Companies Increasing Starting Salary Offers To Secure New Hires

54 Percent of CFOs Offering Job Candidates More Money Than the Last Boss

MENLO PARK, Calif., Jan. 7, 2016 -- Companies are willing to pay a premium for top talent today, new research shows. More than half (54 percent) of chief financial officers (CFOs) interviewed for a Robert Half survey said they increased new hires' starting salaries from what they made in their previous job. The average increase, according to financial executives, was 10 percent.  

Increasing Starting Salaries

"Employers who want to improve their odds of securing skilled talent are offering highly attractive starting salaries right now," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. "Companies are competing not just with other businesses that are hiring but also with the applicant's current employer, who may make a counteroffer to retain the services of a valued employee." 

View an infographic of the survey findings.

CFOs who hired new staff in the past year were asked, "Compared to what your new hires earned at their previous employer, on average, did you increase or decrease their starting salaries?" Their responses:



The same




Other/don't know




CFOs who are paying the higher starting salaries were asked, "On average, how much did you increase (new hires') starting salaries compared to their previous employer?" The average response was 10 percent.

When asked how the pay increase compared to what they offered two years ago, 68 percent of CFOs said today's salaries were at least somewhat higher.

"Professional job seekers with in-demand skills are receiving multiple job offers," McDonald said. "Employers need to put their best bid on the table — and do so quickly — or they risk losing good talent."   

Robert Half offers four tips for developing a competitive compensation package:

  1. Benchmark salaries.Ideal candidates commonly come at a premium. Consult resources such as Robert Half's 2016 Salary Guides to ensure what you're offering meets or exceeds industry standards.
  2. Consider additional perks. As important as salary is, it is only part of the compensation package. Professionals increasingly value perks that support work-life balance, such as additional vacation time and flexible schedules.
  3. Be flexible in negotiations. Even if you make a strong offer early, candidates may ask for more. Know ahead of time how you may be able to sweeten the pot, such as providing additional paid time off.
  4. Consult a recruiter. Tapping the knowledge of a staffing professional who understands current hiring and salary trends can help ensure your compensation plan is attractive.

About the Research
The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas.

About Robert Half
Robert Half has more than 340 staffing locations worldwide and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at For management and career advice, visit the The Robert Half Blog.

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For further information: Lisa Amstutz, (650) 234-6246,

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