In the first of two articles on managers’ pay and conditions, Colin Monk, md of the recruitment agency specialising in engineering and manufacturing, told FoodManufacture.co.uk that more than three-quarters (77%) of food and drink firms plan to raise their managers' pay and bonuses this year.
"After the past two to three years, it’s come to a natural decision point of whether employers should keep salaries flat and bonuses unpaid or to increase them,” he said.
Only 7% of surveyed firms said that they would not increase managers’ pay and bonuses this year while 16% said that they were unsure what action to take.
Nearly 78% of employees surveyed said that they expected an increase in their salary or bonus this year. But many were prepared to forego a salary increase if they judged that career prospects with their existing firm were better than those offered by rival employers.
According to the 2012 Salary and Market Insight Report: “Average salary increases of 5–10% have on, on occasion, not been enough to convince candidates to move when their current employer has come back with a better offer.”
But salary growth was not the most effective way of retaining staff, according to the survey.“Promotion opportunities and a robust benefits package are currently considered the most effective incentives in employee retention,” said the report.
It also noted a big increase in managers’ benefits related to key performance indicators covering production, continuous improvement and cutting waste.
Andrew Pownall, Michael Page’s operating director said: “We are definitely seeing the ‘Tesco effect’ as with their result they are putting the squeeze on some their suppliers [leading them to incentivise their managers to cut waste and cost].”
Promotion had probably been the driving factor in salary increases over the past 12 months, according to the survey. Also firms are generally offering large–scale pay increases in order to retain skills sets.
In addition to boosting managers’ salaries and bonuses, food and beverage firms expect to recruit more people this year. More than half (54.4%) expected employee numbers to increase in the next 12 months.
Many businesses predicted employee levels to remain stable while only 16.8% expected to decrease headcount.
He stated: “We have witnessed an increase in hiring confidence with our clients – particularly in the food and drink, renewable health and safety sectors.”
Monk added that there has been a spike in hiring in the first quarter of this year – particularly for roles related to continuous improvement and quality control.
When selecting candidates, most employers (87.6%) reported that cultural fit – the recruit’s ability to fit into a team – was more important than his or her technical skills.
About half of the surveyed firms were food and beverage businesses with automotive, aerospace and manufacturing enterprises accounting for the remainder. The survey was targeted at junior, middle and senior managers.
Meanwhile, how does your salary compare with that of others in similar roles? Find out by visiting FoodManufacture.co.uk on Friday March 8.
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