Employers are using hiring bonuses to attract talent and retention bonuses to keep them. Buck's study, " Reviving and Inspiring the Workforce: 2011 Compensation Trends Survey," found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of organizations report using hiring bonuses and 41 percent use or expect to implement retention bonuses.
The survey included a range of employee levels including; executives, directors, managers, other exempt employees, and nonexempt employees.
For those employees participating in a bonus program, the study found that eight out of every 10 employees can expect to receive a payout in 2011. Forty-four percent of employers who responded to the survey expect to pay bonuses that are at least five percent larger than last year.
Survey respondents also reported using the following strategies to engage their workforces:
- New career development opportunities (41%)
- Market pay adjustments (30%)
- Larger base pay increases (24%)
- More non-cash recognition (18%)
The survey also found an increase in the use of employee referral bonuses in the past six months, to 66 percent, up from 59 percent in mid-2010.
"During the economic downturn, many employers reduced staff and asked remaining employees to do more with less. As the job market improves, these organizations are using tactics such as employee referral bonus programs to not only attract proven performers, but also help retain the employees who make referrals," said Kathi Myers, director at Buck Consultants. "Involvement in the hiring process engages employees and strengthens their ties to the organization."
As employers become more confident in the improving economic environment, pay freezes are thawing and median pay increases are expected to rise to three percent this year – similar to levels seen immediately prior to the recession, and up from 2.7 percent in mid-2010 and 2.2 percent at the beginning of 2010.
Only nine percent of employers still have pay freezes in place, down from 48 percent in mid-2010 and 64 percent at the start of 2010. In fact, 75 percent of respondents report taking no special actions such as furloughs, layoffs, hiring freezes or bonus suspensions in the last 18 months to control or reduce labor costs. Instead, dollars are now being approved and invested in programs that will produce the best return – the attraction and retention of key talent.
About the Survey
Buck Consultants completed its survey in February. The survey includes responses from more than 100 employers, representing virtually every sector of the U.S. economy.
Buck's survey report, "Reviving and Inspiring the Workforce: 2011 Compensation Trends Survey," is available at no cost to the media by contacting Ed Gadowski at +1-201-902-2825. It is available at no cost to other interested parties from Buck's Global Survey Resources, 50 Fremont Street, 12th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105. Telephone 1-800-887-0509. It can also be ordered online at http://www.bucksurveys.com.
About Buck Consultants
Buck Consultants is a leader in human resource and benefits consulting with more than 1,500 professionals worldwide. Founded in 1916 to advise clients in establishing and funding some of the nation's first public and private retirement programs, Buck is an innovator in the areas of retirement benefits, health and welfare programs, talent and human resource management, compensation, and employee communication. News and other information about Buck Consultants are available at http://www.buckconsultants.com. Buck is a wholly owned subsidiary of ACS, A Xerox Company.
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