turski said, salaries are rising. The report says starting compensation for U.S. professional occupations is expected to increase 3.8% overall in 2022.

"We're also seeing some tuition reimbursement coming back, which had kind of gone away for a while," said Turski. "Also, employee-referral programs and sign-on bonuses are a thing of today."

And finally, candidates are considering the full package. Right now, a flexible schedule and remote options are the most important:

-Flexible work schedules: 66%

-Remote work options: 56%

-Employee discounts: 37%

Turski says it all means companies need to work harder to keep current staff and get creative to attract new hires. For workers, she says it means now's a good time to maybe ask for that raise you feel you deserve, climb the company ranks or go after that dream job.

She says the pandemic has the potential to positively reshape the employment landscape.

"Hopefully, it'll be positive," said Turski. "Meaning, that companies will really start to look at their compensation, their benefits, and really more on a yearly basis evaluate if they're being competitive."