Job Hunting

Finance Execs Win Big Pay by Switching Jobs

New employers are rewarding them with bigger pay hikes than general management, human resources, and sales and marketing executives are getting.
David McCannNovember 15, 2012

Do you want to make more money? Get a new job.

For finance executives, that opportunity may be almost as bountiful these days as in 2006 and 2007, the high-flying days before the financial crisis.

Salveson Stetson Group, a boutique executive-recruiting firm, gathered compensation data on 175 senior executives it has placed in the past few years. Job-changing finance executives were hit harder by the recession — in terms of pay increase upon switching employers — than general management, human resources, and sales and marketing executives. But now they are nearly back to their old level, unlike their counterparts in the other three disciplines.

The finance folks had enjoyed an average 28% compensation spike in new jobs during 2006–2007, but saw that plummet in 2008–2009 to just 5%. That was the smallest pay gain among the four job categories.

But in 2010–2012, finance executives have moved up to a 26% increase, according to the Salveson Stetson data. As before the recession, that group is currently getting the biggest pay bump.

Among the other groups, the data on sales and marketing executives barely budged in the three time periods, moving from 17% to 16% to 19%. The corresponding numbers for general-management executives were 28%, 8%, and 14%, and the numbers for HR leaders were 27%, 12%, and 16%.