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Most Aussie businesses open to hiring remote workers

James Mitchell
30 August 2021 2 minute readShare
remote workers

Businesses are looking far and wide to attract key staff members as lockdowns accelerate the move towards online working, meaning businesses can now attract staff who do not need to be in the office, new research has revealed.

A report released by Robert Half shows 72% of Australian businesses are now open to hiring staff from a remote location.

A shortage of staff in their own area as well as cheaper remuneration have seen a surge in demand for remote workers, and as a result of which, roles including finance and accounting have seen a 394% increase in remote job ads in just 12 months.

According to Robert Half Asia-Pacific’s senior managing director, David Jones, remote work presents new opportunities for employers and employees alike.

“For employees, the rise in remote work has created the potential for professionals to secure work with a remote employer who may pay more than a local organisation as well as save on living costs by moving away from the big cities,” he said.

However, the shift to remote working might not be the necessary win employees were hoping for.

While they can choose to live and work where they please, according to Robert Half, employers are likely to take advantage with remuneration offers that match where the employee lives.

The Robert Half survey found that 38% of businesses are likely to remunerate according to the location the team is headquartered, while 34% would consider a hybrid of the two locations — office location and remote worker location — to set the appropriate salary benchmark.

Despite certain businesses benchmarking salaries, Mr Jones noted employees could be a major winner in this changing working dynamics.

“For instance, an employee based in a city with a lower cost of living while working remotely for an organisation who pay a higher salary based on their location may be able to increase their discretionary income,” he said.

How much will your salary fall if you change states?

Robert Half’s findings show that salaries between states can vary by up to as much as 16% for the same role and experience levels.

When looking at remuneration intent, NSW (45%) and Victorian (4%) organisations are more likely to remunerate a remote employee based on headquarter location than their Queensland (27%) and Western Australian (30%) counterparts.

At the same time, Victoria and NSW generally offer higher average salaries per equivalent role to their Queensland and Western Australian counterparts.

Highlighting the skills shortages across the country, with job vacancies reaching record highs during the pandemic, Mr Jones opined that businesses will need to look beyond their own geography when it comes to gaining more staff members.

This is creating an opportunity for workers in remote areas who can cash in on their skill set and land a city wage while working in a rural community.

“To successfully attract remote workers, remuneration strategies will need to be abreast of national salary trends in order to offer a competitive package to out-of-state applicants,” Mr Jones said.

“For businesses looking to attract remote talent based in higher-paying states, they should be prepared to at least meet the remuneration standards of the applicant’s location or risk losing the candidate to a local role.”

Most Aussie businesses open to hiring remote workers
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James Mitchell

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