Aug. 3 (UPI) -- In a highly competitive job market, employers are finding creative ways to find and keep talent -- including perhaps the most effective method: Offering more money.
According to a new survey Friday by CareerBuilder, more than half of companies questioned said they'll give employees pay raises before the end of the year. Nearly a quarter said they will be pay hikes of at least 5 percent.
The report said 58 percent of employers plan to offer raises, and another 45 percent plan to up the starting salaries for new workers.
"Low unemployment and increasing skills gaps continue to plague employers who are struggling to fill roles at all levels within their organizations," CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson said. "Fifty percent of U.S. employers reported that it is taking them longer to fill jobs today compared to any other period of time -- a trend that is ultimately giving job seekers more leverage."
The job site said 63 percent of U.S. employers will hire full-time, permanent workers in the second half of this year, an increase of 3 percent over 2017.
To attract and keep talent, employers said they will also offer greater perks -- like signing bonuses, more paid time off, casual dress, gym memberships and the ability to work remotely.
Higher wages aren't limited to high-end positions. The survey found 71 percent of companies feel they need to pay entry-level workers more because of tight talent pools. More than a fifth of employees told pollsters they expect to find a new job before the end of the year.
The sectors that most need workers this year are customer service (41 percent), sales (28 percent), information technology (22 percent), product development (16 percent) and business development (16 percent), CareerBuilder said.
The report also found temporary and contract hiring is still a trend, though down slightly from last year.
The report was compiled by Harris Insights & Analytics, who questioned more than 2,000 employers and employees this summer.