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Australian Grass Not Always Greener

Media Release 16 October 2006

Australian Grass Not Always Greener

The grass is not always greener on the other side of the Tasman, Robert Half Finance & Accounting is warning New Zealand’s finance professionals.

Despite one in four of Auckland’s finance professionals indicating this year to Robert Half Finance & Accounting that they plan to move overseas, an international survey by parent company Robert Half International reveals New Zealand employers perform significantly better in offering bonuses and non-salary benefits.

More than twice as many New Zealand finance employees (55%) as Australian employees (23%) receive bonuses, according to a Robert Half survey of more than 2500 finances professionals across 13 countries.

Bonuses are crucial for New Zealand finance professionals, says Robert Half Finance & Accounting Senior Consultant Kim Smith, as in this year’s Robert Half Auckland Salary Survey they rate it their most important tangible benefit.

“When considering the benefits of working in New Zealand or Australia, finance professionals should look beyond the baseline salary, and actively question the bonus opportunities,” she says. “Our survey results suggest they are much more likely to be offered a bonus in New Zealand.”

In the international survey, more than twice as many New Zealanders as Australians also say their employers provide professional development opportunities (66%:31%), pensions (26%:5%), health insurance (28%:9%) and group insurance (21%:5%).

And New Zealand employers are also ahead of their Australian counterparts in terms of providing extra holidays (25%: 15%), access to gym or health facilities (17%:9%), parking or public transport allowance (17%:13%), mobile phone allowance (40%:24%) and provision of a lap top computer (32%:18%).

“Some of these differences are very important to New Zealand professionals,” says Kim Smith. “For example, our Auckland Salary Survey shows that fast-tracked career progression is one of the most important factors in helping them decide between jobs.

“With the international survey rating New Zealand employers twice as highly as their Australian counterparts in providing professional development opportunities, ambitious professionals aiming to rise quickly up the ranks might well be better served by seeking career opportunities at home.

“We hear a lot about how salaries are higher in Australia,” says Kim Smith. “But people decide on jobs considering many more factors than salary alone.

“This study reveals quite startlingly that many New Zealand finance professionals receive significant non-salary benefits that are not widely available in Australia.

“Those who are considering moving across the Tasman should think very carefully about what is important to them in terms of career progression and non-salary benefits before they make the decision.

“They may well find that, for them, the grass is significantly greener on this side of the Tasman.”


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