While the RBA is predicting that wages will “increase only gradually” over time and with slow wage growth plaguing the Australian employment market, research from Robert Half published in the 2018 Robert Half Salary Guide has found top IT workers can expect a pay rise in 2018.
According to the research, the majority (97 per cent) of Australian CIOs are planning to award an average of 21 per cent of their IT staff with a pay rise, with the average increase expected to be 8 per cent – which is well above the national wage price growth percentage of two per cent. As IT employers battle an ongoing skills shortage, offering a competitive salary in order to secure top talent is often the most persuasive incentive, particularly in an employment market where 82 per cent of CIOs find it more challenging to source qualified IT professionals compared to five years ago.
Confronted with a skills shortage in many technology areas, CIOs realise the necessity to re-evaluate their employees’ salary, as a survey of 1000 Australian office workers, also independently commissioned by Robert Half, has found the overwhelming majority of Australian workers (98 per cent) would be willing to accept a job offer with a higher salary if they felt they were not being paid a fair salary by their current employer, with nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of those saying they would be “very willing”.
Compounding the willingness of Australian workers to move to better paying jobs, the research also reveals more than one in three (37 per cent) Australian office workers do not feel they are currently being paid a fair salary by their employer. Almost half (45 per cent) say the reason for it is because their workload and responsibilities are not in proportion to their salaries, while over a third (35 per cent) state their salary is lower than the industry average. Peer-envy is identified by 10 per cent of workers who claim their colleagues who have similar roles receive a higher salary, and 10 per cent state they are being paid unfairly because their salary has not increased in the last two years.
Andrew Morris, director of Robert Half Australia commented: “In a market characterised by slow wage growth, companies that fail to regularly review their employees’ compensation risk losing their top performers to the competition – which is particularly true for IT workers as jobs in the IT sector are growing. In this booming market, IT professionals with niche skillsets are finding themselves in high demand and are more likely to gravitate towards higher paying roles.”
“Employers who do not regularly benchmark their employees’ salaries against industry standards will risk having their top performers gravitate towards more competitive pay packages elsewhere.”
“Organisations dealing with high staff turnover not only have to contend with the hassle of hiring new employees, but also with lost productivity and revenue,” he continued. “To prevent employees form leaving the organisation, employers should regularly review salaries and consider benchmarking salaries as an investment with a solid return, rather than as an unwarranted expense, as it can result in the retention of top performers and uninterrupted productivity. Awarding a competitive salary can also serve to distinguish the organisation as an employer of choice, particularly in a skills-short market with growing scrutiny over wage growth.”
For employers who are not in a position to award higher pay, these reasons need to be properly communicated to any employees who feel they are underpaid. Managers need to address employee concerns about salaries and discuss alternatives for reviewing salaries in future. “Providing a timeframe on when they will receive a salary increase, as well as the necessary steps required by the employee to achieve this, is essential to keeping team members motivated,” concluded Andrew Morris.