Helping you keep pace in industries moving at the speed of light

Big Salaries, Small Companies: The Pay Gap Plaguing Mid-Market A&D

“He’s making how much?!?” :cold_sweat:

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that from exasperated hiring managers at mid-market aerospace and defense companies.

The talent wars are real, and compensation is the biggest battle.

The industry is booming, driving massive demand for engineering and tech talent. But for many growing A&D firms, attracting and keeping that talent is extremely challenging due to compensation competitiveness.

In our recent Elray Search survey, 42% of respondents – mid-market A&D hiring managers – cited compensation as their #1 obstacle for new hires. These smaller companies can’t compete with the eye-watering pay, stock awards, and lavish benefits the primes dangle. :money_mouth_face:

It makes it nearly impossible to pull top talent from the industry giants. The majors are bidding them up aggressively, outbidding mid-market firms at every turn. Salaries for in-demand roles have skyrocketed as larger companies keep ratcheting up pay.

But many mid-sized businesses can’t match these rapidly accelerating compensation levels. So they helplessly watch elite tech stars get poached and constantly strike out landing coveted candidates.

As they pursue growth, R&D, new capabilities and big wins, creatively solving this compensation conundrum through non-monetary rewards, career development and culture has become vital.

The truth? For mid-market A&D hiring managers, the talent war will be won or lost on the compensation battlefield.

Subscribe to Elray Insights

Additional Insights


Ryan Murphy, Partner at Kal Capital

Get ready to unlock the secrets to successful mergers and acquisitions with this week’s expert guest, Ryan Murphy, partner at Kal Capital. Kal ....

Read More

Michael Murray, CEO of Kopin Corporation 

Prepare to embark on a captivating journey into the heart of a cultural revolution under new leadership with Michael Murray, the visionary CEO pr....

Read More

firmly focused A&D recruitment

Reliably locating and engaging the leaders of aerospace and defense