The fastest growing salaries in Australia and how to be competitive as an employer

Salary data from SEEK reveals the 20 fastest growing salaries in Australia, comparing full-time salaries before and after Covid. As the job market tightens, here’s how to adapt your hiring.

Australia is experiencing a big jobs boom, with more vacancies advertised than at any time in its 25-year history, as well as the lowest applications per job ad since 2011, SEEK research reveals.

These factors combined have created a highly competitive employment landscape where many companies must offer the best price to attract top talent.

SEEK data comparison job advertisements listed from November 21-February 22 to November 19-February 20 reveals that the biggest wage booms have occurred in a range of different industries, demonstrating that this is an economy-wide problem, although some roles have risen more than others.

SEEK Senior Analytics Manager, Leigh Broderick, says her team was surprised at how quickly salaries and demand for candidates returned once lockdown restrictions were lifted.

“We saw a diminishing effect of the restrictions. Each subsequent round of restrictions has had less and less of an impact on labor activity,” says Broderick.

Top 20 fastest growing salaries in Australia

SOURCE: SEEK, based on average annual full-time and annualized hourly wages (excluding contract roles) for jobs listed on SEEK for November 21-February 22 compared to November 19-February 20.

To find out what you could earn, head over to SEEK’s salary tool.

How can employers react to the new labor market?

In a tight job market where candidates have options and salaries are rising in many industries, being clear about what you’re offering helps avoid wasting time on both sides.

For 40% of candidates, salary and compensation are more important now than before COVID-19, according to data from SEEK, which published its Laws of Attraction research – a interactive data portal for employers to understand what candidates really want in their sector.

Broderick says the vast majority of job postings from recruiters and employers don’t disclose salary ranges for roles, but candidates consistently put pay transparency first.

“When SEEK asks candidates what attracts them to a position, salary is consistently ranked as the top pull factor,” Broderick says.

Being able to see a role’s salary is also the number one improvement candidates would like to see in job postings.

“In this highly competitive market, displaying the salary offered will certainly be a great way to entice candidates and stand out from those vying for the same talent.”

Wage growth is here to stay, adds Broderick, so try to take that into account when considering hiring.

“The RBA expects wage growth of 2.75% this year and 3% in 2023,” Broderick says.

“If this forecast is correct, it will be the first time in a decade that Australian wage growth will have a ‘3’ ahead of it.”

Beyond the salary: what to offer candidates

Sky Stephens is the co-founder of the Association of Professional Builders, a specialist coaching firm for custom home builders.

In her role, she both manages her own company’s operations, including hiring, and helps create training packages for her clients, including recruiting.

She says when you advertise a position, it’s not just about clarifying the salary, but the whole package, including expectations, KPIs and exactly how the role is structured.

Can you offer an extra super? Is there a work from home option? Flexible hours?

Consider including these details in your job posting.

By planning in advance what the role looks like, what a successful candidate will accomplish, and exactly how performance will be measured, you create an environment where expectations are clear on both sides.

“It’s your opportunity to sell your business, your benefits, but also to be very clear about what the job is,” Stephens says.

“When recruiting, you have to be picky. You should also be prepared to accept difficult people.

Stephens recommends taking a step back and examining your business’ online presence.

Make sure your social media features photos of the team working together, ideally taken recently, and that the first impression of your online business is positive.

“You need positive reviews on places like SEEK,” Stephens says.

“The best candidates will register.”

Read now: How to Win Talent in Australia’s Most Competitive Industries