HR SALARIES are predicted to increase by between 4 and 7 per cent in the coming year, despite mounting pressure from a broader economic policy perspective to curb wages growth, according to Michael Page’s human resources salary survey for 2008/2009.
HR candidates will find themselves in a stronger negotiating position, with increases of as much as 10 per cent likely for candidates with highly sought after skills such as organisational development, remuneration and benefits and learning and development skills.
The report found that due to the critical role the HR function plays in driving business growth and improving talent attraction and retention, increases are expected to mainly affect base salaries rather than bonuses or other financial incentives.
“The HR function is gaining increased recognition for its impact on business performance and we are seeing continued investment in HR to drive strategic initiatives and support business growth. said Jonathon Wiles, director of human resources, Michael Page. “This translates into a strong market for HR professionals.
“Our survey results reinforce this with 61 per cent of employers planning to increase staff numbers over the next 12 months,” he said.
Wiles said that because of the buoyant market for candidates with specialist skills sets, organisations continue to face pressure to attract talent and are looking for innovative solutions to attract staff. “There has also been significant growth in the contract and temporary employment market to provide talent management support due to business growth, which we expect will continue,” he said.
A number of other external factors are influencing salaries in the HR profession says Wiles. “The number of highly skilled junior to mid-level candidates with a specialist background remains limited due to increasing movement interstate and overseas. There is also a shortage of quality candidates and employers are acutely aware of the costs associated with replacing highly valued and skilled HR professionals,” he said.
With the changing demographic profile of the Australian workforce, Wiles said that there was a need for HR professionals to start working with senior management on practical workplace restructuring to better target low-participation groups such as mature-age workers and skilled women with family responsibilities. He also noted that government changes will not be effective if they are not embraced by both the HR department and business leaders.