NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Workers can expect a 3.8% rise in pay next year, according to a 2015 Salary Guides study by Robert Half.

Some industries, as always, will offer better hikes than others.

"Technology positions are expected to see the largest gains among all fields researched, with an anticipated 5.7% increase in the average salary for newly hired workers," the firm says. "Accounting and finance and creative and marketing professionals can expect their starting salary to rise an average of 3.5%."

To get a sense of where you stand, you can download specific industry salary guides and calculators here http://www.roberthalf.com/2014-salary-trends-and-salary-calculator and here http://www.roberthalf.com/salary-guides

If you suspect you fall in that 3.8% area — or worse — it's time to start thinking about how you can earn more.

We asked Dawn Fay, district president of Robert Half, about the current salary landscape and how to get noticed by corporate decision makers who can boost your salary.

Can you break down the 3.8% number for us?

Fay: The 3.8% figure represents the average increase for all roles we track, and this represents starting salaries only for people getting hired into new jobs (not continuing salaries). Technology roles are commanding the biggest increases — 5.7% overall, with some positions commanding increases of more than 10%, like a mobile applications developer.

What's hot right now in terms of specific positions and careers?

Fay: The hiring environment is positive right now for people with specialized skills, particularly in finance and technology. Big data, security and compliance are all hot ... We're seeing more hybrid roles that blend finance and technology skills (like business systems analyst) or creative and technology (like mobile designer).

But in terms of the overall hiring environment, there's no single trend driving hiring right now. Organizations of all sizes in all industries and specialties are looking for talent and competing with each other to hire the best people.

That said, there's more movement in the market — people are more comfortable leaving their roles for new opportunities. Multiple offers and counteroffers are very common. Companies have had to accelerate their hiring processes so as not to lose good candidates.

How can career professionals increase their chances of getting a bigger raise next year?

Fay: For employees looking for a raise with their current position: Talk to your manager and volunteer to take on different projects that stretch your skill set or call for cross-department collaboration, so you become more visible outside your department. The company may offer to train you on a new technology or system so you can take on an expanded role. Show initiative and be proactive about finding and meeting the company's most important needs.

Why is it in a company's best interest to focus on rewarding good employees?

Fay: Firms that focus on hiring alone are making a big mistake. They need to keep a dual focus on hiring and retention. It's much easier to keep your talent than try to find and hire new people. Having happy, motivated and tenured employees can help enormously in recruiting.

By Brian O'Connell for MainStreet