By Hannah Morgan

U.S. News, August 24, 2018 —

Employers’ struggle to attract new employees is resulting in higher salaries and more perks.

The tide is beginning to turn for job seekers and employees. Since the Great Recession, job seekers have had difficulty landing a good-paying job, but it seems like this may be changing. Due to low unemployment, employers are having difficulty getting new employees in the door and will be taking steps to increase salaries and perks across all levels of jobs.

The Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder surveyed 1,023 hiring and human resource managers and 1,014 employees. These surveys reveal what companies across all industries in the private sector are doing to compete for talent.

And there’s good news from employees who have been holding on to jobs, waiting for better opportunities. They are now beginning to take action. Twenty-two percent of employees expect to change jobs before the end of the year, according to the survey.

Demonstrate your skills in your resume, cover letter and interview so the prospective employer knows just how you can contribute. (alvarez/Getty Images)

So if you are a new graduate looking for your first job or someone who has been under-employed, here are some things you might expect to see as you hunt for a new job.

Expect to see higher salaries.

This is some of the best news to come out of this survey. Companies plan to offer higher salaries for both new employees and existing employees as well. Forty-five percent of employers say they plan to increase salaries offered to new hires by as much as five percent before the end of the year. And to attract entry-level workers, 71 percent of HR managers say they’ll need to offer more money. Even current employees will see bigger paychecks as 58 percent of companies report they plan to increase compensation for their workers this year.

When unemployment is low and there is competition to attract new employees, companies look for new ways to differentiate themselves. The CareerBuilder survey found that offering nonmonetary benefits is another way companies are trying to appeal to potential candidates.

Say goodbye to the suit and tie.

Relaxing the dress code is one perk 36 percent of companies plan on implementing. This would appeal to the younger workers who prefer not having to get dressed up for work.

Employee discounts.

Everyone loves a deal and companies know this. Thirty-one percent of companies plan to implement programs for discounts on products and services to their employees.

No need to show up to the office.

Twenty-five percent of companies plan to offer employees the ability to work remotely. Saving money and time by not commuting is a big draw for workers in some parts of the country.

These aren’t the only perks companies will be offering. Employees could see more time off, sign-on bonuses, free lunches or gym memberships. And to appeal to working parents, companies plan to offer day care services.

Hiring taking longer.

While the news about increases in salaries and perks is good, there is a downside to the current job market – at least for employers. “Fifty percent of U.S. employers reported that it is taking them longer to fill jobs today compared to any other period of time – a trend that is ultimately giving job seekers more leverage,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder.

Savvy job seekers can take advantage of today’s tight labor market if they pay attention to some of these trends and use them to their advantage. Here are some things you could try to help you land a job and even more money.

Leverage your ability to start immediately.

If you are unemployed, that means you don’t need to give your current employer two weeks’ notice. This could be attractive to a company who has been struggling to fill a position for a long time. During the interview process, make it known that you are ready, willing and able to start as soon as possible.

Highlight skills.

To outshine the competition for a job you are interested in, be sure to draw attention to in-demand skills and experience. For example, if you are a new graduate with data analytics skills, be sure to mention a class project or internship where you had the opportunity to use the skills.


When presented with a job offer you should attempt to negotiate. Start by asking for a higher salary. But if that doesn’t work, consider asking for other perks that are important to you.