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Survey: Companies Offering Higher Wages, More Perks

By Jonathan Katz Companies are trying to resolve critical worker shortages in the information technology, engineering, and financial arenas by addressing work/life issues and offering higher salaries that include cash sign-on bonuses. "Companies are looking at the big picture more than in the past," says Patricia Llantino, director of compensation programs at WorldatWork, Scottsdale, Ariz. Its recent survey found that salary increases have trended up toward the 4.3% to 4.8% after inching higher than 4% in 1999 for the first time in several years. But, in addition, she says, "more companies are realizing that total rewards and work/life programs are critical ingredients in attracting and retaining top talent." Nearly 60% of surveyed firms now offer sign-on bonuses and almost half -- 47.8% -- have taken steps to address work environment issues through work/life programs.

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