In a recent survey of Milwaukee-area companies, 90 percent of responding organizations said they’ve adjusted employee pay ranges for 2022 to help with recruitment.

The survey was conducted earlier this month by human resources firm MRA, which has offices in Waukesha as well as in Illinois and Minnesota. It tapped 159 metro Milwaukee companies with questions about how they’re attracting talent amid fierce competition for workers.

Seventy-four percent of respondents in the region said they’re “occasionally to very frequently” offering candidates starting salaries outside of the typical range. And 37 percent said they’re offering a signing bonus to some, or all, of their new hires. Of that number, 75 percent have some sort of retention requirement, typically for at least one year of employment.

The survey found sign-on bonuses for executives were more likely to be above $5,000 while bonuses for production, office workers and technical positions typically ranged between $500 and $2,500.

Meanwhile, 72 percent of respondents are providing a referral bonus for employees, often between $500 and $1,000. While referral bonuses appear to be fairly popular, just 14 percent of respondents said they’re offering an attendance bonus and 8 percent are offering a retention bonus.

“The lack of popularity of these variable pay options could be explained by the increased starting wage & salaries of existing positions,” report authors wrote. “As organizations make decisions to increase base pay, hoping that may help attendance and retention, incentivizing may not seem as necessary.”

Respondents were located in Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Waukesha and Washington counties, ranging from under 24 employees to 1,000 or more. The survey was distributed via a digital link and results were analyzed using a platform called Qualtrics.

See the full report on the survey results: https://www.mmac.org/uploads/1/1/3/5/113552797/mra_hot_topics_jan_2021_bonuses_and_incentives.pdf

–By Alex Moe

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