Bigger Paychecks to Ring in the New Year in Boston, and America Online Survey Finds
Survey Shows Boston Employers Plan to Hire Quicker, Increase Salaries, Diversify Staffs, Rehire Retirees and Offer More Flexible Schedules

Boston workers may cash in on a bigger, better deal in the New Year, according to a recent study of Boston employers by and America Online. Titled "Boston Hiring in 2006," the survey reveals Boston companies plan to increase salaries on initial offers, raise compensation levels for existing employees and provide more flexible work arrangements. It also provides insights on the skills Boston companies say will be most critical to their businesses in the coming year and their plans to shorten hiring cycles, diversify their staffs and postpone retirements in response to an increasingly competitive labor market.

  Bigger Paychecks
  -- 58 percent of Boston hiring managers plan to increase salaries on
     initial offers; 32 percent will raise offers by 3 percent or higher
     and 17 percent will raise offers by 5 percent or higher.
  -- 83 percent of Boston hiring managers plan to increase pay for existing
     employees; 66 percent will raise compensation levels by 3 percent or
     more and 22 percent will raise levels by 5 percent or more.

Tip: Know your value. Check out online salary sites, industry Web sites and the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine the average salary for your position in your city. Present your research along with career accomplishments to showcase your worth.

  Rehiring Retirees
  -- 34 percent of Boston hiring managers expressed concern over a shortage
     of skilled workers and intellectual capital lost due to the large
     segment of Baby Boomers approaching retirement.
  -- An even greater number -- 54 percent -- plan to recruit retirees from
     other companies or offer incentives for workers at or approaching
     retirement age to extend their employment.

Tip: If you would like to put off your retirement, inform your supervisor and other departments within your organization and network to identify potential full-time and part-time opportunities.

  Diversifying the Workforce
  -- Recognizing the importance of workforce diversity, three-in-ten Boston
     hiring managers expect diverse candidates to comprise 25 percent or
     more of their new hires.
  -- Women, Hispanics and African Americans ranked highest among the
     diverse workforce segments Boston hiring managers expect to target
     more aggressively.

Tip: Failing to market yourself as a diverse candidate can work against you. Highlight your diverse background and how your unique perspective and skills contributed to the success of previous employers in your application and during interviews.

  Flexible Work Styles
  -- 41 percent of Boston hiring managers say they will be more willing to
     provide flexible work arrangements such as job sharing and alternate
  -- 25 percent of Boston hiring managers say they will be more willing to
     allow employees to telecommute given rising energy costs.

Tip: Present your case. List your professional contributions, explain why you need a flexible work arrangement and propose a schedule that shows how you will be able to perform effectively.

  Shorter Hiring Cycles
  -- While the vast majority of Boston hiring managers report they are
     filling their open positions within six weeks, 36 percent say they
     will hasten the hiring process.
  -- 24 percent of Boston hiring managers will shorten the recruitment
     process by two weeks or more and 12 percent will shorten it by three
     weeks or more.

Tip: Act quickly. Check newspapers classifieds and online job postings on and AOL Find a Job regularly. You can apply to positions in real time, post up to five different versions of your resume and sign up for automatic job alerts.

  Critical Skills
  -- The top three skills Boston hiring managers say will be most critical
     to their businesses and most attractive in potential candidates are:
     1) customer service  2) technology proficiency  3) team-building.
  -- 28 percent of Boston hiring managers report they will be placing a
     greater emphasis on recruiting bilingual employees.

Tip: Employers often use electronic scanning devices that search resumes for keywords. Include these critical skills and other keywords as they apply to your experience to show your relevancy.

Survey Methodology

The survey, "Hiring Trends to Watch in 2006," was conducted from November 27 to December 12, 2005. Methodology used to collect survey responses totaling more than 100 Boston hiring managers for this study involved selecting a random sample of comScore Networks panel members. These Web Panel members were approached via an e-mail invitation, which asked them to participate in a short online survey. The results of this survey are statistically accurate to within +/- 9.8 percentage points (19 times out of 20).

About America Online, Inc.

America Online, Inc. and its subsidiaries operate a leading network of Web brands and the largest Internet access subscription service in the United States. Brands include the AOL(R) service, the website, and the AIM(R), MapQuest(R), Moviefone(R), Netscape(R), CompuServe(R) and ICQ(R) services. America Online offers a range of digital services including the TotalTalk(R) voice service. The company also has operations in Canada and Europe. America Online, Inc. is based in Dulles, Virginia, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Time Warner Inc.

About is the nation's largest online job site with more than 20 million unique visitors and over 1 million jobs. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. , Tribune Company , and Knight Ridder, Inc. , the company offers a vast online and print network to help job seekers connect with employers. powers the career centers for more than 800 partners that reach national, local, industry and niche audiences. These include more than 165 newspapers and leading portals such as America Online and MSN. More than 50,000 of the nation's top employers take advantage of's easy job postings, 15 million-plus resumes, Diversity Channel and more. Millions of job seekers visit the site every month to search for opportunities by industry, location, company and job type, sign up for automatic e-mail job alerts, and get advice on job hunting and career management. For more information about products and services, visit .

  Media Contacts:                        America Online
  Jennifer Sullivan                        Kathie Brockman
  (773) 527-1164                           (703) 265-3286

SOURCE:; America Online, Inc.

CONTACT: Jennifer Sullivan, of, +1-773-527-1164,, or Kathie Brockman of American Online,