- While over half of professionals (57%) think a stronger economy has raised their earning potential, only 47% feel they are adequately paid, according to a survey released by human resources consulting firm Robert Half.
- About three in four workers (73%) said they've checked their salary against market rates within the past year. That figure is up from 54% two years ago, the survey found, and more than half say they've compared their salaries to those of their co-workers.
- “Managers must remain equally knowledgeable, regularly evaluating salaries to ensure they’re paying at or above market rates to recruit and retain highly skilled talent in today’s competitive hiring market,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director at Robert Half.
The survey — which consulted more than 1,000 workers across several industries — found 82% of respondents said they "knew their worth" as employees. In a competitive hiring market and healthy economy, organizations must ensure that pay is up to par to retain top-performing talent and employees.
"Replacing talent is so much more expensive than rewarding your top performers while you have them," Kathleen Downs, senior vice president of recruiting, told CFO Dive.
That confidence has prompted junior employees to job-hop when other significant opportunities are within reach, Downs said.
Downs encouraged CFOs to make structural changes that convey appreciation and recognition when key employees are most likely to look elsewhere. She suggested offering quarterly bonuses rather than annual ones, or giving discretionary bonuses to members of a team, should they hit a certain milestone.
With these kinds of practices in place, employees will "feel like they're participants in the success of the company," Downs said. "And as a former financial professional myself, I know that it's safer to put more money into variable compensation, and if the economy turns, then you're not set to a higher base salary."
Employee retention is more of a finance problem than an HR problem, Downs said. "In the finance department, when [there are] untimely departures of key staff, you have to work your existing staff much harder, while also finding new talent, and that may take a little time."
Accurate reporting on a timely basis often falls to the CFO, Downs said, and it's critical that their staff doesn't get burned out from working too many hours to see that result through.