Career advice

New report reveals the essential salary and benefits trends to watch for in 2023

According to a new employer survey, most workers expect to see their paychecks grow next year.

The team at the employment firm Robert Half has just released their annual salary report with wage predictions for the U.S. and Canada for the coming year. According to the data collected in the 2023 Salary Guide, companies are feeling the pressure to offer higher starting salaries to compete for new talent. They are also planning to increase compensation for their current staff to boost retention in a period of high staff turnover.

Here are some important salary and benefits trends to watch for.

Salaries set to rise

In the U.S., nearly half (48 percent) of employers surveyed say they are planning for a higher year-over-year salary increase in their budgets for next year. This continues a trend of rising compensation rates that began in 2022 as the economy emerged from the pandemic.

North of the border, Canadian salaries are on the way up as well. A similar 42 percent of employers say they are offering higher starting salaries now than ever before. Additionally, 79 percent of managers who increased base compensation for new hires in the past year have also made pay adjustments for current staff to combat the Great Resignation.

This is necessary because, despite overall salary growth in 2022, more than half of professionals surveyed (57 percent) say that they feel underpaid. Thirty-four percent plan to ask for a raise before the end of this year. Further, nearly four in 10 workers (37 percent) say that they would consider changing employers for a 10 percent increase in pay.

Workers feel emboldened right now. Forty-seven percent of professionals report that they are more likely to request a higher starting salary today than they would have a year ago. An even greater percentage (57 percent) feel they are in the driver's seat when it comes to negotiating pay, perks, and benefits.

Companies are stepping up to attract and retain workers

Along with offering higher starting salaries to new hires, many companies are revising their workplace policies to compete in the post-COVID talent crunch. Employers surveyed say that their organizations are implementing the following strategies:

  • Providing higher starting salaries
  • Offering flexible working options
  • Considering remote candidates
  • Providing signing bonuses

Flexibility can be the key to attracting and retaining workers in 2022/2023. Retention is a particularly acute issue, as 78 percent of managers say they are concerned about employees leaving. This is leading many to use the same tactics to hang on to their existing staff as they are to attract new talent.

Flex is the new normal

Once considered a perk to be offered to select employees, flexible work arrangements are now the expectation for many professionals. According to the data from Robert Half, 60 percent of employees surveyed now work on a fully remote or hybrid basis. Further, 40 percent of senior managers say that they have had employees quit rather than return to the office full-time.

The vast majority of employers surveyed across sectors say that offering remote working options has helped them to attract a strong candidate in the past year. This further indicates that remote and hybrid work has gone from being a strategic trend that emerged to counter the impact of the global pandemic to being the new normal for an increasing number of professionals.

The most sought-after workers

The 2023 Salary Report also offers some insights into the most in-demand roles by employers. Companies are competing to recruit critical workers from a limited pool of available talent for the following positions:

  • Administrative assistant
  • Cloud engineer
  • Controller
  • Customer service representative
  • Data security specialist
  • Digital marketing specialist
  • HR recruiter
  • Lawyer
  • Medical biller
  • Medical receptionist
  • Paralegal
  • Staff accountant
  • UX designer

If you are in one of those roles, your odds of negotiating a higher salary with your current employer or a new one are fairly high. And even if you aren't in one of those positions, with the current low level of unemployment and demand for workers, wages are likely to increase across the board for 2023.

The Salary Report indicates that employees looking to negotiate a raise are employing the following strategies to increase their value on the job:

  • Taking on responsibilities outside their job description (41 percent)
  • Acquiring new and relevant skills or certifications (27 percent)
  • Researching salaries and sharing discrepancies with their manager (27 percent)

If you are planning to broach the topic of a pay increase with your boss, the timing could be right. Check out our guide to negotiating a pay raise.

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