Almost half of HR managers plan to increase salaries

28 September 2016
  • 45% of Australian HR managers expect to increase salaries for their existing staff and 88% will be rewarding their employees with a bonus.
  • 60% of Victorian and 52% of New South Wales HR managers plan to increase their employees’ salaries. 
  • Job creation continues to be dominated by administration & support services. 

Australian HR managers are placing an emphasis on financial incentives to minimise employee turnover. According to independent research by specialist recruiter Robert Half almost half (45%) of Australian HR managers are planning to increase salaries of their existing staff. For HR employees in Victoria and New South Wales – this translates to more than half. 

Further to an increased salary, almost nine in ten (88%) HR managers will be rewarding their staff with a bonus, with a quarter (26%) of those saying bonuses will be increased. These findings match up with the recent quarterly data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) which shows job creation in Australia continues to be dominated by administration, support and professional services. According to the ABS, there has been an increase of 6%, or an additional 25,200 roles added to administration and support services jobs since May.

David Jones, Senior Managing Director Robert Half Asia Pacific said: “Jobseekers in the sector have a competitive advantage with the current surge indicating an increasingly positive outlook for the remainder of 2016. Paying competitive salaries remains a cornerstone of an effective recruitment and retention policy for any company, and employers should consider their staff as an asset that appreciates value over time. 

"Employees today have access to a huge range of online tools and resources allowing them to compare their salary package to the next person to work out their individual valuation. The challenge for employers is to continually stay abreast of salary trends so that remuneration policies match or exceed averages in their relevant location and industry – achievable via the use of industry benchmarks and salary guides.”

Employees working in Victoria and New South Wales have a better chance of getting a salary increase as 60% of Victorian and 52% of New South Wales HR managers plan to increase salaries, which suggests these states have a higher tendency to reward their staff financially and uphold stable remuneration policies more so than their Queensland (36%) and Western Australia (32%) counterparts. 

“Despite the steady salary trends, in some regions employers are more conservative in their approach to financial rewards. The economies of New South Wales and Victoria are the driving forces behind the national economy, they are more diversified and offer more opportunity for growth, so it is not surprising that the two states have more optimistic remuneration trends.

“However, challenging markets still persist, with lower commodity prices taking a toll on the resources sectors of Queensland and Western Australia, forcing companies to remain cautious on increasing staff salaries. 

“Companies who are not in a position to raise salaries should consider non-financial rewards for their top performing staff, such as flexible working hours. Other examples include staff activity days, casual Fridays and other teambuilding initiatives that can really boost office morale,” David Jones added. 

How can employees ask for a pay rise? 

Employees ambitious for a pay rise can use the following tips: 

  • Know what you are worth: Knowing your market value can put you in a strong position during salary negotiations and the Robert Half Salary Guide can be an invaluable tool to use. 
  • Understand market forces for your industry: Knowing how your company is performing economically is crucial to understanding if your employer is in a position to actually increase wages.
  • Specialise your skills: Employees who have niche and specialist skill sets are always in high demand, which presents a great opportunity for professionals looking to add value to their CV by completing industry courses and certifications.  
  • Show your value: When asking for a pay rise, you need to prove to your boss what value you bring to the company and that you are worth the money you are asking for. 


About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in April 2016 by an independent research firm, surveying 100 HR managers in Australia. This survey is part of the international workplace survey, a questionnaire about job trends, talent management and trends in the workplace.


Gabrielle Nagy  
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
Tel: 02 8028 7751
Email: [email protected]

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