New Research: Compensation Trends Amid COVID-19

 

 

  • 82 per cent of senior managers worry about losing top talent; of those, 41 per cent say salary reductions and planned salary freezes are to blame
  • 75 per cent of companies have maintained or upped pay for new hires since the pandemic began
  • 24 per cent of employers are more likely to negotiate compensation with candidates now versus a year ago
  • Robert Half 2021 Salary Guides reveal starting salaries for nearly 400 positions

Toronto, ON — Employers have a growing list of concerns lately, including losing their top performers, new research from global staffing firm Robert Half shows. A majority of senior managers surveyed (82 per cent) said they are worried about their company’s ability to retain valued staff, with 34 per cent being very worried. Of those respondents, 41 per cent attribute their concern to salary reductions or planned salary freezes for the near future.

The research comes in conjunction with the release of the Robert Half 2021 Salary Guides, which provide starting salary ranges for nearly 400 positions in the accounting, finance, technology, creative, legal and administrative support fields.

View an infographic of the research highlights.

“The pandemic has caused organizations to shift into high gear, and many employees have taken on heavier workloads”, said David King, Canadian senior district president of Robert Half. “Although some companies are offering non-monetary perks such as options for greater flexibility in the workday or access to important health and wellness resources, many have also been forced to reduce or freeze salaries. Because of this, employers have growing concerns about their ability to retain high-performing employees as they continue to weather the economic impact of COVID-19.” 

The Current State of Salaries for New Hires

Even in a time of high unemployment, a majority of companies are offering new recruits pay that meets or exceeds pre-pandemic numbers. More than half of senior managers surveyed (56 per cent) said starting salaries for new hires have held steady since COVID-19 began. And about one in five respondents (19 per cent) noted an increase in base compensation. 

Willingness to Negotiate Pay with Candidates

More than 8 in 10 senior managers (81 per cent) noted they are as likely to negotiate salary with new hires today than a year ago. Of those, 24 per cent said they are more open to discussing starting pay with candidates now compared to 12 months ago.

Managers at mid-size companies (500 to 999 employees) and managers in the technology industry were more likely to have an increased willingness to negotiate salary than they did a year ago. 

“Employers are putting a premium on professionals with the skills and expertise needed to support new business priorities resulting from the pandemic” added King. “When it comes to negotiating job offers, not only do these candidates have an edge, but we’re finding employers are also more open to discussing compensation earlier in the hiring process. Now is a critical time to be aware of current salary trends to ensure you’re prepared to offer the competitive salaries needed to quickly secure top talent.”   

Visit the Robert Half Salary Calculator to see starting salary ranges for hundreds of positions adjusted for local markets.

About the Research

The online survey was developed by Robert Half and conducted by an independent research firm from July 10 to August 9, 2020. It includes responses from more than 600 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees across Canada. 

About the Salary Guides

Robert Half has reported on salaries since 1950. Information in the Salary Guides is based on the thousands of job searches, negotiations and placements managed by Robert Half’s staffing and recruiting managers. Continuing or ongoing salaries are not reported because many external factors — such as seniority, work ethic, job performance and training — impact the salaries of full-time professionals as work histories develop.

About Robert Half

Founded in 1948, Robert Half is the world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm. The company has more than 300 staffing locations worldwide and offers hiring and job search services at roberthalf.ca For additional career and management advice, visit the Robert Half blog at roberthalf.ca/blog

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