What’s in your wallet? Are Kiwis in line for a pay rise?

“Given that employers are hiring more staff, it is a sign of New Zealand’s resilience that they are able to keep salary increases fairly consistent year-on-year.”

Strong economic growth and employer confidence in many sectors, including ICT, in New Zealand will lead to hiring activity and more permanent jobs in the year ahead, but recruiting experts Hays warns New Zealanders not to expect big salary increases during this period.

According to the 2015 Hays Salary Guide, 23 percent of employees can expect a salary increase of three percent or more in their next review.

However the vast majority of workers (68 percent) will receive an increase of less than three percent.

“Employers have a positive outlook for the coming year, with 46 percent expecting to increase permanent headcount and 76 percent expecting business activity to rise,” says Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays, New Zealand.

“Given that employers are hiring more staff, it is a sign of New Zealand’s resilience that they are able to keep salary increases fairly consistent year-on-year.”

According to the Hays Salary Guide, when they last reviewed 89 percent of employers gave salary increases, and when they next review 91 percent intend to offer increases.

While a slightly higher number of employees will get a pay rise, the extent of these increases will be slightly lower, with 68 percent intending to increase by less than 3 percent, compared to 61 percent who increased at this lower level in their last review.

Continuing this trend, just 4 percent of employers intend to increase salaries by 6 percent or more, which again is slightly less than the 6 percent who gave increases at this higher level in their last review.

Meanwhile the number of employers offering increases at the mid level, from 3 to 6 percent, has decreased slightly from 22 percent in their last review to 19 percent in their next review.

Other key findings from the Hays Salary Guide show that candidates have higher hopes for their next salary increase (42 percent expect a salary increase of less than 3 percent, 31 percent expect between 3 and 6 percent and 12 percent expect to receive 6 percent or more).

However the expectations of employees and employers are not that far apart that they can’t be bridged. One way to do this, according to Walker, is through benefits.

“Of our total employer group, 67 percent offer flexible salary packaging and of these the most common benefits offered are private health insurance, parking, above mandatory superannuation, bonuses and salary sacrifice,” he adds.

“Flexible work practices also help bridge the gap, and are offered by 83 percent of our surveyed employers.”

According to Walker, the most common practices on offer are flexible working hours (offered by 78 percent of employers), flex-place (63 percent), part time employment (62 percent), flexible leave options (26 percent), job sharing (16 percent), career breaks (15 percent) and phased retirement (12 percent).

“76 percent expect business activity to increase in the next 12 months, while 74 percent have already seen an increase in business activity over the 12 months prior to the survey,” he adds.

The Hays Salary Guide includes salary and recruiting trends for over 1,000 roles in Auckland, Christchurch and Wellington and is based on a survey of 451 New Zealand employers, representing 374,007 employees.

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