Positive prospects for Kiwi employers

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Job opportunities and salaries are set to increase this year, according to the Hays Salary Guide.

The guide is based on a survey of 451 employers in New Zealand, who represent almost 375,000 workers.

According to Hays, one in five Kiwi employers are expecting to increase salaries by three to six per cent this year, while the majority (65%) will up pay by less than 3%.

It was also found that more than half of those surveyed believe business activity will increase in the next 12 months, with more than one in three employers planning to increase the number of permanent staff members.

Perks and benefits

When it came to vying for the best talent in the competitive market, many employers said they offered perks to their workforces.

The top three benefits on offer, researchers found, were salary packaging, above mandatory superannuation, and parking.

Researchers found that the most popular benefits among employees were flexible working hours, flexplace, part-time employment and flexible leave options. Career breaks and phased retirement were also well-received.

“Employers have a positive outlook for the coming year," said Jason Walker, managing director of Hays in New Zealand.

Of those employers expecting to expand their workforce, 90% said they would be hiring full-time permanent staff, 29% will increase their use of temporary staff and contractors, 17% will employ part-time staff and 15% will employ casual staff.

Australian outlook

The report also offered a comparison to Australia’s prospects for the coming year.

“Looking ahead, more employers in New Zealand will give salary increases than in Australia; in Australia, 13% of employers have no plans to raise salaries when they next review, compared to 9% in New Zealand,” said Nick Deligiannis, managing director of Hays in Australia and New Zealand.

It was also revealed that in Australia, 65% of employers intended to increase salaries by less than 3%.

Expectation gap

According to the report, there is a disparity between the expectations of employers and workers.

More than 40% of employees said they were expecting a salary increase of less than 3%, while almost a third expected three to six per cent. Twelve per cent expected 6% or more.

Hays advised employers that benefits such as private health insurance, above mandatory superannuation and bonuses can help close the gap and avoid excessive disappointment.

“Career progression opportunities are very important when it comes to employee recognition and retention,” said Walker. “Staff want to feel valued and supported and receive training and development opportunities. The top talent, in particular, always want to expand their skills base and keep motivated, so mapping out career paths and offering training and development opportunities are important.”

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