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