Competition Has Massachusetts Employers Working Harder To Recruit, Retain

“A tighter and more competitive labor market” has forced an increasing number of Massachusetts employers to reexamine their pay practices, work harder to attract new recruits, and retain the well-performing workers they already have.?

That’s according to the findings of a survey by Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the Commonwealth’s largest employer association, with more than 7,600 Bay State member businesses and institutions.

It’s also a big change from how the state’s employers were feeling about recruitment just a year ago, when only 13% of responding employers indicated they were doing any hiring outside of critical positions.

The association’s recently released 23rd edition of its Massachusetts Compensation Survey Report reveals that 47 percent of responding employers are currently reviewing their compensation practices for market competitiveness as a top priority.

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Other key pay-related practices for 2006 include managing low performers and placing more emphasis on communicating total compensation plans. The latter is a measure that could help recruiters sell candidates on new job opportunities while also helping human resource professionals point out the full value of employees’ pay and benefits plan.

The survey found that a majority of responding Massachusetts employers have budgeted 3% to 4% for increases in merit pay in 2006. (More information on?U.S.?compensation.) It also found that one-third of hourly and nonexempt employees are eligible for incentive pay, with slightly over half of exempt employees eligible for incentive pay.