New Zealand’s local HR operations growing

Employers’ expectations for their HR departments in terms of growth, pay and perks have been revealed in the latest Hays Salary Guide.

New Zealand’s local HR operations growing
The 2015 Hays Salary Guide was released last week, with respondents from 2,610 organisations across Australia and New Zealand – representative of almost 3 million employees.

Researchers gathered employers’ views on salaries, hiring intentions and recruitment trends.

Perks and pay

It was found that 65% of employers are intending to increase salaries over the next 12 months by less than 3%, while just 3% of organisations will increase pay by 6% or more. Thirteen per cent said they would not be offering pay rises in the coming year.

Although the outlook for salary increases is not particularly high, employers are increasing the benefits offered to employees. Almost eight in ten employers will offer perks to their staff in the next 12 months, while 84% will offer flexible work practices.

Skills shortages

It was also found that over half of the employers surveyed expect skills shortages to impact the operation of their business or department.

Of the total employer group, 15% said they have recently found it difficult to recruit operations staff at entry to mid management level – this is reflected in the 28% of employers who said that overtime levels have increased at their organisation.

When it came to HR departments, there was somewhat less difficulty reported in finding qualified candidates. Just 4% of employers said they had struggled to recruit junior to middle managers in their HR departments, while 3% had found it difficult to recruit senior HR managers. However, the report suggested that the demand for HR professionals will continue to increase.

“Demand for learning and development and organisational development specialists has been rising steadily too, as businesses look to up-skill their staff and management teams to maximise productivity to take advantage of improving market conditions,” the authors said.

“We are also seeing a significant increase in demand for candidates with high-level expertise in employee relations and industrial relations, since the sectors experiencing the most activity are construction, manufacturing and engineering, which are typically operational, unionised environments,” it was also noted. “Since HR professionals with the abovementioned skill set are in short supply, salaries are increasing as businesses pay a premium to attract and retain top talent with relevant industry experience and ER or IR expertise.”

Hiring practices in the HR sector

During the past 12 months, a quarter of employers have downsized their HR department; 39% reported no changes to the size of their HR department, while 35% had increased theirs.

Over the next year, half of the employers surveyed expect no changes to their HR department. While 36% are planning to hire more HR professionals and 15% are expecting to decrease their HR workforce.

“Adding to vacancy activity is the number of New Zealand-based international businesses that are moving away from centralised ANZ HR functions to instead appoint sole charge HR practitioners for their local operations,” the report said.

HR salaries

Hays gathered information from the employers surveyed to detail the salary outlook for Kiwi HR professionals over the next year.

HRD/Head of HR: For the most senior HR role, the typical salary is $200,000. The salary range reported for this role was $140,000-$250,000.

HR manager: The typical salary for an HR manager was $140,000, while the salary range was $110,000 to $160,000.

HR advisor: HR advisors’ typical salaries in New Zealand were reported to be $85,000, with the range being reported at $65,000-$95,000.

HR admin: Administrators typically receive a salary of $55,000 in the HR sector, with salaries ranging from $45,000 to $60,000.

Change manager: Those in change management roles will typically be paid $125,000 annually, with the reported range being $100,000 to $150,000.

Head of occupational health and safety: Typical salaries for this role are $130,000, with the reported salary range stretching from $95,000 to $160,000. 

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