Center On Executive Compensation

Quick Survey Results: Talent Impacts on...

Published on: September 10, 2021

Topics: Executive Pay Plan Design

Survey on the impacts of competition for talent on compensation. This survey explores whether the expectations of potential job candidates are incongruous with existing compensation policies.

See full results and analysis here.

Survey findings include:

Compensation Expectations

  • Approximately three quarters of respondents (72%) stated they are seeing a general trend of increasing compensation expectations from potential job candidates, in line with evidence of economic shifts accelerated by the pandemic.

    • The expectations are seen across all experience levels and skill sets.

      • All employee candidates – 33%

      • Highly technical skill sets – 33%

        • These included digital, IT, logistics and supply chain management skills in particular.

      • Director level positions and above – 31%

  • Over a third (34%) of respondents said they were experiencing increased expectations for equity buy-out awards. The most common approach to this was changing the mix of cash and equity provided (73%).

Retention Incentives

  • The majority (70%) of respondents indicated they are implementing or considering retention incentives or benefits in response to the shift in labor market. These included:

    • Granting special equity awards – 35%
    • Increasing salaries – 30%
    • Increasing cash bonuses – 23%

  • Companies noted a number of innovative approaches to retention, including:

    • Targeted combinations of increased salaries and special grants to areas faced with unusually high regrettable turnover

    • Assessing employee “walkability” – how retentive employment is with that employee

    • Non-financial benefits such as workplace flexibility/remote work

Compensation Benchmarking

  • The survey also asked respondents about their use of real-time compensation benchmarking data in a fast-moving market. The most common source of real-time benchmarking data is clearly still compensation consultants (49%). Data from the internal recruiting team or from external recruiters is equally popular (26%).

    • Comments described a healthy skepticism about real-time compensation data, especially from self-reporting sites such as Glassdoor. Only a minority of companies use these sources. However, several commenters noted that consultants have difficulty providing accurate real-time data on anything other than an annual basis, so this is a gap in the market.

  • About half of respondents said they benchmark roles individually, while 32% said they benchmark in groups and 15% do both.

    • Below the VP level, 71% of Subscribers benchmark salary while 67% benchmark total cash and total direct compensation (these numbers overlap as many companies benchmark all three separately).

    • At VP level and above, almost all (95%) of companies benchmark total direct compensation.

Thank you to all Center members who took the time to respond to this survey!


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