What Do 2014 Trends Mean for 2015?

A 2014 survey released by PayScale revealed some interesting information about compensation and workforce trends. PayScale surveyed over 4,700 companies of all sizes throughout several different industries in several different countries (although a majority of them were in the United States). Much of the information collected implied that a majority of businesses are doing well and looking to maintain or grow in 2015. Employers reported having plans to expand the workforce, achieve better financial performance, and give raises.

Still, employers expressed some concerns regarding the retention of employees, the skill gaps, and the lack of good salary data. I think it’s safe to say that both the plans and concerns of these companies point toward expected growth and progress for their organizations.

What does this mean for 2015?

#1. Companies will continue to grow. Of the companies surveyed, 54% planned to expand their workforce in 2014, and 52% had already done so in 2013. The key point here is that companies are growing and plan to keep growing. As more and more jobs are created, the job market may become less competitive.

In addition, 72% of companies expect to see financial improvements. Among small companies, 75% had these expectations. The growth of small business is a good thing. It used to be that small businesses had a very high chance of failing within their first year. As the economy improves, small business will continue to find more success.

#2. Employees will get raises. When it came to raises, 83% of employers had given raises in 2013, while 88% planned to do so in 2014. The average expected raise was 4.5%. I think the era of stagnant salaries has come to a close as more and more companies continue to give their employees considerable raises.

#3. Retention will continue to be a cause for concern. According to the survey, employer concerns regarding employee retention have more than doubled since 2009 (28%) to the current rate of 57%. As the economy continues to improve, employees are more likely to seek employment elsewhere if dissatisfied in their current role.

#4. Some positions will still be hard to fill. When it came to the skills gap, most large companies said they had a hard time filling IT positions, while a lot of smaller companies had problems filling sales roles. It’s hard to say if the findings will be similar this year, but I think it’s likely. Skills gaps tend to ebb and flow, and it isn’t often that you see them change drastically from year to year.

#5. Social media use will continue to align with business strategy. It’s been interesting to see the progression of social media in the workforce. When sites like Facebook and Twitter were first introduced, many employers didn’t seem to have a clue what was going on. As the popularity of these sites grew, many employers actually blocked employees from using them. Eventually, however, employers began to see how social media could enhance their business in the areas of advertising and recruiting. Many of these companies have issued social media policies to regulate their use and the content being posted. In 2011, 42% of companies didn’t allow the use of social media; in 2014, that number dropped to 33%. While it may be happening slowly, it’s likely we’ll see that number continue to decrease.

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