Kelly Services has released the 2008 Employment Outlook and Salary Guide, which provides a detailed look at employment conditions and salaries for a wide range of occupations across Australia.
It finds that over the coming 12 months, 60% of employers say their staffing levels will increase, while 5% say they will fall and 35% will retain the same staff levels. Some 35% of employers say they will be increasing staff by more than ten employees.
The report finds there is a continuing shortage of talent at all levels, particularly in administration, call centre, engineering, industrial and accounting.
Remuneration is being driven by those companies competing with mining and construction sectors which are paying well above market rates. This has created a flow-on effect to the unskilled sector which is fuelling some unrealistic expectations for higher salaries.
This is also impacting on staff turnover. Some 46% of respondents had five or more staff leave in the preceding quarter. The main factor was the opportunity to pursue a career with more money and greater career progression.
The nationwide survey is based upon the views of HR and senior executives from 240 organisations in which 70% have more than 100 employees.
Kelly Services, Managing Director James Bowmer said, “Companies successfully retaining staff are actively involved with finding out what their top talent wants. It is cheaper to keep your current staff then to find new ones.”
“Successful organisations attracting and retaining staff make sure remuneration is on par or above market rates and provide performance based incentives such as bonuses or rewards.”
The top attraction and retention strategies employers are adopting include salary sacrificing (71%), flexible working hours (66%), reviewing remuneration and performance based bonuses or rewards (48%), paid maternity leave (43%) and the provision of company uniforms (41%).
The survey found that the top three HR/Recruitment priorities for 2008 are retention (93%), succession and planning (86%) and leadership development (81%).
A summary of labour market conditions across the country follows:
Australian Capital Territory – All industries are experiencing demand for labour. Some 60% of residents are employed in the private sector and 90% of businesses employ less than 20 people. Federal budget spending cutbacks are expected to curtail labour demand from the government sector.
New South Wales - The global credit crisis and rising interest rates could dampen the growth in the finance and insurance sectors and a downturn in employment and output is likely.
Queensland – The State economy is enjoying a boom. Strong demand exists for clerical, sales and service workers, construction, engineering, mining, ICT, tourism and hospitality. Some occupation’s salaries have increased 25-40% over the last 12 months.
South Australia – Currently the State is enjoying the start of a long-term boom especially in the defence and mining sectors. Residents are experiencing a robust labour market resulting in accelerated wages growth, higher disposable incomes and a low unemployment rate.
Victoria – There was strong growth in the second half of 2007 and ongoing investment in large scale public infrastructure projects. Broader economic instability is expected to hit some finance and manufacturing firms over the course of the year.
Western Australia - WA is experiencing high economic growth on the back of the resources boom. Wages are the fastest growing in the country. Demand continues for engineers, planners and project managers as well as white collar and professional services. Numerous vacancies exist for office support including receptionists, mid level office administrators and data entry.
Northern Territory – The labour market remains strong and in March 2008 employment growth was well above the national average at 4.9%. Salaries and income have been higher than usual to support the demand for labour, especially in the construction sector.