This summer, there were 10.4 million open jobs in the United States, spanning a wide range of industries, including medical care, hospitality, food service and local government. The numbers are large, but not shocking. Amid a historic labor shortage and the ability to work from anywhere, employees are seeking jobs and perks that make them feel valued and appreciated.
As 2022 approaches, employees at major organization such as The Kellogg Company and John Deere are raising new demands for fair compensation and benefits that suit their changing needs and lifestyles. Research also suggests that average raises in 2022 will likely be higher than last year.
Additionally, beqom’s 2021 Employee Expectations in Hiring Report dives into how pay rates and benefits offerings are impacting talent shortages, with employees looking for fair pay and new kinds of benefits as workplaces adjust to the changing climate. With the pandemic prompting more people to reevaluate what’s most important to them — including prioritizing time spent with loved ones and other interests outside of the office — many are looking to see how their compensation, insurance and other job perks can help them in their life outside the office, not just in it.
Catering to Employees’ Needs
It used to be office holiday parties and free coffee in the breakroom that kept employees sticking around. But the pandemic has given many employees a more well-rounded perspective on what matters in their professional and personal lives. As more people begin prioritizing time spent with loved ones and other interests outside of the office, they are seeking employee benefits that promote a strong sense of work-life balance.
In fact, some employees are even willing to accept a salary below market average if the benefits provide a better sense of work-life balance. beqom’s survey found that more than two-thirds of Americans said they wouldn’t mind being paid less if it meant having flexible working hours (77%), remote work options (71%) and a higher number of PTO days (70%). Employees’ personal and work lives have changed dramatically since the pandemic began, and since they aren’t slowing down any time soon, employers must speed up alongside them.
Fair and Competitive Compensation
Although employees are willing to take salary cuts in exchange for desired benefits offerings, that doesn't mean they aren’t aware of their worth and value. In fact, salary is still top of mind for many employees and job seekers.
Going into 2022, companies are planning to boost employee salaries by 3.3%. beqom’s report found nearly two-thirds (64%) prioritize pay as the most important factor when considering a job offer, whether that compensation comes from salary alone or total cash compensation — a combination of things such as salary, bonus and commissions, for example.
Whether its higher costs of living, inflation or competition for an open position driving job seekers, they are expecting their compensation in a new role to be higher than in their previous position. Due to the pandemic, more than half (52%) of Americans expect their salary to increase in a new job.
Some employers are getting a head start, as wages and salaries have increased 1.5% and benefit costs have increased 0.9% since June 2021.While it’s important for employers to offer desirable benefits for employees adjusting to post-pandemic life, it’s equally as important for them to offer competitive salaries that meet job seekers’ needs.
It’s not enough for today’s employees to have an understanding of only their own salaries. Amidst a wave of reports about major companies such as Amazon unfairly compensating employees, many want to make sure their compensation stacks up against their colleagues. Pay transparency is so important to Americans that more than two-thirds of workers (68%) would consider taking a lower salary as long as the organization was transparent about its compensation benchmarks.
It sounds simple, but it isn’t always that way. Employees want to feel comfortable and open in the workplace, but more than half of Americans (55%) say they have been pressured by an employer not to disclose their pay to coworkers. Discouraging conversations around pay only creates a sense of secrecy and decreases employee’s trust in the organization.
There’s no time for employers to wait on building a strong sense of pay transparency at all levels of the organization. beqom’s survey found more than two-thirds of Americans (67%) think companies should disclose their CEO-to-employee pay ratios, and 70% believe companies should disclose their overall pay gap.
Pay transparency benefits both the employee and the employer, and helps make sure both are on the same page when it comes to how and why compensation is determined. When employees are aware of industry benchmarks, it can help them set better goals for their responsibilities and job performance, leading to greater company success. If both sides are transparent about their compensation, job responsibilities and goals, it’s easier for both parties to meet expectations.
Between new work environments and shifting personal priorities, employees want their organizations to make their lives easier, not harder. Offerings such as remote work options, fair compensation and pay transparency are bound to not only get job seekers in the door, but keep them there as assets to the organization.
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