Salary increases unlikely to excite PAs this year

Salary increases unlikely to excite PAs this year

Business activity and permanent headcounts may be rising, but according to the 2016 Hays Salary Guide they are not translating into big salary increases for PAs. With employers for the most part unwilling to loosen the purse strings, employees will start to take matters into their own hands. 

According to the Guide, released this month, just 22% of Australia’s office support professionals can expect a salary increase of three percent or more in their next review. Instead, the vast majority (66%) will receive an increase of less than three percent. The final 12% will receive no increase.

Professional services followed by financial services and construction, property & engineering employers will be at the front of the small group offering the biggest increases.

The Hays Salary Guide includes salary and recruiting trends for over 1,000 roles in 14 locations in Australia and New Zealand. It is based on a survey of 2,752 organisations, representing over 2.6 million (2,686,179) employees.

It shows that the office support market is generally buoyant across Australia, with demand evident for candidates to fill both temporary and permanent roles in the public and private sectors.  Despite seven in ten employers expecting business activity to increase in the year ahead, and permanent headcounts also expected to rise, cost consciousness remains in vogue – even when hiring for roles where candidates are likely to receive more than one offer.

According to Hays, over the last year 16% of employers offered no salary increases. Those who did receive a salary increase found that their wallets were not that much heavier. 58% received an increase of less than 3%, 20% saw their pay increase from 3 to 6%, and a lucky 6% received an increase of 6% or more.

But Hays warns employers not to be complacent because employees are starting to take matters into their own hands: 41% of employees say they’ll ask for a pay rise in their next review. Another 25% are as yet undecided about popping the salary question. Meanwhile staff turnover has already increased in 29% of organisations.

In terms of hiring activity, candidates willing to take on more responsibility are particularly sought after, while many employers are initially offering a temporary contract with a view to permanency provided the candidate proves to be the right fit and the role is working for both parties.

Other key findings:

  • Almost two-thirds of employers (64%) experienced increased business activity over the past 12 months, with 70% expecting further increased activity in the year ahead;
  • Staff levels are up too, with 39% increasing permanent headcount during the last 12 months. This outstrips the 21% who decreased it;
  • Meanwhile, 40% intend to increase their permanent headcount in the year ahead, far exceeding the 13% who expect to decrease it;
  • The use of temporary or contract staff will also increase for 21% of employers, exceeding the 12% who expect their use of such resources to fall;
  • In light of salary expectations, it’s ironic that 32% of employers say salary and benefits have a major impact on their employer brand, up from 25% last year;
  • 60% say skill shortages will impact the effective operation of their business or department.

Get your copy of the 2016 Hays Salary Guide by visiting, contacting your local Hays office or downloading The Hays Salary Guide 2016 iPhone app from iTunes.



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