More than one in four (26%) employers are offering one-off bonuses to retain talented staff, according to new findings.
The latest Robert Half Salary Guide suggests that skills shortages are causing a wage crisis, with some employees demanding pay rises of around 37%.
A third (32%) of employers surveyed in the company’s 2024 report – which examined market wages, skills and recruitment trends in the UK – admitted that they are having to inflate salaries to stay competitive.
The research found that the most common reason for workers rejecting a job offer was insufficient pay, with almost two in three (63%) saying they wouldn’t accept a position if the salary wasn’t what they wanted.
Matt Weston, senior managing director UK & Ireland, at Robert Half, said: “Many employers may be shocked next year at the salaries that some of their most in demand roles will command. Without careful planning this will weigh heavily on company profitability at a time when businesses are struggling with costs.
“It is no surprise to see financial incentives are perceived to be a top solution. However, continuous pay rises aren’t sustainable and firms need to consider how else they can boost hiring prospects and reduce attrition. With the UK continuing to face significant skills shortages and 75% of employers concerned about the attraction and retention of staff in 2024 according to our research, firms will find themselves with little option but to listen to the employee voice.”
The survey, which was carried out among 500 employers and 1,000 employees, further showed that “pay is not the ‘be-all and end-all”, according to Weston.
He added: “A robust corporate culture and a tailored retention programme can be a cost-friendly strategy. Our research shows, for example, that almost half (47%) of the workforce would reject a new job if the company didn’t offer flexible working, yet news reports continue to highlight brands that are enforcing office returns. And in many instances employees leaving a business do so due to deep-rooted talent attrition causes such as heavy workloads and a lack of development opportunities. Business leaders must address all aspects of the employee experience and must do so fast, since an increase in pay is the inevitable by-product of ‘jumping ship’.”