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In This Texas Job Boom, Are You Offering Candidates Enough?

Mitchell Schnurman of the Dallas Morning News calls it the “Texas Trifecta.” Growth in jobs, population and pay has meant a median household income gain of 4.3 percent in two years. How does that translate into salaries? As fellow employers, we know that turning off great job candidates with “low ball” offers is the last thing you intend to do. In this impressive Texas job market, however, it can happen quite innocently.

In light of this issue, let’s take a look at some of the Texas salary trends that could affect your recruiting efforts in 2014. If some of these numbers surprise you, it may be time to consult your staffing partner to strategically refresh your own hiring strategies.

Engineering

If you’re in the market for engineers in Texas, do your research. Salaries are fluctuating rapidly in the state, spurred on by the energy boom. For instance, the Houston Chronicle reported in June the median salary for a chemical engineer of $120,000 represents a 9 percent hike since 2011. Data from WANTED Analytics shows the highest paid and highest in-demand chemical engineers in Texas are in the Beaumont-Port Arthur area. But the Beaumont region also offers the widest range of salaries: $91,000 to $130,000 (as opposed to the Dallas-Fort Worth area, for instance, with a range of only $81,000 to $99,000).

The bottom line here – as we’ve said in the past – is that energy jobs are tipping the job market scale. Whatever type of engineer you’re looking for in Texas, find out what the current landscape is before looking to hire.

Technology

In its most recent Dice Salary Survey, Dice.com reported tech professionals are enjoying their biggest pay increases in a decade. The survey found that tech professionals earned at least 5 percent more in average annual wages, now at $85,619. Expect to pay even more in Texas. Three Texas metros rank in the top 20 cities with the highest average salaries. Coming in at number 6 is Houston with a notable 5.5 percent year-over-year increase at $94,186. Austin ranks number 10, inching ahead of the New York metro with an average salary of $89,680. And financial hub Dallas-Fort Worth ranks at number 16 with a similar average of $86,136.

While these Texas metro areas already come in higher than the national technology salary average, employers in these areas may need to be prepared to offer more this year as demand grows. With places like Austin already seeing a tech talent shortage, employers will need to seek out talent from some the highest salary areas: Silicon Valley (ranking number 1 at $101,278) and Baltimore/Washington, D.C. (ranking number 2 at $97,895).

Other Top Professions

Healthcare and financial professionals across Texas are in high demand this year as well. San Antonio and Lubbock enter the salary race for financial managers, with offers in the $80,000 range rivaling those in more major Texas metro areas, according to WANTED Analytics data.

Business development and marketing professionals are also experiencing an uptick in salary and demand. WANTED Analytics data shows Texas currently matches the national average of high demand for these professionals, with some of the hardest-to-fill positions statewide in the sectors we researched. In highest demand in this category are mid-level managers, specifically business development managers, product managers and marketing managers. Those hiring at the highest rate are in the tech sector, led by Hewlett-Packard Company and DELL.

How does this translate into salaries? According to an Aquent survey sponsored by the American Marketing Association, Dallas-Fort Worth is the best place for making the current national median average of $75,000 feel more like $90,000. But that doesn’t mean you can skimp on your offers. For the first time in several years, most marketers expected higher salaries in 2013. We expect that trend to continue. Using the Marketing Salary Survey’s online tool, it appears the top pay for marketers in Austin currently goes to:

  • Marketing communications managers (median salary of $103,300)
  • Channel strategy managers (median salary of $100,275)
  • Strategic planners (median salary of $96,153)
  • Mobile marketers (median salary of $87,912)
  • Market researchers (median salary of $87,900)

Research Early and Often

Given these trends, it’s important to research early and often throughout the hiring process. With so much job growth in Texas, simply knowing the national average may not be enough to win over the best job candidates.

Have you seen a difference from 2012-13 in salary demands? Have certain job positions been particularly hard to “price out” lately? We’d love to hear from you.

 

Image credit: piksel / 123RF Stock Photo