Survey Says: It’s Not Always Just About Money

refuse moneyDespite increases in overall compensation for the majority of respondents in 24 Seven’s most recent annual Salary & Job Market Report, job satisfaction is at a four-year low. Further, nearly eight out 10 survey participants are looking to make a job change in the coming year.

This is a wake-up call to employers – employee retention is not just about money. In fact, our study further suggests that when employees are satisfied, they care less about compensation. The findings point to a more holistic approach when it comes to employee engagement. Companies need to focus on the overall “wellness” of talent – financial well-being (compensation), personal well-being (a diverse mix of traditional and softer benefits that help with work/life balance), career well-being (caring for talent’s career development, pathing, advancement), and corporate well-being (leadership, management, vision/mission). Survey responses indicate this year that how talent ranks their satisfaction, career fulfillment, and sense of being valued are leading indicators of attrition.

Executives (those holding a title of vice president or higher) participating in the survey describe an optimistic jobs outlook. Across industries, executives are reporting that hiring rates are back to or better than pre-recession levels. As we sit on the front lines of hiring, our general impression is that most companies realize that to promote growth and to move mission-critical initiatives and investments forward, they need human capital to make that happen. They are no longer in “wait and see” mode when it comes to the economy.

This year’s study also bears out what we as specialized recruiters are experiencing daily: Driving much of the improving hiring outlook is the burgeoning demand for marketing, creative and digital talent. Across industries, executives surveyed told us that this talent is the highest in demand within their organizations. We believe that this is because after years of investing in new media and emerging digital channels, companies are seeking the ideators, innovators and storytellers to engage consumers with compelling brand messages across these new investments.

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Executives and managers (in a position to hire) report that they plan to bring on both full-time and freelance talent. Many managers expressed that they will be relying on freelance talent more this year than last year. This underscores that freelancing, as a career option and a workforce management solution, is coming into its own. 24 Seven launched over a decade ago as a specialized freelance talent source, and freelancing continues to grow and represent a large a part of our overall business. Freelancing offers benefits to both the employee and employer, and in times of economic uncertainty, companies can bring on the talent they need without the risk of adding headcount. We believe that the economic downturn was an excellent opportunity for companies to test the concept – and now reliance on freelancers has sensibly become part of their overall workforce strategy. We believe that the predictions about what the workforce will look like in the next decade are true – the gig economy is here to stay.

To dive deeper into the report findings and learn what makes talent tick through easy to read infographics on compensation, hiring and talent attitude/behavior trends, go to

MORE: The Year of the Freelancer

Celeste Gudas

Celeste Gudas
Celeste Gudas is founder and CEO of 24 Seven Inc.

Celeste Gudas

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