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2024 Hiring and Compensation Trends: Numbers to Know in a Complex Labor Market

  • Just-released Robert Half Salary Guide reveals how employers are responding to worker expectations on pay, perks and benefits

  • Majority of professionals are confident asking for raises and are prioritizing flexible work

The newly released 2024 Salary Guide from Robert Half outlines timely employment trends and starting salaries for hundreds of positions across multiple industries and occupations. In addition, evolving economic conditions have workers and employers reassessing compensation, career priorities and recruiting strategies. Featured below are five key highlights to know heading into 2024.

1. Workers want raises — and won't hesitate to ask for them. Uncertain economic conditions are not impacting professionals' confidence when it comes to initiating compensation discussions. Nearly two-thirds (63%) of workers report plans to ask for a raise before the end of the year, mainly driven by concerns related to:

  • Higher inflation (39%)

  • Taking on more responsibilities (26%)

  • Feeling underpaid after checking salary market rates (16%)

Almost one-third (31%) of workers said they will look for a new job if they don't get a raise.

2. Flexible work holds weight. More than 6 in 10 workers (62%) would rather stay in a job with flexible work options than accept a higher paying position with rigid in-office requirements. This is most common among Gen Zers (74%) and working parents (68%).

3. Negotiation pitfalls are common. Nearly half (47%) of workers admit to making a salary negotiation mistake, the most common being:

  • Accepting too low of a salary for their skills and experience (61%)

  • Placing too much emphasis on pay versus the full package, inclusive of perks and benefits (30%)

  • Failing to research current salary ranges (29%)

4. Salary transparency offers a hiring advantage. About 6 in 10 hiring managers said that including salary information in job postings helps attract qualified candidates (63%) and provides an edge against competitors (60%). Workers also want pay transparency, and 57% said they would take themselves out of consideration for a role if salary ranges aren't provided upon request.

5. Companies are poised to pay up for top talent. The hiring market is still primarily candidate driven, with more job openings than available talent. As a result, more than half of employers (51%) plan to increase starting salaries in 2024 to attract highly skilled workers. Another 46% said they are adding new perks and benefits.

"Competitive pay and flexible work are top of mind for professionals and will likely influence their career decisions in 2024," said Dawn Fay, operational president of Robert Half. "To attract and retain top talent — particularly in an uncertain economy — it's critical for employers to benchmark salaries and compensation packages, consider options for hybrid work, and employ strategies to bolster employee engagement and morale."

While salaries are expected to increase in 2024, they will likely be more measured than in recent years. Visit the Robert Half 2024 Salary Guide and Salary Calculator to view location-specific salary ranges and national data for hundreds of positions.

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