According to new research from Robert Half, more than half (54 percent) of CFOs interviewed said that they increased new hires' starting salaries from what they made in their previous job by an average of 10 percent.  

"Employers who want to improve their odds of securing skilled talent are offering highly attractive starting salaries right now," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half, in a statement. "Companies are competing not just with other businesses that are hiring but also with the applicant's current employer, who may make a counteroffer to retain the services of a valued employee." 

The survey was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 2,200 CFOs from a stratified random sample of companies in more than 20 of the largest U.S. metropolitan areas. CFOs who hired new staff in the past year were asked, "Compared to what your new hires earned at their previous employer, on average, did you increase or decrease their starting salaries?" Their responses were thusly:

Increase

54%

The same

36%

Decrease

5%

Other/don't know

5%

Total

100%

When asked how the increase in pay compared to what they offered two years ago, 68 percent of CFOs said today's salaries were at least somewhat higher.

"Professional job seekers with in-demand skills are receiving multiple job offers," McDonald added. "Employers need to put their best bid on the table — and do so quickly — or they risk losing good talent."   

Robert Half offers the following four tips for developing a more competitive compensation package:

  1. Benchmark salariesIdeal candidates commonly come at a premium. Consult resources such as Robert Half's 2016 Salary Guides to ensure what you're offering meets or exceeds industry standards.
  2. Consider additional perks. As important as salary is, it is only part of the compensation package. Professionals increasingly value perks that support work-life balance, such as additional vacation time and flexible schedules.
  3. Be flexible in negotiations. Even if you make a strong offer early, candidates may ask for more. Know ahead of time how you may be able to sweeten the pot, such as providing additional paid time off.
  4. Consult a recruiter. Tapping the knowledge of a staffing professional who understands current hiring and salary trends can help ensure your compensation plan is attractive.

For more on Robert Half, head to their site here,