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Employers aren't getting the message: 'Pay us more'

Australian walking in the city. Australian money notes. Work salary concept.
Employers don’t realise how important salaries are for job seekers, new research has found. (Source: Getty)

Employers and job seekers are not on the same page when it comes to salary, new research has found, with many employers underestimating its importance when hiring new workers.

The survey by Robert Half found 80 per cent of job seekers ranked salary as part of their top three deciding factors when fielding multiple job offers. For half of the 1,019 workers surveyed, salary was their single most important consideration.

But just 36 per cent of Aussie business leaders thought the same way. Instead, employers thought job seekers valued career progression (41 per cent), flexible working conditions (39 per cent) and company culture (38 per cent) as their top three priorities. Remuneration was ranked fourth.

Nearly all (96 per cent) of Aussie employers believed it was hard to hold on to candidates during the recruitment process and not lose them to competing offers, according to the survey of 300 hiring managers.

Director of Robert Half Nicole Gorton said the balance of power had shifted towards candidates in the current job market and employers now spent 44 per cent of an interview “selling” the job opportunity and company to candidates.

“Candidates with in-demand and hard-to-find skills no longer have to actively sell themselves to an employer,” Gorton said.

“It is actually now up to the employer to sell their brand to win over the candidate, highlighting the shift in today’s power balance.”

In addition to a competitive salary, Gorton said employers needed to sell other benefits on offer, including work-life balance, flexibility and career-progression opportunities.

Robert Half found that new employees were getting almost 20 per cent added to their starting salaries, as businesses tried to stay competitive.

Aussies are switching jobs at the highest rate in a decade, with 1.3 million people changing jobs in the year ending February 2022.

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