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2016 Salary Guide for HR Professionals

September 3, 2015

Where are salaries headed in 2016? The 2016 Salary Guide from Robert Half reveals starting salaries for professional occupations in U.S to increase at an average 4.1 percent next year. The salary guide spans to cover five important sectors namely – legal, finance and accounting, technology sector, creative and marketing, administrative and office support.

Among the five fields tracked, the technology sector is projected to see the greatest pay gains, with base salaries rising on an average of 5.3 percent. Accounting and finance roles followed, with anticipated average compensation increases of 4.7 percent. The creative and administrative professions each registered projected starting salary gains of 3.8 percent, followed by the legal field, with average base pay expected to rise 3.1 percent in 2016.

To retain the best and brightest talent, benchmarking compensation is essential. According to the survey, 83 percent professionals said a better salary would be top factor prompting them to move on to another company. The research findings also revealed that it would take a 26 percent salary increase, on average, to compel employees to head for greener pastures.

Here are salary trends for 2016 on the top 5 sectors as mentioned above:

  1. Accounting and Finance professionals are expected to receive rise of 4.7 percent next year. Steady demand for professionals in this sector persists with key positions – business system analysts, financial analysts and staff accountants. Individuals with advanced technology skills, certifications and specialized industry experience can command even higher salary increases.
  2. The salaries of IT professionals are expected to increase by 5.3 percent in 2016. IT firms will be seeking professional experts in job roles such as big data engineers, mobile applications developers and data security analysts to remain competitive, improve customer experience and keep information secure. Wireless networking engineers will see the highest starting salary increase of all the positions included to remark compensation levels rising by 9.7 percent in the coming year.

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  1. Creative and marketing professionals can expect salary increase by 3.8 percent next year. Content strategy and mobile development will be the roles particularly in demand, as organisations focus heavily on initiatives that enable them to connect with customers anytime, anywhere.
  2. Administrative and office professionals can expect a salary increase of average 3.8 percent in 2016. As businesses gain momentum, firms are increasingly hiring administrative staff to keep a tab on things, and seek human resource professionals to assist with the hiring and retention. Additionally, continued changes in the healthcare industry are resulting in greater demand for those into coding and customer-centric roles.
  3. In the legal field, next year’s starting salaries are anticipated to rise 3.1 percent. Increased litigation is driving up demand for lawyers and paralegals with backgrounds in insurance defense, commercial litigation and medical malpractice. Commercial law and compliance are particularly strong areas for legal hiring.

Hiring managers with knowledge of current salary and employment trends in their industries and geographies are in the best position to recruit and retain top performers.

As part of company’s hiring strategies, many employers are boosting base salaries, offering sign-on bonuses, and promoting the potential for generous merit raises and bonuses. Firms also are increasing current employees’ compensation to improve retention.

Also read: China Salary Guide 2015 for HR Professionals

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