Post-Recession Compensation Packages on the Rise for New Executive Hires, Reports Salveson Stetson Group

New Executive Hires Today Can Expect a 16 Percent Compensation Increase, Nowhere Near the 25 Percent Increase of Pre-Recession Days

Radnor, Pennsylvania, UNITED STATES

PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 14, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The average pay increase executives received when changing jobs has improved since the recession but has yet to return to the levels reached in the years leading up to the financial crisis, according to a recent study conducted by retained executive search firm Salveson Stetson Group. Since 2010, senior executives moving to new companies received an average jump in total compensation of more than 16 percent, not close to the nearly 25 percent increase they enjoyed during the boom years of 2006 and 2007.

The firm, which places executives in senior-level roles at corporations and nonprofits, analyzed compensation data from every senior executive placement over the last six years.

"The financial meltdown quashed the boosts in pay that senior executives moving into new roles had come to enjoy and expect in a robust economy," said John Touey, Principal at Salveson Stetson Group. "Not surprisingly, as the demand for talent dried up through the depths of the recession in 2008 and 2009, so did the premiums companies were previously willing to pay when hiring new executives."

Salveson Stetson Group's analysis revealed a dramatic 56 percent reduction in the total pay increases executives received when switching companies in 2008 and 2009, versus the increases they could have reasonably expected in the years leading up to the meltdown. 

"But, in an encouraging sign for both the jobs market and the economy, we have seen compensation offers steadily increase for new hires for more than two years now," said Touey. "For companies to compete for the talent they want, they must be willing to offer attractive pay packages, as candidates are more likely to be fielding multiple offers once again."

In its study of more than 175 senior executive hires, Salveson Stetson Group reported that:

  1. The market for talent was extremely hot leading up to the financial crisis, raising salary expectations of senior executives nationwide.  From 2006 to 2007, executives switching jobs received an average compensation increase of 24.96 percent.
  2. Total compensation increases dropped dramatically during the recession.  The average compensation increase offered to new executive hires from 2008 to 2009 dropped to 11.07 percent as companies tightened their belts on hiring and made the most out of existing staff.
  3. Post-recession salaries have recovered but not to pre-recession levels.  Since 2010, executives have received, on average, a 16.56 percent compensation increase when they switched jobs, an improvement from the increases of 2008 and 2009 but still a 34 percent decrease from pre-recession levels.

"The slow bounce-back in pay increases for executives changing companies is emblematic of the sluggish nature of the economic recovery as a whole," Touey concludes. "If the rate of increase remains relatively constant moving forward, we won't see a return to the premiums of 2006 or 2007 for another two to three years."

About Salveson Stetson Group

Salveson Stetson Group ( is a multi-specialty retained executive search firm based in suburban Philadelphia. Specializing in $150,000+ salaried positions, Salveson Stetson Group places executives at organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to non-profit entities. The firm is a member of IIC Partners, one of the top ten retained executive search groups in the world with 55 offices in 39 countries.

Editor's Note: Statistics on compensation increases among executives placed in financial, general management, human resources and sales & marketing functions are available upon request.



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