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Watch signals in flat market

EMPLOYERS need to be wary of misreading market signals when it comes to taking on new staff in the current climate, according to Hays Personnel Services managing director Nigel Heap.

In town last week to launch the company’s annual salary survey, Mr Heap said the Perth salary market was flat.

He said that, while a large pool of candidates existed in Perth, employers needed to be mindful of dropping their corporate standard.

“The best quality candidates are not actively looking for jobs. Employers need to be cautious because they may think it is easy to get quality people because of the volume of candidates,” Mr Heap said.

He said employers should not become complacent with recruitment because of an abundance of candidates.

“Employers may be thinking it is easy to get quality people, but that is not the case. They need to make sure they offer competitive packages and aim to be an employer of choice,” Mr Heap said.

Support staff’s hip pockets were benefiting from company downsizing, he said.

“A lot of companies lowered salary costs by getting rid of senior people and recruiting from the bottom end. That is, they promoted people through the organisation and recruited at the base level,” Mr Heap said.

“Clerical staff have enjoyed a salary increase of between 3 per cent and 6 per cent, which is more than we saw with junior middle management.”

One area competing well with salaries in other States is the financial services and accounting sector.

“The gap between wages is closer because there is a shortage of candidates in the market and it’s dominated by a small number of companies.”

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