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  • Data Analytics, Internet Engineering and Sales & Marketing are the most difficult jobs to attract and retain talent, finds Mercer Study

    Published on February 16, 2022

    • Study covering ~14 lakh employees across 988 companies in India 
    • Organisations reverting to pre-pandemic levels of rewards with a projected increase of ~9% across industries in 2022 
    • Consumer sector commands a differential of 10-30% varying with levels and roles as compared to general industries 
    • New hires are attracting significant premium over the career level median salaries – war for talent is real! 
    • Software development, Pre-sales product consulting and Data sciences remain key specializations commanding premium in technology segment

    Mumbai– Data Analytics, Internet, Engineering and Sales and Marketing are the most difficult jobs for talent recruitment and retention, thereby further burnishing evidence of the heated market for hiring talent post-pandemic. These are some of the findings of Mercer’s Total Remuneration Survey results that were announced today, that was conducted with 988 companies, ~5700 job functions and over 14 lakh cumulative employee strength, aimed at estimating the quantitative as well as the qualitative impact of the pandemic

    Commenting on the Total Remuneration Survey, Mansee Singhal, Sr Principal, Rewards Consulting Leader India remarked, “The TRS overwhelmingly confirms that technology-related skills will be rewarded with a high premium in the current and next few talent cycles till some sort of correction sets in. A key positive is that organizations across the board are reverting to pre-pandemic levels of investment in rewards, expected to be at about 9% for all industries in 2022, compared to 7.7% in 2020, signaling positive economic and business sentiment. The differentials of salaries basis skills, locations and performance will continue to challenge HR leaders as they look to do more with their rewards budgets.” 

    Salary trends 

    One of the key objectives of the survey was decoding the investment in rewards for organizations in 2022. The survey revealed that almost all organizations are reverting to pre-pandemic levels of investment in rewards and incentives after a brief dip in 2020. While the industry average for increment is expected to be at 9% in 2022 compared to 7.7% in 2020, sectors such as consumer, life sciences, technology and GIC have all forecasted increments to be higher than the industry average in 2022. 

    Salary trends across hierarchy designations are seeing volatile differentials. While a para-professional in the consumer sector commanded a premium of 3.2%, an executive commanded a premium of 10.7% as compared to general industries. While a management level employee in the manufacturing sector commanded a premium of 10.2%, an executive in the sector is in fact witnessing lower than the level median pay. 

    The survey also found that the salaries for new hires across tenure continued to remain highly competitive with the Premium for last 1-year joiners across levels, more prominent at mid to senior managerial roles. Also due to infusion of campus talent at entry level. There was higher investment in reward for Techno functional roles (especially in IT product organizations). 

    Technology becoming a true horizontal 

    Across all employee categories, increments in tech was back to 2019 levels of 9% and higher than all industries average of 8% for 2021. Over a four-year period of 2018 -21, the median to median increase in tech salaries is 17% on an average across career streams. Key specializations which command premium are Software Development, R&D, Pre-sales product consulting and Data sciences to a tune of 12% within the Internet job family.  From location stand point, while Bangalore still commands significant premium for software development engineering roles, average high-tech salaries in Delhi and Mumbai have started showing an upward trend due to majority of the Internet / Ecommerce companies being based out of these 2 locations.

    The Mercer Total Remuneration survey was conducted in the latter half of 2021 and can be used as a single source of market data and insights across sectors and jobs. It includes insights on the salary trends across industries and sectors, premium on new hire salaries across tenures and the sectors which faced the most difficulty in recruiting and retaining talent. The survey included responses from sectors like Technology, Services, Life Sciences, Automotive, Manufacturing, Logistics, Energy and Consumer amongst others.


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