As Australia’s talent tussle heats up, annual salaries increased in most industries in most states last financial year, according to a recent survey.
Competing for top candidates appears to be getting a whole lot tougher as salaries increase ahead of the consumer price index.
Insurance and superannuation recorded the biggest average increases in the year to June (up 6 per cent to $81,049); following by farming, animals and conservation (up 5 per cent to $70,992); and retail and consumer products (up 5 per cent to $58,397), according to Seek’s annual salary review.
New South Wales had the largest number of industries with increased annual salaries, at 64 per cent. It was followed by South Australia (61 per cent), Queensland (54 per cent), Victoria (54 per cent) and Western Australia (43 per cent). Figures for Tasmania, the Australian Capital Territory and Northern Territory were not available.
Growth in non-mining activity has been the winner for NSW, where there’s been a steady improvement in new job ads over the past months, says Seek managing director, Joe Powell.
One in four roles on Seek offered annual salaries of more than $100,000. The top average annual salaries were in mining, resources and energy ($120,793); consulting and strategy ($108,225); engineering ($105,608); and construction ($104,754). Australian Bureau of Statistics data released in March also identified these sectors as the top earners.
“The fact that the mining sector is still commanding the highest salaries in Australia isn’t surprising, given the industry is a big contributor to GDP,“ says Powell. Although mining salaries are falling, down 10 per cent compared with the previous year. And that’s led to drop in the overall average national salary of 3.2 per cent to $79,767.
Globalisation is continuing to have an effect on salaries, says Powell.
“The speed of change is only getting faster all over the globe, so finding experienced candidates at the front of the curve in their speciality is a challenge.”
While it’s not always possible for organisations to compete on salary, Powell points out that some candidates are not motivated exclusively by money.
“Potential employees are looking more and more for things outside of money. Obvious things are flexible work arrangements and great benefits, but also try to think differently and tap into your teams’ motivations,” he says.
To woo potential candidates, he suggests considering creative work time, hackathons (IT collaboration days or weeks), time off work to give back to the community, and secondments and other career opportunities.