Poll Results – Reasonable Salary Increases for Great Candidates


Do you know how much it costs to attract top tier talent in the heavy civil construction and engineering industries? I’m Taylor Maurer with Heavy Civil Resource Consultants, a boutique executive search firm specializing in talent discovery and engagement for exceptional contractors and engineering firms and I would like to share the results of a recent poll we ran addressing this exact question.

As the construction industry continues to grow, hiring managers are facing a major challenge – finding and retaining top talent. With the demand for skilled workers on the rise, companies are competing with each other to attract the best candidates. One of the ways they do this is by offering higher salaries. But the question is – how much of a salary increase is reasonable to get a great candidate? To find out, we recently ran a poll asking construction hiring managers this very question. The response was overwhelming, with 372 individuals participating in the survey. Here are the results: A) < 10% – 3% B) 11%-15% – 31% C) 16% – 20% – 33% D) > 20% – 33% The results are quite interesting. While a small percentage of respondents believe that a salary increase of less than 10% is reasonable, the majority of hiring managers (67%) are willing to offer a salary increase of at least 11% to attract a great candidate. It is not surprising that more than half of the respondents (66%) are willing to offer a salary increase in the range of 16% – 20%. With the competition for skilled construction professionals on the rise, it makes sense for companies to offer higher salaries to attract top talent. What is surprising, however, is that one-third of hiring managers are willing to offer a salary increase of more than 20%. This indicates that some companies are willing to go to great lengths to secure the best candidates for their team. Perhaps the two biggest factors driving up salaries are; the talent vacuum the industry is facing coupled with inflation and higher interest rates.

It is important to note that while offering higher salaries may attract top talent, it is not the only factor that candidates consider when choosing a job. As per additional polling that we have conducted over 70% of respondents said that they would rank quality of life as poor in the industry. Additionally, a better quality of life ranked at the top of our list for reasons to make a career move with compensation and working for a different manager coming in second and third respectively. You can find more information in this video/article regarding those polls here. Factors such as company culture and opportunities for career growth are also important to job seekers and crucial for employee retention. Therefore, it is critical for companies to offer a comprehensive package that includes a competitive salary, along with other benefits that appeal to candidates. In conclusion, the results of our survey indicate that hiring managers in the construction industry are willing to offer higher salaries to attract top talent. While this may be a good strategy, it is important to remember that candidates consider multiple factors when choosing a job. Companies that offer a comprehensive package that includes a competitive salary, a great company culture, an established career path, and policies that help their employee improve their quality of life are more likely to attract and retain top talent in the industry.

Taylor Maurer

Taylor Maurer

Taylor is a seasoned professional with a strong background in heavy civil construction and recruiting. He began their career in 2004 at Kimmel & Associates and rose through the ranks to Vice President. Taylor achieved numerous accolades, including a record-breaking retainer agreement, C-level placements, and consistent high billing performance. In 2017, he founded HCRC Inc., offering a range of consulting services beyond recruitment. Taylor is also an avid adventurer and family person, with a passion for long-distance backpacking, motorcycle riding, and outdoor activities.