The survey and salary guide, released on Thursday by recruitment firm Hays, shows that employers in all industry sectors have a positive outlook, yet many remain cautious when it comes to salaries.
But, according to Hays, this caution is less evident in IT&T, where 28% of employers intend to award a salary increase of between 3% and 6% in their next review – again higher than the average of 19% across all industries.
Hays surveyed more than 2950 organisations, representing 3,021,984 employees, as well as placements made by the recruiter.
“Putting customers at the forefront, agility in approach and underpinning business decisions have been the key trends affecting technology and its use in the past year,” says Adam Shapley, senior regional director of Hays information technology.
“The term ‘digital’ has been used extensively and while this might mean ‘technology’, it’s the practical usage of it that has been the driving force.
“Digitalisation has had a knock-on effect across all areas, as organisations look to harness technology not just to run or organise their business, but to dictate where and how to engage with customers.”
Shapley says hiring practices have been mainly affected by the shift towards IT contracting, with organisations looking to bring on expertise in a non-permanent capacity to deliver projects and add technical skills in areas where a team is falling short.
“Technology skills are critical in our digital economy and employers are acknowledging this by doing what they can to ensure relevant skills are retained in the long run. This includes recruiting for cultural fit, setting themselves apart as an employer of choice and setting up dedicated innovation labs.”
Other findings of the Hays salary guide, across all industries, include:
- Business activity increased for 70% of employers in the past 12 months, while three-quarters (75%) expect it to increase in the next 12 months;
- 36% foresee a strengthening economy in the coming six to 12 months;
- 45%expect to increase permanent staff levels, far exceeding the 11% who say they’ll decrease;
- Meanwhile 23% expect to increase their use of temporary and contract staff, also exceeding the 9% who anticipate decreasing in this area;
- 23% now employ temporary and contract staff on a regular ongoing basis and another 44 per cent employ them for special projects or workloads;
- In the last 12 months, 15% of Australians asked for a pay rise but were declined – a further 17% asked for a pay rise and were successful;
- The success of the latter perhaps explains why 45% say they intend to ask for a pay rise in their next review. A further 24% are as yet unsure;
- 32% of employers say staff turnover has increased in their organisation;
- 65% of employers, compared to 60% last year, are worried that skill shortages will impact the effective operation of their organisation or department in a significant (23%) or minor (42%) way;
- 71% of employers offer flexible salary packaging. Of these, the most common benefits offered to all employees are salary sacrifice (offered to all employees by 57% of employers), above mandatory superannuation (41%), parking (32%) private health insurance (30%) and bonuses (28%); and
- 70% of employees have access to flexible work practices, 58% receive ongoing learning & development, 43% career progression opportunities, 37% health and wellness programmes, and 29% over 20 days’ annual leave and financial support for study.