Labor Department: Wages went up 1.2 percent

HR software solutions can help businesses be aware of how much they can offer prospective hires in 2014.

HR software solutions can help businesses be aware of how much they can offer prospective hires in 2014.

The year may be coming to a close, but human resource professionals need to begin crunching the numbers for the next year. Is the company going to go on a hiring spree or are they going to promote from within? Data collected in an organization's HR software can provide the answers to many of the questions because some staffers may be eligible for retirement while others may be planning to go on a temporary leave.

Regardless of what direction a business decides to go, it is important for hiring managers evaluate how much they want to pay the next generation of hires. Demands per job opening may be growing because technology has allowed one person to complete more tasks, but the wages are not. According to the Labor Department, wages per hour in 2013 increased by 38 cents from 2012, which is is a 1.2 percent surge.

In fact, a lot of the increase had to do with employees benefits packages that include paid time off, sick days and benefits. Health care coverage alone accounted for 9 percent of total compensation. However, the Labor Department's figures do not include those who are self-employed or federal government staff members.

Wages may greatly differ from one department to another, but human resources professionals need to consider what is deemed a fair wage for specific departments. For example, information technology professionals are extremely valuable, and the industry standard is to offer a signing bonus and at least a $65,000 salary.

HR software solutions can serve as a valuable resource because staffers need to be aware of how much the company is willing to offer per prospective hire. Knowing this in advance will ensure the business stays on budget in case they need to make some staffing changes later on in the year.