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Australia – Hays: Salary expectation gap widening

31 July 2013

Despite a conservative salary outlook, more than one in five candidates expects to receive a salary increase of more than 6% in the current pay review period. Of the employers responding to the survey, however, 89% plan to keep salary increases below that level, according to research carried out by recruiting experts Hays.

The annual Hays Salary Guide asked more than 1,600 employers about their salary intentions for the current pay review period. Overall, only 3% plan to increase salaries by more than 6%. A further 8% do not intend to award any salary increases at all.

Where employers and candidates are more aligned is at the low end of the scale for salary increases. Of the 653 candidates taking part in a recent Hays online poll on salary expectations, 45% expect to see a pay increase of up to 3% hit their pay packet while 33% expect an increase of between 3-6%.

A sizable 57% of employers plan to award salary increases of up to 3% for low end salaries; while 32% intend to award pay increases of 3-6%.

Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand, said: “Employers are looking to maintain costs where possible. For candidates this means looking at the opportunity for professional growth offered by a potential employer and not just the salary. This will help [them] position for promotion once inside the organisation to command greater salary increases down the track.”

“The potential for salary increases moves up and down as economic conditions change so it is important not to overreact to salary trends particularly if you have not been job hunting since the salary market was strong in your sector. Employers also need to tread carefully in this market and ensure they are selling the full range of the benefits they offer employees when they are interviewing job candidates.”

“Open and honest communication with existing and potential employees regarding salaries and benefits is very important to help bridge the gap in pay expectations,” Mr Deligiannis added.

Of the sectors included in the 2013 Hays Salary Guide, Advertising & Media had the largest proportion of employers not intending to award any salary increases (21%) followed by Construction, Property & Engineering (16%) and Transport & Distribution (14%).

Hospitality, Travel & Entertainment was the steadiest pay sector with 72% of employers intending to award increase of less than 3% followed by Retail where 67% of employers plan increases at that level. IT & Telecommunications appears among the most generous with 36% of employers intending to award pay increases of 3-6% and 10% willing to go beyond the 6% mark. In Mining & Resources 43% of employers plan increases of 3-6%, and 6% intend to increase by 6% or more.  

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