Are you in line for a pay rise this year?

Colleagues discussing 2021 pay rise

Our recently released Hays Salary Guide FY22/23 shows that Australia’s acute skills shortage will drive salary increases for many professionals this year. But with an upper limit to the raise organisations can offer, it’s vital to consider the full value exchange available.

This year, our Hays Salary Guide reveals employers are feeling confident, with almost eight in 10 (77%) expecting business activity to increase in the year ahead and 61% intending to increase permanent staff levels.
With widespread hiring plans, the challenge for employers is in securing suitable talent – already 91% are experiencing skills shortages.
In response, salaries are increasing. Today, 88% of employers intend to increase salaries, up from last year’s 67%. Furthermore, 77% say the skills shortage has driven raises above their planned values. 
While employers are willing to offer more for the right talent, they’re still attempting to keep a lid on the value of increases. Over half (51%) plan to increase salaries by less than 3%.

A further 27% will increase salaries between 3% and 6%, while 10% will increase above 6%.

Who is most likely to receive a pay raise this year? 

Not all Australians will receive equal rewards. When we look at pay increase intentions by sector, there are clear differences.
The architecture sector tops the list for the greatest salary increases this financial year, with 50% of employers intending to award a pay rise of 3% or more.
Increases of 3% or more will also be awarded to professionals in energy (45%), insurance (44%), executive (40%) and construction and logistics (both 39%).

Will I receive a pay rise in my next review?

To see if your skills are in line for a salary increase this year, visit our online Salary Checker to view the highest, typical and lowest salaries for your job. 

Skills shortage drives up employee expectations

In a job-rich, candidate-poor market, skilled professionals are more assured of their worth. The skills shortage has made 56% more confident to ask for a pay rise. Over half (54%) have benefited from the skills shortage through a salary increase, new job or both.

Despite this, expectations continue to rise. Today 84% of professionals believe their performance and the demand for their skills merits an increase greater than 3%.

They are so confident of their worth that an uncompetitive salary is the number one factor motivating job searches this year (nominated by 49%), ahead of a lack of promotional opportunities (40%) and a poor management style or workplace culture (37%).

A pay rise is also the most important career priority for employees in the year ahead, more so than learning or developing technical skills.

Ultimately, believing you’re worth a certain figure and achieving it are two very different things. It’s what an employer will pay for that counts – and every business has an upper limit to the salary increase available.

Consider the complete value exchange

To bridge the expectation divide, employers and professionals often turn to benefits. This year, over one-third (35%) of employers have improved benefits and working practices to entice more staff.

The provision of more than 20 days’ annual leave has risen rapidly up the list of top benefits that employees value, sought by 55% compared to 30% one year prior. It now sits behind only training (sought by 57%) as the most valued benefit. Rounding out the top five are ongoing learning & development (53%), mental and physical health and wellbeing programs (38%) and formal career paths (also 38%).

If your salary increase fails to live up to expectations, consider whether such benefits can add to the complete value exchange and what you could ask for instead of more pay. Also consider if additional flexibility, the organisation’s purpose, career progression opportunities and a good relationship with your manager and colleagues contribute positively to your employee experience. Long term, they could be worth more to your career than a higher salary here and now.

If all else fails, consider your options 

Of the skilled professionals we spoke to, 15% will actively seek a new job this financial year, with another 52% open to opportunities. By sector, turnover will be highest in retail, contact centres, education and trades & labour.

Many of these professionals have upskilled to improve their job search prospects. Over the past year, 45% developed new technical skills, 36% soft skills and 26% digital skills. Over one-quarter (26%) gained higher or additional qualifications.

In some organisations, demand for skills to fuel growth has never been higher. For professionals with skills in demand, the time may be right to consider an external move to speed up your progression. If you are considering your options, we invite you to share or update your CV so we can bring opportunities to you directly. 

Download the Hays Salary Guide

Our annual Hays Salary Guide  is based on a survey of over 4,500 organisations and more than 4,800 skilled professionals. Download your copy to access typical salaries and insights relevant to your job and career path.

About this author

Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director, began working at Hays in 1993 and since then he has held a variety of consulting and management roles across the business. In 2004 he was appointed to the Hays Board of Directors. He was made Managing Director of Australia and New Zealand in 2012.

Prior to joining Hays, he had a background in human resource management and marketing, and has formal qualifications in Psychology.

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