Salary expectations have increased

Editor's Choice | Featured | Managing | Recruitment

By Loren Webb

Compared to just five years ago, jobseekers’ salary expectations are a lot higher

  • 76% of Australian hiring managers say jobseekers are more demanding when it comes to their remuneration package.
  • 58% respectively say jobseekers expect higher base salaries and bonuses than what is being offered.

After several years of slow wage growth, independent research commissioned by specialised recruiter Robert Half shows jobseekers’ salaryexpectations are rising. According to the survey of 460 Australian hiring managers, three in four (76%) say jobseekers have become more demanding when it comes to their remuneration package compared to five years ago.

Additionally, a survey of 1,000 Australian jobseekers, published in the newly-released 2019 Robert Half Salary Guide reveals 50% of respondents consider salary the most important factor to them when looking for a new job or accepting a job offer – a strong indication that financial rewards factor highly in a candidate’s decision-making process.

Which state is more demanding?

In a regional breakdown of the research, Queensland has the most demanding jobseekers in terms of salary, as 79% of hiring managers based in the Sunshine State say jobseekers have become more demanding when it comes to their remuneration package compared to five years ago. This is closely followed by Western Australia (77%), New South Wales (76%) and Victoria (72%).

Remuneration: What do jobseekers want?

With the disparity between wage growth (2.3%)[3] and the rising cost of living – CPI (consumer price index) rising 1.8% over the twelve months to the December quarter 2018[4] – it is not surprising many Australian workers have higher expectations on what they think they should be paid.

According to the survey, higher candidate expectations in terms of their remuneration package mainly revolve around financial incentives, as 58% of hiring managers respectively say candidates expect higher base salaries and bonuses than what is being offered as part of their compensation and benefits package. Other factors candidates expect to see included in their remuneration package include equity and/or profit sharing (44%), additional holiday or annual leave, and flexible work hours or the option to work from home (36%). 

Andrew Morris, Director of Robert Half Australia said: “Despite slow wage growth, the Australian economy continues on an upward trajectory with strong GDP expansion, company growth, jobs growth and falling unemployment. In these favourable market conditions, jobseekers’ salary expectations generally rise, and when faced with a candidate-short market, companies should continuously be re-evaluating their remuneration policies to successfully attract and retain the best talent.”

“While it’s not always possible for companies to offer higher salaries, offering non-financial incentives can also be an effective method to attract, secure and keep the best employees. Flexible working hours, professional development opportunities, additional annual leave and working from home arrangements are just some of the incentives employers can offer to appeal to today’s workers.”





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