When it comes to executive compensation, the story isn’t as simple as it feels.

Yes, comp is up, but COVID-induced volatility has made it seem more pronounced than it really is. In our upcoming report on executive compensation trends, we examine where and how the market is moving—a critical need for talent leaders and executive recruiters.

Due out next week, our Q2 2021 Executive Search Report provides up-to-date numbers on compensation by function, industry and size. Given the market fluctuations of late, it’s a timely benchmark on the subject, and we’re excited to share it.

So much so, that we’re sharing a few pieces of data early.

Here’s what we found:

  • Largely speaking, executive compensation trends track inflation
  • Compensation growth at mid-market companies is trending strongest
  • Three roles in particular are costing more than they have historically

As you read on, remember to reserve a copy of our full report by emailing us at marketing@thrivetrm.com. We’ll provide you with complimentary, early access to our full analysis, including benchmark salary data.

Executive Compensation Trends Track Inflation

Plain and simple: If you want to know what’s going on with executive compensation, just look at inflation numbers. The two have been directionally representative of each other dating back to the beginning of 2019, and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down.

For talent leaders and recruiters in niche industries or without access to deep insights, this is a fairly straightforward way to keep a pulse on what’s happening in market. This single data point can be helpful in planning recruiting strategies and executive comp budgeting.

Mid-Market Compensation is Trending Up Right Now

While larger companies—those with more than 1000 employees—have seen larger rebounds from their local minimums, it’s mid-market firms—between 250-1000 employees—who are on an upward trajectory and seemed to weather the storm more than any other segment in the market.

Small companies—those with less than 250 employees—lagged in their ability to recover from a Q2 2020 low point, while large companies—those with more than 1,000 employees—were able to rebound more quickly and continue doing so through Q1 of this year.

Though comp growth seems to have leveled off for larger companies, they’re more closely in line with their pre-COVID figures than the smaller companies.

Certain Roles Are Demanding a Premium

In our trend analysis, some roles appeared more resilient to market fluctuations than others. Interestingly, enough, two of those roles—Engineering and Marketing—benefited greatly from strong QoQ growth for one very simple reason: They never dealt with a COVID dip.

For engineers, then, that meant an 8% YoY increase in base comp. For marketers, that figure was 9%.

HR, meanwhile, saw a substantially higher YoY increase in comp—14%—but it came after an up-and-down year where it would be virtually impossible to time the market for a “deal.”

What’s Next?

As we continue to explore these trends and dig deeper into our findings, we’ll share more data to give you a real-time pulse on how compensation is trending and where it’s likely headed in the next three to six months. Stay tuned for more details, so you can stay ahead of the curve.

Reserve a copy of our full report by emailing us at marketing@thrivetrm.com.