As demand for top talent grows, NZ tech pay packages nosedive

“Tech professionals heading into pay negotiations this month might be surprised..."

“Tech professionals heading into pay negotiations this month might be surprised when they don’t come out with the increases they’ve received in the last couple of years.”

That’s the industry observation of Absolute IT Director Grant Burley, who shines a new light on the New Zealand ICT industry.

As reported widely over the years, New Zealand tech pay packages have been on the up since June 2013, rising over 10 per cent.

However, the latest Absolute IT Remuneration Report shows a market correction, the last six months have seen a 2.4 per cent decrease in tech median base salaries and a 6 per cent decline in those receiving additional benefits as part of their pay package.

Findings suggest that the earning potential of Kiwi tech professionals are back to early 2014 levels, with the median base salary currently sitting at $80,500 and the median hourly rate at $85/hour.

The biggest decreases were seen in the Public Sector, down 7 per cent and Private Sector (100+ staff), down 6 per cent.

While the Private Sector (1-99 staff) saw an increase of 7 per cent, evening out the earning potential of each sector to a median base salary of $80,500.

“These latest figures could be a reflection of the drop in business confidence we have been hearing about in the media, but certainly aren’t a reflection of the demand for skilled IT professionals dropping,” Burley says.

The June ANZ Business Outlook report showed business confidence in New Zealand has slipped into the red for the first time since February 2011.

However, Burley claims demand for tech professionals is as strong as ever, with the Absolute IT Employer Insight Report showing 79 per cent of tech employers planning to recruit additional staff/contractors throughout the year and 28 per cent finding it harder to source the talent they need, compared with last year.

“Since April 2015, we have seen an increase of 13 per cent in job vacancies, so while pay levels might be down, the tech sector continues to demand top tech talent,” Burley adds.

Regionally, the median base salary in Wellington didn’t see any drop and remains at $90,000, and Auckland saw a slight drop of 1.2 per cent, down to $81,500.

Meanwhile, Hamilton/Bay of Plenty and Christchurch took the biggest hit, dropping 2.2 per cent and 4 per cent respectively to $68,500 and $72,000.

The number of tech professionals who are receiving bonuses is also down across New Zealand.

The median bonus paid in Auckland remained strong at $6,000, while Hamilton/Bay of Plenty saw a decrease from $5,000 down to $3,500 and Wellington dropped from being the top bonus earning region at $7,000, down to $5,500.

In addition, Christchurch saw an increase of $1,000, up to $6,000, equal to what tech professionals are earning as a bonus in Auckland.

For Burley, the 6 per cent drop in tech professionals receiving additional benefits is predominantly reflected in the benefits of healthcare, down 5 per cent and mobile phone/allowances, down 3 per cent.

Also, company paid training and car parking also saw a decrease of 2 per cent.

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