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Hays Salary Survey: Employer confidence strong

4 June 2008

Hays Salary Survey released: Employer confidence still strong

The 2008 Hays Salary Survey, detailing typical salaries for a range of sectors, was released Monday, 2nd June 2008.

The survey, which covers 11 employment sectors and hundreds of job roles across New Zealand, reports the majority of employers reported increases in salaries of between 3 and 6 percent.

“This reaffirms the solid base upon which Australasia's business strength is built,” says Jason Walker, Regional Director of Hays in New Zealand. “Steady jobs growth is still the dominant feature of Australasia’s recruitment market and there are plenty of examples of significant salary increases that testify to its ongoing strength.

“In fact, 50% of respondents expect permanent staffing levels to increase while only 4% see any decrease over the coming 12 months.

“The slow-down in the banking and related sectors is very contained; as yet we have seen no evidence of any negative impact across the broader job market. In fact, the number of new jobs registered remains at record levels, the demand for specialist skills is up, and we’re doing more overseas campaigning for talent than ever before.

“The level of infrastructure investment also shows no sign of abating across New Zealand, causing further continued pressure on candidate sourcing and salaries and affirming the strength of New Zealand’s recruitment market.

“Logically, the highest salary increases over the year have occurred for roles where the need for candidates is highest,” said Jason.

Notable trends by industry:
• 38% of construction, property and engineering employers increased salaries above 6%.
• 39% of mining and resources employers increased salaries above 6%.
• 45% of professional services employers increased salaries above 6%.

New Zealand salary hotspots:
• Accountancy & Finance: The notable salary increases occurred for Financial Controllers (for example for turnover up to $50m the typical salaries increased in Auckland from $100,000 to $110,000 and in Christchurch/Wellington from $85,000 to $90,000) and for Management Accountants in Auckland (for example increasing from $90,000 to $100,000 for turnover > $150m). Within the profession, business services increased strongly in Christchurch/Wellington. For example the typical salaries increased from $40,000 to $48,000 for Business Services Graduates with 2-3 years experience, and for Business Services Seniors with 6+ years experience from $75,000 to $82,000. In Auckland IT Audit Graduate increases were notable, increasing from $50,000 to $55,000 for those with 2-3 years experience.
Banking: While many banking employers focused on improving company benefits, work environments and performance based bonuses, rather than increasing salaries, there were exceptions. The primary exceptions occurred in Auckland, for Senior Para Planners (qualified) where typical salaries increased from $58,000 to $65,000, for corporate and commercial lending professionals and funds management staff.
• Construction & Property: New Zealand received notable Architecture increases. For example the maximum of the salary ranges rose for an Interior Designer with 5-10 years experience from $75,000 to $90,000 in Auckland and $60,000 to $80,000 in Christchurch/Wellington. New Zealand also experienced strong construction civil increases. For example, the maximums rose for experienced Contracts Administrators/Quantity Surveyors in Auckland from $110,000 to $120,000 and in Christchurch/Wellington from $90,000 to $100,000.
• Contact Centres: In New Zealand, many employers have increased salary packages for Customer Service Representatives by between 4 and 6 percent - an increase that was probably overdue from last year. The greatest increases have been in the area of collections / credit which has seen 5 to 9 percent increase across all sectors.
Human Resources: Some areas have experienced significant salary increases over the past 12 months, for example HR Directors, where the typical salaries increased in Auckland from $175,000 to $180,000.
• Information Technology: While salaries have not increased for every role in every location, there have been several instances of significant increases. For example, within development Test Analysts rose from $60,000 to $66,000 in Wellington and Application Support Analysts rose from $50,000 to $60,000 in Auckland. Within infrastructure, typical salaries increased from $70,000 to $80,000 for an Auckland UNIX Engineer and from $75,000 to $78,000 for a Wellington Systems Engineer. The notable business increase occurred for Auckland Business Development Managers ($95,000 to $110,000).
• Insurance: Geographically Auckland experienced the stronger increases. For example, within general insurance claims typical salaries increased in Auckland by 9.5 percent. Auckland also received strong broking increases. For example, typical salaries increased for an Auckland Account Executive from $70,000 to $75,000. Also notable were workers compensation increases in Auckland. For example, the typical salaries increased from $70,000 to $75,000 for Injury Management Specialists in Auckland.
• Legal: Auckland has seen an increase in highly attractive relocation packages and incentive schemes to attract international applicants. With more companies electing to bring legal counsel inhouse rather than relying solely on a panel of legal firms, there have been some notable salary increases. For example, for Legal Counsel with 5 years PAE the maximum of the salary range increased in New Zealand from $92,000 to $130,000.
• Office Support: Geographically, Christchurch/Wellington offered the strongest increases overall. For example, the typical salaries increased for a Personal/Team Assistant from $44,000 to $50,000 in Christchurch/Wellington. Other increases of note occurred within legal and banking & finance support in Auckland and Christchurch/Wellington and for Document Controllers in Auckland and Christchurch/Wellington.
Oil & Gas: Geologists received higher salaries because of limited candidate supply. For example, the maximum of the salary ranges increased at the entry-level in New Zealand to $90,000, at the Intermediate level to $150,000 and at the Senior level to $230,000.
Resources & Mining: Despite the market’s strength, the rapid rise in salaries seen across all areas of the mining, engineering and construction markets over recent years has reached a plateau. There were however some exceptions, such as in metalliferous geology where the maximum of the salary range increased for an Exploration Manager in New Zealand from $100,000 to $140,000. Within metalliferous mining engineering Mining Engineers were a stand-out, with the maximum of the salary range rising from $90,000 to $100,000.

The 2008 Hays Salary Survey can be downloaded from or a copy obtained from your local Hays office.


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