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Houston-area workers will continue to secure perks from labor-strapped companies for the foreseeable future as the local economy outpaces the national economy and more technology companies move into Texas, according to compensation analysts and economists.

Companies will need to offer less financially-tangible benefits such as opportunities to cross-train at different jobs or in different geographic areas, and emphasize diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) efforts in company hiring, promotion, and recognition. Such employee leverage ranges from prospective corporate executives to entry-level and hourly workers.

“Employers are trying to ensure that they can be as appealing as possible to candidates,” said Bill Reilly, managing director at executive compensation consultancy Pearl Meyer. “The dynamic has shifted for people to look more holistically at the entire employer experience.”

The influx of technology companies to Texas from states such as California has put pressure on companies in Houston’s energy sector to offer prospective workers either more flexible work hours or the option of working all or part of their week remotely, according to Reilly.

Reilly noted that 75 percent of respondents to a Pearl Meyer survey of 300 companies in August indicated that they offered a hybrid workplace schedule, but energy-sector companies were almost twice as likely to require a five-day office work schedule than companies in other sectors.

“It goes beyond the pandemic,” he said.

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