You’re Probably Not Getting a Raise

Dice’s Salary Survey shows that tech pro salary levels in the United States are plateauing. Another new study suggests that’s not an anomaly; that huge raise you wanted might not be on the way.

PayScale reports that employers won’t be offering meaningful pay bumps; that’s causing concern among companies about retaining talent. Almost 60 percent of employers who responded to PayScale’s study are “very concerned” about retention, but 73 percent say the average wage increase in 2018 will be three percent or less – not enough to keep some highly motivated (and highly skilled) employees around.

Some employers are supplementing salary with bonuses. PayScale says employers offering bonuses to incentivize talent rose three percent (to 67 percent) over last year. Hiring bonuses also jumped; some 34 percent of employers now say they’re offering sign-on payments, up from 27 percent the previous year.

You might think these findings are alarming enough that employers would want to adjust their compensation structure. Nope. PayScale also reports that, while 85 percent of managers feel confident they can justify employee pay, only 37 percent of organizations share that confidence. Furthermore, the number of employers offering spot bonuses is down seven percent. Pay equity for women and minorities are noted as being “top of mind, but not top of the to-do list” for employers, too.

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PayScale’s findings echo much of what we unearthed in Dice’s Salary Survey; some 36 percent of respondents reported any bump in salary came via merit raise, while 23 percent said it was because they jumped ship for another company. Around 63 percent of tech pros who plan to leave their current roles said they’ll do so for higher pay. Only one-third reported receiving a bonus (though the average bonus was $10,254).

There’s no concise explanation for this trend. Employers are simply throttling salaries across the board, and tech pros are starting to feel the pinch.

Silver linings exist, though. Employers report they’re offering more perks in lieu of better pay. For tech pros, it’s possible to negotiate a bit more time off, better revenue sharing, or even the ability to work remotely instead of haggling for a few more dollars. Similarly, there are some jobs you might best avoid, as they’re simply not paying tech pros well.

It may also be advantageous to look for a job in a different market. Some tech hubs you haven’t considered might have jobs that pay much more, especially if you’re familiar with tech in a field popular in those metro areas.

18 Responses to “You’re Probably Not Getting a Raise”

  1. Dan Clark

    There has to be some sort of impact due to H1B visas and L1 visas affecting American salaries and if you are a consultant, hourly rates!

    Why is this never brought up in any of your salary surveys year after year after year?!?!

    • You are correct. My rates have cratered. Thanks Obama! Trump has done what he can to roll things like “Obama’s spousal work visa order” back, but the problem is in the swamp— a corrupt congress. The answer to your question is dice is in the pocket of the it companies. I do not list my resume on dice for that reason — and I encourage readers to drop their profiles — until five gets the message.

  2. Hi Dan,
    Dice.com is pro H1B and L1. They support them. I seen lot of H1B and L1’s working for Dice.com in San Jose. All analysis posted here is wrong. The reality is different. Every one need cheap labor, slaves who works for 14 hours for day. No one want’s to give job and pay more for Americans. Until following rules are imposed noting will change..

    a) All companies should hire H1b’s from local unemployment office. If local unemployment office don’t have resumes of American they will send the h1b resume and they have to pay the premium fee/salary based on zip code like minimum wages.

    b) Full-time or contract jobs should not allow h1b’s to work more than 8 hours. Companies will pay more salaries like in step (a) and make/abuse the h1b to work more hours in-order to get compensated for the more salary they paid. All access to company network should be denied after 8 hours.

    c) No Green Cards or extension of H1B after 6 years limit.

    Thank
    Mega

      • You can not train an American to live in a 300 square foot “closet” with 6 other people and accept other 3rd-world standards of living which is pretty much what you have to do to work in Silly-Con Valley, given the cost housing and how little companies want to pay.

        You’re better off working the paint department at Home Depot in Boonieville.

  3. It is my understanding companies who sponsor H1B VISA’s pay a lower price for the talent and pretty much “own” their hire. The employee has the choice of staying with the company regardless of satisfaction or returning to their home country – and i thought we did away with indentured servants over a century ago.

    Of course H1B VISA’s are good for companies and bad for employees.
    You would think with their tax breaks these companies could share the wealth a bit.

    • All of these comments are true. I just turned 62 and will take my social security and work at home depot. Obamacare gives me a silver plan at $400 a month. 2 small pensions plus social sec give me $2800 a month and kids grown, house paid etc. IT people say I should go to a “boot camp” so I can at 62 start again at a 50k job. No thanks. A nice career up to y2k but since then “hunger games”

      • Hunger games is right. The PTB claim there is an IT worker shortage, but the hiring process does not reflect this. Remember the days of the dot com boom? You would be brought in for an interview just days after submitting your resume, and if you weren’t an idiot you’d have an offer within just a few days, because they knew that if they didn’t snap you up right away, someone else would.

        Fast forward to today: you apply for a job and don’t hear back from them for a month or longer. You get a phone screen, pass it and you wait more weeks, if not months for a follow up. Then you finally get the in house interview, maybe a programming test too. So you do well on both and after you go home the silence resumes. Weeks pass, until finally after another month you either get an offer or are told “we aren’t moving forward with you.”. Some just give you the silent treatment and you put 2 + 2 together. And if you get the offer you get a 2-3% bump, but you find out their insurance benefits are crummy and you have to pay a lot more for them than at the current job, meaning you’re taking a net pay cut.

        I interviewed for a job last summer. I felt I interviewed very well, but was eventually told they were not going to move forward with me. No reason was given when I asked, so I let it go and forgot about it. Fast forward to the present, 6+ months later. I received an email from them saying the position had been filled. Someone internal told me that they interviewed dozens of candidates, and what they were looking for was someone who would work for a lot less than I was asking for (which according to salary surveys is slightly below average), as in 20K less than I was asking.

        Strong job market my b*tt. Hunger Games it is.

  4. Infosecrunnr

    Mega – “No green cards after 6 year limit”

    What a stupid thing to say. Green card holders are LEGAL PERMANENT RESIDENTS of the United States. They go through more vetting than a US citizen that has been granted citizen merely because they were born here.

    You can barely formulate a coherent argument in, what I am assuming is, your native language. I’m guessing your employment problems have less to do with H1Bs and LPRs than you think.

    Bless your heart.

    • FrankFrank

      I think you missed Mega’s point: that after their visas expire that H1-B’s should have to go home. But it doesn’t work that way. They can get renewals and after being here long enough they can get a green card and eventually citizenship.

      The H1-B program is sold on the premise that they are temporary workers, but in practice they are permanent residents. They buy houses. That sounds rather permanent to me

  5. Ungruntled

    This is a joke – tech hiring, too, is a joke. Increased vacation time? How many “tech pros” ever get to use that? The only time anyone I know takes their vacation time is when they get in a use-it-or-lose-it situation, then they often end up still losing time. Vacation time as an increased payment you get when you leave for another job.

    As far as other benefits, those, too, are gloss over the unrewarding job. How many companies tout their great healthcare benefits, only to hire contractors (no benefits)? Others say they have great health benefits, but only in comparison to what they could be doing; the benefits actually aren’t good. 401K contributions is another joke, since many 401Ks haven’t made up lost ground from the recession (thank you, administered plan, since employees don’t have enough sense to invest for themselves).

    Whether it’s hiring that takes forever, lagging salaries, H1-B or offshoring, which each have unique problems, it stems from the same view: Too many companies see tech as not their main business and something they could do without were it not for those evil tech companies. If only Microsoft, Apple, Google, etc., would stop updating their software and hardware, then companies wouldn’t force (forced, I say!) into updating their tech.

    I think the best world as most non-IT/development people see it is something they invest in once (using contractors) and should never have to update again. How many tech people have heard that they only want some software tool because they want “a toy,” like they’re having fun and wasting company money for their own pleasure? (Because, yeah, my definition of a great time is, say, database monitoring tools that allow people to get alerts at nights and weekends. Good times.) How many people in, say, sales claim they were completely happy with their old capabilities and interfaces and resent being forced into getting and learning something new, yet at the same time will whine if they hear about a new feature they don’t have?

    How many companies haven’t really changed hiring practices since the recession, when they figured out they could get five jobs out of two people? I often wonder if they aren’t taking a wait-and-see approach when someone quits, since maybe they won’t have any impact on what gets done. That the tech workers are putting in longer hours, working in areas they aren’t qualified (Oh, look, they get to learn new things! That’s skills training, which is an employee a benefit.), and generally all looking for new jobs doesn’t matter, because the budget numbers are great.

    That’s great that some (less than 350, according to another post here) companies have given bonuses and raises, but that number is another joke when compared to the number of companies that haven’t done anything. It’s probably far less than the number of companies that are doing “cost saving” measures to make investors happy.