Despite sluggish wages growth nationwide, certain industries are having to offer competitive and increasing salary packages for Australian workers in order to fill vacancies, new data suggests.
Research from national recruitment firm Robert Half broke down where employees and candidates across Australia are in the strongest position to negotiate their salary packages.
IT and technology
Not surprisingly, the technology sector is experiencing the biggest changes and, with this, greater wage expectations.
Robert Half’s results show that IT professionals had the greatest wage growth of 3.3 per cent, compared with the national average of 2.3 per cent.
Employment as a whole is changing with new technology as the rise of the “gig economy” and the need for highly skilled foreign workers continue to grow.
Demand for cyber security roles continues to be high, leading to a mix of temporary and permanent IT professionals having to continue to upskill to keep pace with technology.
Finance and accounting
Strong growth in the financial sector with a smaller talent pool is leading to employees having greater negotiating powers.
Larger employers are also, according to Robert Half, increasingly willing to offer above-average salary packages to professionals with experience at the big four accounting firms: PwC, KPMG, EY or Deloitte.
Some 80 per cent of Australians in the financial industry are likely to consider additional non-salary benefits if an employer is unable to meet their salary expectations.
Administration and office support
In a candidate-short market, employers are searching for the right talent within an increasingly limited pool of experienced professionals in this sector.
Robert Half said that employers are offering above-average salaries to attract and retain talented administrative professionals. At the same time, many are now offering bonus incentives to encourage employees to serve the full term of their contract.
Other benefits employees look for
Employees are continuing to want more than just a generous base salary. According to Robert Half, employees are increasingly likely to take a lower base salary if they are rewarded in other ways:
- 84 per cent would take a pay cut for flexible hours and/or option to work from home/remote working.
- 60 per cent would take a base pay cut for wellbeing/health programs.
- 60 per cent would take a base pay cut for bonuses.
- 58 per cent would take a base pay cut for paid parental leave/long-service recognition/increased holiday allowance.
- 56 per cent would take a base pay cut for company-paid mobile phone.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.