The pandemic changed the face of work forever. As people worked remotely and experienced job losses, many took an opportunity to consider their professional life.
On the back of this time for reflection, many chose to leave their roles. The result has been dubbed the “Great Resignation” in the US, and many employers are now struggling to attract new talent.
In response, many companies have reconsidered the wage they offer and the benefits they provide for employees. This trend has appeared to have crossed the Atlantic and surveys have shown that US and UK workforces are going through significant changes.
Wage increases in the US
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has recorded that the average earnings of hourly workers have reached a new high. A steady increase in wages has amounted to an hourly wage of $30.85 in September 2021.
As this is an average wage, it does mean there will be employees earning much more and significantly less than this figure. Nonetheless, those who have increased the amount they are paying staff have seen positive results.
Speaking to ConstructionDive, Los Angeles, Landmark Construction founder Ezra Laniado, stated that “the easiest way, which is the hardest way” to attract and retain staff on his job sites is “to pay them more.”
The need to attract staff has been born out of shortages, but some are concerned that increasing wages at this rate won’t overcome a short-term lack of labor.
Undoubtedly, the fact that wages very rarely backslide and decrease, will give many employers food for thought as they weigh up their options in an unusual economy.
Changes in the UK
New starters are seeing their wages grow in the UK. In fact, KPMG and the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) have found that companies are paying more to get the best talent from shrinking pools.
Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, has noted: “We have all seen how labor shortages have affected our everyday lives over the past few weeks, whether that’s an empty petrol station or fewer goods on supermarket shelves.
“The scale of the shortages we are seeing cannot be explained by one factor alone, but are a major challenge to businesses’ ability to drive the prosperity of the UK in the months and years to come.”
Staff shortages in the UK have also led to employers increasing the wages they offer. The research by REC and KPMG found that starting salaries and temporary staff wages have risen at the sharpest rate for 24 years.
Additionally, clothing retailer Next’s chief executive Lord Wolfson has lamented growing wages.
Wolfson told the BBC: “We’re seeing wage inflation of 20% upwards… We’ve had cases of 100% so it’s significant.”
The CEO went on to stress the need for skilled workers from the EU.
Can technology help with wages?
While outlining a benefits package is often a unique experience for a company, wages can be benchmarked to ensure compliant offers.
Parity Software enables companies to retain staff by making sure they are rewarded for their work fairly. The software displays what similar roles are compensated in the company and across the market. It visualizes this data so outliers can be seen and corrected.
It’s clear that companies are changing how they reward their employees, and wages are more important than ever when it comes to attracting talent on both sides of the Atlantic.
After working with tech start-ups and media outlets like UNILAD Technology, The Hook and WhatCulture, Dan has become a journalist at UNLEASH. Dan is combining his first-hand experience alongside the latest news and opinions in the HR Technology space.