We recently analyzed job satisfaction across the US based on a variety of factors: location, salary level, and job function. The infographic at the bottom of this post displays our key findings.
One key takeaway for recruiters: salary has a big impact on job satisfaction, but only up until a certain point. According to our research:
Professionals making or “about to make” $100k proved to be the happiest, meaning there is a psychological factor in starting to make six figures even though the difference between $90k and $100k is nominal in your take-home pay.
Additionally, the trend data shows quickly diminishing returns on incremental salary as employees near the $200k mark. Across all industries, professionals reported being less happy the more money they made after $170,000 per year. Think about that: on average, professionals making $240,000 a year reported being slightly unhappier than those making $40,000.
What this means for recruitment & employee retention
A $10k raise or bonus appears to play a big role in job satisfaction for employees in the $70-$90k range. While there are many other factors affecting job satisfaction, consider the long-term impact of how a slight increase in take-home pay will affect their likelihood to accept your job offer, or stay with your company.
Conversely, don’t expect salary to be your key selling point once you get to employees in the $170-$240k range.
David Dorman is a Marketing Manager for TheLadders, where he is responsible for engaging recruiters with its suite of products and services.