Australia ranks 10th globally for wage growth

The majority of Australian hiring managers plan to attribute salary increases to an average of 25% of their staff in the next 12 months. Read more here.

How to ask for a raise: 4 steps to getting a salary increase

  • 94% of Australian managers plan to attribute salary increases to an average of 25% of their staff in the following 12 months, with the average salary increase for Australian office workers expected to be 7.9%.
  • Australia ranks 10th globally in terms of expected wage growth. 
  • The main reason why Australian employees will not receive a pay rise: Salaries are already at market rate (52%), lack of financial resources/cost reduction (45%) and last salary increases were attributed too recently (24%). 

With Australia’s average wage growth at a record low of 1.9% between June 2016 to June 2017 [1], new independent research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half reveals that the majority (94%) of Australian general hiring managers still plan to attribute salary increases to an average of 25% of their staff in the next 12 months, with the average salary increase for those Australian office workers expected to be 7.9% - which is significantly higher than the national wage growth average.

Nicole Gorton, Director at Robert Half Australia said: “Even though national wage growth is at an all-time low in Australia, many employers realise that attributing a pay increase to their top performers is an efficient retention measure. Professionals in today’s market know their market value and top talent whose skills are highly sought-after are more receptive to leaving the organisation if they are offered a more attractive remuneration package elsewhere.”

Of those Australian managers who are not planning to award salary increases, 52% say the main reason is their staff’s salaries are already at market rate, 45% refer to a lack of financial resources or cost reduction and 24% cite previous salary increases were attributed too recently as the main reason. 

“It is important that both employers and employees recognise there are other ways to give rewards outside of salary increases. While pay is still the most important element of a remuneration package, employees are increasingly realising the added value of additional workplace incentives. Perks, such as flexible work hours, additional leave and professional development opportunities are in demand by employees and are an efficient way for companies to reward staff whilst not increasing pay.”

Hiring managers across the globe understand the importance of attributing salary increases to top performers, as according to the survey of more than 3,000 general hiring managers across the globe [2], nine in 10 (90%) are planning to award salary increases to an average of 24% of their staff over the next 12 months, with the average salary increase expected to be 8.7%. 

While Australian managers are on par with leaders around the world in relation to attributing salary increases to a part of the workforce, they are ranking 10th in terms of the average expected salary growth. Only Singapore (6.8%) and Switzerland (5.5%) have lower expected salary increases.

The UK, Belgium and the UAE are well ahead of the global average of 8.7% with an expected average wage growth rate of respectively 10.6%, 10.1% and UAE 10%. 

Average salary increases:

1.    The UK  10.6%
2.    Belgium 10.1%
3.    UAE 10%
4.    France 8.9%
5.    The Netherlands 8.7%
6.    Brazil 8.4%
7.    Chile 8.3%
8.    Germany 7.9%
9.    Hong Kong 7.9%
10.    Australia 7.9%
11.    Singapore 6.8%
12.    Switzerland 5.5%

Source: Independent survey commissioned by Robert Half among 3,458 hiring managers. 

Here are four tips for asking for a pay rise:

“Knowing exactly how to ask your boss for a raise is the first step to successfully securing a pay increase. The key is to be prepared and taking the time to build a strong case and be ready to remove any doubts your boss may have,” Nicole Gorton added. 

1.    Know the best time to ask

Timing is everything when it comes to asking for a raise. Often a good time to broach the subject is just after your annual performance review. Sitting down with your manager and reviewing all your recent accomplishments will reinforce the value you bring to the company and help justify your request for a raise. 

“Besides performance reviews, another opportune time is after finishing a big project. At these times, it can be clear to your employer that you are worth the additional pay. And never spring the topic on your boss – schedule a time to discuss the potential for a raise so he or she can be equally prepared for the conversation.”

2.    Have solid reasons for requesting a raise

The reasons for asking for a pay raise need to go beyond purely lifestyle motivators, such as wanting more money so you can travel, buying new clothes or paying off student loans. 

“Make sure you give your boss concrete examples of why you deserve a higher salary, such as how your actions have benefitted the company and what the results of your efforts are. If you can prove your impact on the business's bottom line, the conversation will go much smoother.”

3.    Know what you're worth

Your skills and experience have value in the employment market. To find out what common salary ranges are for your position, read industry publications such as the 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide, or consult recruiters and colleagues in your field. 

“Measuring your salary against industry standards will help you gauge how much extra pay you might be entitled to.”

4.    Consider asking for benefits

Sometimes, companies may not be in a financial position to raise salaries and even after all your best attempts, your manager may still say, "We don’t have the money right now."

“Don't be disheartened if you receive a ‘no’ – the conversation doesn't necessarily need to end if you have a back-up plan. Consider asking for additional benefits that don’t require a budget, such as flexible working arrangements, additional annual leave or professional development opportunities.”

“Knowing how to ask for a raise can benefit all workers at every level of their career. Getting organised ahead of time can help you put your best foot forward and confidently ask for the pay increase,” Nicole Gorton concluded. 


[1][email protected]/mf/6345.0

[2] Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, UAE, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the UK.

About the research
The annual study is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in June-July 2017 by an independent research company among 3,827 hiring managers from companies across Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, UAE, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Switzerland, The Netherlands and the UK, with the results segmented by size, sector and geographic location.


Katherine Mills
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7757
E: [email protected]