Thursday, 19 April 2018 12:26

Slow wage growth, but pay rises for IT workers likely Featured

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Slow wage growth, but pay rises for IT workers likely Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Slow wage growth has hit the Australian employment market, but despite the slowdown, top IT workers can expect a pay rise in 2018, according to a newly published salary report.

The reportm from recruitment firm Robert Half, said the majority (97%) of Australian chief information officers were planning to award an average of 21% of their IT staff with a pay rise, with the average increase expected to be 8% – which is well above the national wage price growth percentage of 2%.

The survey also reveals that:

  • Eighty-two percent of Australian CIOs find it more challenging to source qualified IT professionals compared to five years ago;
  • Thirty-seven percent of Australian workers do not think they are currently being paid a fair salary; and
  • Ninety-eight percent of Australian workers would be willing to accept a job offer with a higher salary if they felt they were not being paid fairly.

The survey found that 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% of CIOs find it more challenging to source qualified IT professionals compared to five years ago.

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Andrew Morris, director of Robert Half Australia, says, “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.”

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According to Morris, 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.

“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.

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“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.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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