The majority of business professionals believe 2016 will be a good year financially, with nearly three quarters expecting to receive a pay rise and/or bonus, according to the findings of an annual survey conducted by leading specialist recruitment firm Robert Walters.
The survey of more than 500 New Zealand professionals on their expectations of their annual pay, benefits and incentive packages, revealed some interesting data about how this group view the next twelve months. For example, 75% of IT professionals are looking to change jobs in the near future and those in the human resources sector are the most optimistic about the possibility of receiving an increase in remuneration in 2016.
This positive outlook across the whole sector is no doubt fuelled by the fact that 59% of the professionals surveyed received a salary increase in 2015, and 31% received a bonus.
James Dalrymple, Director of Robert Walters Auckland believes the survey findings are reflective of a healthy economy; “The New Zealand market conditions have been more buoyant in 2015 with businesses being cautiously optimistic. This has helped set the tone of professional’s optimism for a salary increase in 2016, with 69% anticipating a pay rise and almost 40% expecting a bonus”.
Regional Expectation Variations Highlight The Mood of Different Industries
The survey also identified some clear regional differences, with Auckland professionals being the most optimistic about an increase in salary and the possibility of a bonus in 2016. 75% of Auckland professionals are anticipating a salary increase in 2016 compared to 63% in the Wellington region. Aucklanders are also far more confident about receiving a bonus with 49% expecting a reward in contrast to only 23% of professionals in Wellington.
“Once again we’re seeing that the Auckland professionals have higher expectations for a salary increase in 2016 than other regions. This is no doubt due to the increasing strength of the employment market and demand for talent in the City. In Wellington we are seeing that professionals are lowering their expectations for receiving a bonus compared to this time last year and this is no doubt reflective of the Public Sector industry tightening its belts, which is a large part of the workforce in the region,” said Shay Peters, Robert Walters Wellington Director.
The survey also found that professionals in New Zealand predominately value opportunities for career progression over any other factor when assessing job satisfaction and looking for a new role. Almost a third of professionals (30%) will change roles to improve their salary package.
“A competitive salary package will always be important, but employers should focus on offering and promoting genuine career pathways when seeking to attract and retain the best talent,” advised Mr Peters.
Industry Specific Expectations
The professions surveyed included accounting, banking, financial services, human resources, information technology, procurement, supply chain, sales, marketing and secretarial and business support. James Dalrymple advised that the general themes across all the industries are fairly consistent; “Organisations are giving more thought to how they can structure attractive and competitive benefits packages while at the same time candidates exploring new opportunities take into consideration benefits such as health insurance, maternity leave conditions, free or subsidised car parking in the main centers and flexible working conditions”
The findings revealed that those in the sales and marketing received the biggest pay rise this year out of any of the other industries surveyed. Almost three quarters of sales and marketing professionals surveyed (70%) received a salary increase in 2015, while 39% received a bonus payment on top of their base salary.
Those in human resources are the most optimistic in terms of expectations of a pay rise in 2016 with three quarters of respondents anticipating one.
Only 29% of accounting and finance professionals are expecting to receive a bonus in 2016, which is a decrease on the number of candidates expecting to receive a bonus in 2015 (38%).
In 2015, just over a quarter of accounting and finance professionals (26%) received a bonus, and most were worth 1-10% of base salaries. Bonuses were more commonly awarded for meeting individual targets or for strong performance or profit generation.
Three quarters of IT professionals (75%) are looking to change jobs in the near future.
Just over half the IT professionals surveyed (53%) received a salary increase in 2015, while only 21% received a bonus payment on top of their base salary. The majority of IT professionals (61%) are anticipating a pay rise in 2016, and 29% are expecting to receive a bonus.
An overwhelming majority of secretarial and business support professionals (73%) are anticipating a pay rise in 2016, and just 29% are expecting to receive a bonus. Over half the respondents (56%) received a salary increase in 2015, while only 21% received a bonus payment on top of their base salary.
Fewer secretarial and business support professionals are dissatisfied with their jobs, with 40% of respondents saying they are not currently looking to change jobs compared to 22% in the same period last year. However, 23% of professionals are still looking to change jobs in the next three months.