Workers in line for moderate salary increases

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New Zealand’s workforce looks set for a moderate salary increase this year, if current market conditions continue, according to the latest salary guide from Hays Recruitment.

Twenty-two per cent of employers said they intended to increase salaries between three and six per cent when they next reviewed, while 63% planned to increase salaries by less than 3%.

HR professionals could well be beneficiaries of this trend: the report indicated that, after a year of limited salary movement, growing demand was leading to increases in remuneration in the HR field.

But Hays New Zealand’s managing director, Jason Walker, said there was no silver bullet over the horizon to wait for.

He said the current conditions were here to stay for some time, so it was important for businesses to adapt their practices to meet the requirements of this, rather than waiting for a dramatic reversal to the global market to make the situation more secure.

“That’s why forward-thinking employers and candidates are going ahead with their hiring or career plans. It’s also why employers are increasing salaries, albeit moderately.”

The report revealed the biggest salary increases were in IT and insurance – probably because the Christchurch rebuild was driving up demand.

Walker said the country was sitting on the edge of a two-speed economy because, while the demolition and rebuild of Christchurch was fuelling a demand for workers in the South Island, the North Island was in a holding pattern with no movement.

He added that, overall, the market was starting to see more people in work and more people looking for new roles.

“Perhaps that’s why there is a wide-ranging understanding from employers in all industries that to find and retain the best people remains a challenge.

“Often the candidates that are available do not match all the requirements employers have. That’s why there is still a shortage of the right candidates to fill vacancies and competition for the top talent remains.”



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