The Hays Salary Guide released last week shows a misalignment between employee expectation and employer intention when it comes to wages.

According to the report, based on a survey of approximately 3500 organisations, 65 per cent of technology employers are set to increase salaries in the next review. However, only 19 per cent of these intend to provide increases of more than three per cent. This increase does not reflect the expectations of talent in the sector, where 68 per cent of technology professionals believe that their individual performance is worth more than just a three per cent raise. 

Interestingly though, the RBA’s budget forecasts a wage rise expectation of two to three per cent — in line with employer intentions. 

According to Robert Beckley, Regional Director of Hays Technology, “On the one hand, we have almost two thirds of technology employers intending to increase salaries in the year ahead, which is a remarkable sign of the confidence employers exhibit today. On the other, professionals say the value of these increases is far less than they deserve.”

Meanwhile though, employers are aware of a talent shortage, where 64 per cent of employers surveyed believe that skills shortages will affect their capability. One of the biggest contributors to this shortage is the continued closure of international borders — ultimately putting the power in the hands of employees.

While employers navigate employee pent-up demand as a result of the pandemic suffocating job opportunities and promotional opportunities, they must consider their offering to potential talent holistically.

Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director, Hays AUNZ

According to Nick Deligiannis, Managing Director of Hays Australia & New Zealand, “This salary expectation divide must be managed sensitively if employers are to retain staff and attract new talent in short supply.”

According to Natalie Britt, Director of Human Resources at Sydney’s International Convention Centre, “employees don’t want jobs, they want careers.”

Employers should work to highlight the non-financial benefits that a career with their company will provide. This can include the company’s ESG work, diversity and inclusion strategy and corporate culture, to ensure that the strength of the value proposition is clear. 

This isn’t just important to attract talent, but also to retain it.

According to Britt, training and upskilling opportunities are of genuine interest to employees as they work to cross-skill and become “generalists” rather than specialists, as well as promotional opportunities. According to Deligiannis, career progression is the number one factor deciding whether an employee will leave or stay.

Finally, responding to the changing nature of work being flexible and hybrid, employees are looking for a work-life balance. 

According to Kristian Kolding, Lead Partner, Macroeconomic Policy & Forecasting, Deloitte Access Economics, employee surveys are showing that people are “substantially more productive at home”, with flexible working becoming a key driver of productivity growth. 

Employers who are not providing a hybrid offering may struggle in the war for talent acquisition and retention.

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