Compensation and benefits have been in the news lately, with wage growth in the US picking up as of late. Below are some interesting articles focused on this area of HR. Enjoy!

1) Forget Raises. Employers Lean on Health Benefits to Retain Workers from Bloomberg

"Wages are still stagnant, yet employers have found something else to help attract and retain employees: health-care benefits. A good insurance plan has become a more vital tool than ever for hiring, according to a recent survey from the Society of Human Resources. In general, the study found, companies are leaning on benefits to woo current and potential employees. Of the 460 human resources professionals in the survey, 33 percent said that in the last year their organizations used benefits of some kind—ranging from paid leave to wellness programs—to keep employees at all levels from leaving the company. That marks a surge from just 18 percent who relied on benefits to retain staff in 2012." 

2) New app takes guessing game out of salary negotiation from USA Today

"WageSpot wants everyone to start talking about their salaries. The app that launched this month aims to give employees the upper hand when it comes to salary negotiations, and to take the guesswork out of discussions of fair pay. Developed by two software engineers were tired of salary talk being relegated to gossip and whispers, the app aggregates salary data by job title and ZIP code, and lets users peruse graphs and maps that compare pay by gender, industry, age, job title and location. The app launched pre-filled with publicly available data for people such as celebrities, CEOs and government workers, to give users an idea of how the service works. The highest-paying position in Malta, Ohio, ZIP code 43758: Small forward for theCleveland Cavaliers, at $22.9 million. After a limited amount of browsing, users are prompted to enter their own information — job title, location and salary."

3) ADP: Wage growth is picking up from USA Today

"Wage growth may be accelerating more rapidly than government data has been showing. Giant payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that the average hourly wages of job holders — employees in the same job for at least 12 months — rose 3.5% in the third quarter, up from 2.5% in the second quarter and 1.9% in the first quarter. By contrast, the Labor Department said that average hourly earnings in September were up just 2.2% from a year ago, roughly in line with the sluggish 2% pace that has prevailed for most of the six-year-old recovery. ADP's report covers about 24 million U.S. employees whose employers contract with ADP to handle their payrolls, or about 20% of all private-sector workers. A big reason the firm's data show sharper pay increases is that it's measuring raises for individual employees in the same jobs at least a year, says Sophia Koropeckyj, an economist for Moody's Analytics, which helps ADP compile its figures."

4) The big 2016 minimum wage push just got a powerful new ally from Washington Post

"A little over a year out from the presidential election, we already know the states where the fiercest battles will likely be fought. But another electoral map is shaping up too: The states where voters will decide where to raise their minimum wage. And soon, those pay-boosting ballot measures might have some serious money behind them. A large California union is seed funding an organization aimed at accelerating such campaigns around the country, seizing on growing public support for raising the minimum wage to heights that just one cycle ago would have seemed like total fantasy. It’s called the Fairness Project, officially launching Thursday, and it’s already focusing on three jurisdictions: California, Maine and the District of Columbia, with potentially more to come as funding becomes available. And the group's main backer, the Service Employees International Union’s 80,000-person strong United Healthcare Workers local in California, says it’s talking with a handful more."

5) You could lose hundreds of dollars a year by ignoring these employee benefits from Washington Post

"These days, some employers offer things like free dry cleaning, on-site haircuts and even pet health insurance. But many companies offer less out-there benefits that may have flown under your radar. Some of them could save you serious money, or at least a little bit here and there. A survey of human resource managers conducted earlier this year by the Society for Human Resource Management found that fewer than 1 in 10 thought their employees were “very knowledgeable” about the benefits available to them. “There’s usually so much we don’t know we should do,” said Karen Marlo, a vice president at the National Business Group on Health. Many employers “have set up additional benefits that you just don’t know are even there.” Since it’s open enrollment season for many companies, now’s a good time to look over what your benefits package provides — and what you might be missing out on." 

Lexi Gordon is a Lead Consultant for exaqueo, a workforce consultancy that helps organizations build their cultures, employer brands and talent strategies. Contact exaqueo to learn more about our employer brand innovation, workforce research, and recruiting strategy offerings.

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