Zweig Group releases 2023 Policies, Procedures & Benefits Report

Jun 14, 2023

Zweig Group’s 2023 Policies, Procedures & Benefits Report of AEC Firms has just been released. The report covers many of the questions that firm leaders are faced with when they look to develop their firm’s administrative policies and set their annual budgets. The survey addresses maternity/paternity leave, paid time off, professional development, compensation, relocation, 401(k) plans, group health insurance, and more. The report also investigates the education, background, responsibilities, and compensation of HR directors.

The survey found that the average human resources director in an AEC firm has around 18 years of experience and earns a base salary of $110,000. The median HR director’s bonus, as a percentage of their salary was 7 percent. Fifty-four percent of all responding firms had a dedicated HR budget, with nearly 52 percent of all HR related expenses being allocated to HR labor, 25 percent for training programs, and 6 percent of the budget being allocated for recruiting firms/agencies. Eighty-two percent of respondents said that the person in charge of HR functions participates in the firm’s annual business planning process.  

Among the firms budgeting a pay increase for this next year, the median percentage increase was 5.5 percent. The survey also looks at just how valuable particular benefits plans are as far as attracting and retaining top talent. Many firms are paying a significant portion (85 percent) of the premium for employee-only coverage and some firms are paying up to 75 percent of the employee/family plans. We saw employee paid insurance premiums come down for the first time since 2016. Employee-only was around $110 per month and employee-family came back under $500 per month

Seventy-nine percent of respondents offer tuition or fee reimbursement of some kind for continued education. Sixty-seven percent of firms have developed a plan and initiatives to intentionally become more diverse. The main objective is to increase hiring rates and retention rates of specific groups. We found that turnover rates jumped back up to nearly 15 percent this last year. With an aggregate growth in staff of nearly 9 percent this last year, that means HR departments are having to hire 25 percent of their firms’ total staff count each year to accommodate those levels of growth. This can be a time consuming and expensive activity! 

Equipped with the knowledge found inside Zweig Group’s 2023 Polices, Procedures & Benefits Report, firm principals and HR directors can make informed decisions regarding the administrative policies they will put in place next year. In the context of remaining competitive in an ever-changing industry, knowing how your competitors are distributing their benefits packages and compensating their HR professionals can give your firm the tools it needs to make sure employees are getting the best experience you can provide. Read the full report here.

About Zweig Group

Zweig Group, three times on the Inc. 500/5000 list, is the industry leader and premiere authority in AEC firm management and marketing, the go-to source for data and research, and the leading provider of customized learning and training. Zweig Group exists to help AEC firms succeed in a complicated and challenging marketplace through services that include: Mergers & Acquisitions, Strategic Planning, Valuation, Executive Search, Board of Director Services, Ownership Transition, Marketing & Branding, and Business Development Training. The firm has offices in Dallas and Fayetteville, Arkansas.