Salary Expectations are Increasing: How to Attract & Retain Top Talent Besides Money

Salary Expectations Increase

Salary Expectations are Increasing: How to Attract & Retain Top Talent Besides Money

Today’s candidates have clear salary expectations and in a candidate driven market – strong demand with little supply – those expectations have increased significantly over the last year and a half.

In today’s talent market, top candidates are making up for the gains lost in 2020. Sorry to mention it, but yes, COVID hit 2020’s talent market especially hard, with people – and companies – making sacrifices to maintain status quo. Everyone (mostly) went remote or hybrid, some were laid off, and budgets were frozen.

Now, the sacrifices employees made to adjust to 2020 are long gone and top performers are looking to catch up. Budgets are rebounding, companies are becoming more optimistic about spending, and frankly everyone (mostly) is tired of COVID and has established their “new normal”. Everyone knows the market is tight, so they are pushing a little harder.

So, let’s talk about salaries – salary trends that is.

Highlights from recent studies published online:

  • 32% of companies increased their salary projections over the course of just a few months.
  • Projected wage growth is faster than actual raises paid in the prior two years.
  • Corporate profits also jumped significantly in 2021, giving companies more bandwidth to expand pay for their employees.


  • Employers that are bringing in new hires at a higher rate could face wage compression for current employees.
  • To avoid high turnover, employers faced with the departure of experienced workers need to raise wages of current employees to maintain an effective workforce.

Although top candidates have increased their salary expectations, it’s not ALL about pay. Benefits and career opportunities for long-term growth and stability are also key factors in their decision to take a new role. While some companies will rely on cash incentives, an overall employee experience (EX) can be a powerful tool for attracting and retaining talent.

“Organizations with a transformative approach to EX report a 28% increase in employee wellbeing and 35% increase in employee engagement. Additionally, they experience 2.7 times more productivity and 90% lower turnover than industry peers.” (

Other ways to attract and retain talent (besides money):

  • Well communicated career advancement plans
  • Training and professional growth opportunities
  • Mental well-being programs
  • Some level of remote or hybrid work environment (where appropriate)
  • Appealing benefits (besides standard health) like gym memberships, PTO, flex schedules, etc.
  • Engaging employee experience
  • Leadership development program to create effective team leads
  • Nourish a culture of recognition, open communication, and frequent feedback

Companies have the opportunity to create a competitive advantage with a solid talent acquisition strategy.  Here are a few more tips from our client hiring managers on how to improve the interview process to attract top talent: Read more


Want to know more about how we are helping our client companies attract and retain their top IT and Engineering talent? Let’s schedule a brief call so you can learn more about how we can help you achieve your staffing goals quickly and efficiently.

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