Survey: Pre-Recession Comp Levels Not Expected to Return Until mid-2015

Norwalk, Conn. — Dec. 11

Executives may see a lift in compensation levels in 2013, albeit a slight one, as recruiters expect executive base salaries to increase by an average of 2.26 percent in the new year, according to ExecuNet’s recent survey of 150 search firm recruiters.

For those executive job seekers negotiating new pay packages, they can expect some leeway. According to surveyed recruiters, companies are willing to go an average of 7.7 percent higher than listed on the original job spec.

Executive recruiters also said they expect it will take an average of 2.7 years before pre-recession compensation levels return, so executives may have to wait beyond 2013 before they see salary levels equal to those of a few years ago.

ExecuNet has collected compensation data from executives, director-level and above for more than 20 years, and in 2007 executives reportedly received an average increase of 7.3 percent in their total compensation.

Regardless of whether companies feel generous or not regarding compensation, executives need to be ready when asked what they want.

Nearly half of surveyed executive recruiters (45.9 percent) suggest that candidates provide a salary range when asked. One in five (22.5 percent) recommend not providing a salary number at all and instead waiting until later when mutual interest is apparent.

Still, others recommend the candidate be truthful and state their most current salary. But aiming high is definitely not a good tactic, as fewer than one percent of executive recruiters surveyed suggest candidates provide a higher number than they desire.

Source: ExecuNet