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A Review of the HR Industry in 2018, Through the Lens of PayScale “Comp Today” Readers

Topics: Growth, Retention

2018 was a busy year for the HR industry; U.S. businesses found themselves in the midst of an incredibly tight labor market where the number of job openings outpaced the number of unemployed workers. Additionally, we saw that the “quits” rate — number of workers voluntarily quitting their jobs – hitting a record high. In fact, workers have become so confident in their ability to find new gigs that “ghosting” has even become a (sadly) common workplace phenomenon.

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, workers in 2018 organized large-scale, public demonstrations to protest the inequities they’ve experienced at work and to demand change and accountability from the top brass (e.g. Google Walkout, Nike, Washington Post staffer petition to Jeff Bezos on his pay practices). Meanwhile, we saw a number of employers taking voluntary steps to increase their commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion.

Given everything that’s happened, it is no surprise that hiring and retaining top talent remain top-of-mind issues for HR and total rewards professionals in 2018. When we reviewed everything we’ve covered in the past year on Comp Today, we saw that the most read and shared articles from 2018 were all about how to hire and keep good workers on board. Here are the top five articles of the year.

1. Employee Appreciation Day: 7 Creative Ways to Appreciate Your Employees

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Photo by Courtney Hedger on Unsplash

Promotions, raises and being named “Employee of the Month” are all tried-and-true ways to reward outstanding employee performance. And while they’re usually well-received, in today’s often imaginative and fun-focused workplaces, these well-worn approaches might feel a little … stale. (Beyond that, you may not have budget for a timely raise.) This article showcases some creative ways for employers to say “thank you” to their employees.

2. Employee Turnover: 5 Ways to Spot Flight-Risk Employees and What to Do to Retain Them

We know that it doesn’t make sense to try to retain every employee. But it’s worthwhile to focus your retention effort on those employees who are in the mission-critical roles that your company can’t live without.This article highlights five types of employees who are likely thinking about quitting. It also discusses what you can do to fix a problem early, to improve your chance of keeping these valuable employees on board.

3. What Are You Doing About Pay Compression?

Whether it’s due to market demand, government policy, or compensation strategy changes in your organization, pay compression can hurt employee morale and tank employee engagement. This article outlines four ways to recognize when you have pay compression, and some tips on what you should do to address it.

4. Variable Trends In 2018: Who Gets It, What Types and Why?

In a tight talent market, where employees have choices about where they commit their time and talent, variable pay is frequently used as a retention, recruitment and motivation tool. The use of variable pay has increased over time and our recent research shows that variable pay continues to be a prominent player in the modern compensation landscape. This article covers the types of variable pay organizations are using as well as the benchmarks on variable pay practices.

5. How To Create An Amazing Total Compensation Package

How do you create a compelling total rewards package — while sticking to your budget and ensuring that the things you spend money on are actually valued by your employees? To get some answers, we talk to several HR leaders about how they think through their total rewards strategy. In this article, they provide frameworks and checklists for making choices in compensation and benefits. They also provide advice on how you can use thoughtful communication to change the way their employees perceive their comp and benefits package.

Get excited: We’ve got lots more planned for next year. Be sure to let us know of any other topics you’d like us to cover in the comments below!

Banner photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash 


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