More than half of employers plan pay rises in 2022

But recruitment survey shows pay is not the only factor in attracting employees

More than half of employers are planning to increase employees’ pay in 2022, a new survey has found, as employers struggle to attract and retain staff.

Salaries are generally increasing, with employers raising staff pay as a result of performance, promotion or as a counter-offer to keep employees. A further 35 per cent of employers have not yet decided on pay increases, according to the report.

Companies could be facing recruitment issues as almost 40 per cent of respondents said they were planning to move jobs this year, and 36 per cent were undecided about their future prospects. Only a quarter said they planned to stay put in their current role.

The findings were contained in a report from Excel Recruitment, which included a recruitment guide and its employee-employer feedback survey. The latter highlighted the growing importance of non-salary related attributes for attracting and retaining employees.


“The pandemic caused a shift in people’s priorities, heralding the emergence of the ‘Great Resignation’ or the ‘Great Re-evaluation’. While our research indicates that pay rises are in play for at least 52 per cent of employers, income is no longer people’s only priority when it comes to their careers. In fact, we found that a higher salary was the main reason for moving jobs for just four in 10 employees – with a similar number indicating a move for greater flexibility,” said Shane McLave, director at Excel Recruitment.

“Twelve per cent were motivated to change jobs due to a preference for career progression and 8 per cent for better benefits. So, while salary is always going to be a key motivator, it does take its place among other considerations such as training and development opportunities, flexible working conditions, company culture and tangible employee benefits like pension schemes and health insurance. These are becoming just as important, alongside agile working conditions.”

Hybrid working

The survey highlighted the shift in working conditions too. The majority of employees – 70 per cent – said they preferred a hybrid approach to work practices, with only 15 per cent opting for remote only or a full-time office position.

“There is no question that Covid has brought many challenges, but it has also widened the talent pool due to the flexibility around scheduling remote interviews and the increased ability to work from home,” Mr McLave said. “Employers say that attracting the right talent with the right skills will be the biggest challenge in 2022. With economic growth forecast at 7 per cent for 2022, the real question is will companies be able to source and recruit the talent that they need to fill these roles? In this current climate, employers need to set their employer brand apart from the competition in the same way that they differentiate their products and services.”

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist