As we approach the holidays, our great expectations are not to be confused with the 1860 Charles Dickens novel of the same name. When we refer to great expectations in the recruiting business, we are talking about the expectations that candidates have that making a job change is going to provide some instant 15-20% raise in salary.
People do occasionally get dramatic increases in salary when they change jobs, but to expect it and plan on it is one of the great myths out in the market. We place people every month, year after year, so we have a good window into the tri-state market. The picture that we are left with is a bit different. Below are statistics and observations we have going back over the last 12 months.
1. The average increase in the technical fields (engineering and manufacturing) in the western PA job market is 4%. This factors in people who accepted lateral moves, as well as those who took a drop in salary. When we just look at candidates that only received increases, the average increase is approximately 7%. Lesson to be learned: you better have a better reason to make a job change more than the desire to get more money. The western PA job market has always been very conservative with salary increases.
2. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, is over worked and under paid! We’ve heard this more than a few times! The top reasons people make a job change in our market, based on our surveys, are;
1. Lack of recognition
2. Lack of advancement potential
3. Lack of challenge
4. Money (Money, in 4th place as the key reason people make job changes! Wow, go figure)
Before you enter the job market, examine your career, determine where you are going and go talk to your boss. If money is a key motivator, fine, recruiters understand. But, before entering the market looking for more money, examine what your options are at home with your current employer. If you decide its best to move on to a new job, examine the statistics stated above and determine if it’s worth it to go and find a new career. As we said, Pittsburgh is a conservative area and very tight with their money. We truly wish everyone would get 20+% raises, it would make it a lot easier for us recruiters, but that’s not the case. As we explain to candidates, the more money they get, the more money we make. So it’s in our best interests to make you as much as possible. But you must be realistic as you enter and/or participate in the market.