Fifty percent of Richmond companies are planning on giving raises in 2010, according to a study by the Titan Group, a Richmond HR consultancy.
“Companies are not confident enough to raise salaries on a permanent basis,” said Lee Weisiger, a partner at Titan. “It’s not surprising since unemployment is staying where it is.”
Weisiger said raises in Richmond stopped going up the typical 3 or 4 percent a year.
“And we’re not seeing it coming back,” Weisiger said.
This year, the average increase is less than 3 percent for the companies that are offering raises.
The survey examined the compensation for 163 participating Richmond jobs, from a janitor whose median pay is $23,817 to the chief executive making $219,695.
About half (46 percent) of the companies in the survey are exploring different types of “variable compensation,” such as bonuses.
“They’re happy to pay variable compensation if the business results are there,” Weisiger said. “It gives them flexibility,” meaning that companies do not have to commit to paying higher salaries for future years.
Weisiger said it would be hard to say which jobs are currently in the most demand in Richmond.
“I think in the past it was engineering, health care and IT,” he said. “But that’s not the case anymore.”
But even with unemployment rising toward 10 percent in Richmond, Weisiger said it’s imperative for firms to keep their best people.
“The very high performers are the ones that provide the most value to the company, and we try to make them understand that they don’t want to lose those people.”
“You don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water,” Weisiger said.
Kaitlin Mayhew is a BizSense reporter. Please send news tips to [email protected].