Agency Building

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Amid simmering economic fears, US employers will spend on hiring, raises and perks in 2020

A new poll from Hay PLC  finds employers intend to invest in new and existing talent to battle skills shortages, stress and weakening morale

ATLANTA, Dec. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ – Findings from the third-annual Hays US Salary Guide released today shows that despite global economic uncertainty, 50 percent of US employers plan to boost permanent headcount in 2020 and will spend more than budgeted to ensure they have what it takes to hire the right talent. A similar number of employers (55%) intend to increase salaries for existing teams as part of their staff retention strategies. Hays experts believe the moves will be well-received by a national workforce that reports increased stress, levels and decreased morale typically caused by skills shortages.

The 2020 Hays US Salary Guide is an annual, in-depth look at hiring and compensation trends drawn from a national survey of more than 3,500 employers and employees across the United States. The new report found that despite widespread worries of a weakening economy, 77 percent of employers predict growth in their respective industries in the year to come. The majority (84%) of employers say they suffer from a shortage of skilled workers however, they appear ready to combat the issue with larger salary offers for sought-after candidates and pay raises to ensure their current staff is happy.

“It’s encouraging to see such employer confidence and motivation in the face of market uncertainty but they should consider that money on its own may not be the long-term solution to skill deficits and employee dissatisfaction,” said David Brown, CEO, Hays US. “Employees frequently tell us they want flexible work options and to work for a company actively involved in their career development. Yes, paychecks are important but there are other incentives to think about.”

Training, remote working and flexible hours join the list of employee benefits

Although companies are looking to grow their staff, they are faced with the challenge of keeping the good people they have. 61% of employee respondents said they are seriously considering leaving their current role over salary, career growth and company culture.

Encouragingly, companies are recognizing this opportunity and investing in areas outside of compensation to keep their staff happy and attract new talent. 25% of our client respondents indicated that they are investing in additional benefits including monetary support for training and certification, the ability to work remotely (51%) and flexible work hours (37%). Hays has also heard from companies throughout the US that have committed to unlimited vacation time and free childcare, which seem to be growing in popularity and are implemented on more of a case-by-case basis.

Work to be done on diversity and employer value propositions

despite widespread worries of a weakening economy, 77 percent of employers predict growth in their respective industries in the year to come. The majority (84%) of employers say they suffer from a shortage of skilled workers...

An employer value proposition (EVP) sits at the core of a company’s brand and conveys what it stands for. Workplace experts agree that a strong EVP coupled with guidelines around diversity and inclusion not only strengthen corporate culture but can positively impact a company’s competitiveness. Nevertheless, 71 percent of Hays Salary Guide employer respondents said they are unsure of their company’s EVP and more than half (53%) of employees are unaware of any diversity and inclusion policies in their workplace.

“It’s an incredibly competitive job market and employers have to focus on bigger picture aspects of work if they want to achieve their business goals,” added Brown. “People expect to do more than punch a clock. They’re looking for meaning, a vibrant culture and to be united with their colleagues under a shared purpose. Employers who understand this fact will be better-suited in the 2020 fight for talent while nurturing their current team.”

Additional highlights from the 2020 Hays US Salary Guide:

  • 85 percent of life sciences employers believe their industry is poised for growth in 2020 versus the national average of 77 percent
  • 23 percent of employers intend to increase temporary or contract staff next year
  • 58 percent of Hays Salary Guide respondents say they have no health and wellness activities through work
  • Reasons why employee respondents are considering leaving their current role: salary (27%), career growth opportunity (24%), company culture (12%)
  • 34 percent of employers offer no flexible work options

For additional insights, including sector specific data, view the 2020 Hays US Salary Guide.




About Hays
Hays plc (the “Group”) is a leading global professional recruiting group. The Group is the expert at recruiting qualified, professional and skilled people worldwide, being the market leader in the UK and Asia Pacific and one of the market leaders in Continental Europe and Latin America. The Group operates across the private and public sectors, dealing in permanent positions, contract roles and temporary assignments. As at 30 June 2019 the Group employed 11,500 staff operating from 265 offices in 33 markets across 20 specialisms. For the year ended 30 June 2019, the Group reported net fees of £1,129.7 billion and operating profit (pre-exceptional items) of £248.8 million.