Aussie tech staff feel ‘undervalued and underpaid’ despite salary rises

Aussie tech staff feel ‘undervalued and underpaid’ despite salary rises

93 per cent of technology employers plan to increase salaries in their next review.

Credit: Supplied

Australian technology workers are feeling “undervalued and underpaid” despite being on track for salary increases in 2023. 

According to the the FY23-24 Hays Salary Guide report by recruiter Hays, 93 per cent of technology employers will increase salaries in their next review, with two-thirds increasing by 3 per cent. 

However, only 17 per cent of businesses are likely to raise salaries in line with inflation, which is currently tracking above 6 per cent. However, 60 per cent of employees say an above-inflation increase would reflect their individual performance and demand for their skills. 

“This year, both the number and value of increases will rise, continuing the upwards trajectory we first noted in last year’s Hays Salary Guide,” says Adam Shapley, managing director of Hays. 

“Despite the increased salary boost, employer and employee expectations in technology still fail to align. Many tech professionals feel undervalued and underpaid. They feel their current salary doesn’t reflect their individual performance.”  

The report surveyed 14,000 employers and professionals. 

Factors driving salary increases include competition between employers for desired skills, the impact of payment transparency and the expectation that pay rises keep up with inflation.

On the subject of transparency, Hays said that many technology employers are transparent with employees about how salary levels and "increases are set to improve fairness and build trust". The recruiter's report claimed that 27 per cent are transparent with all employees and 35 per cent with select employees.  

“We expect these figures to rise in the months ahead, with the abolition of pay secrecy in Australia prompting more employers to audit salaries, scrutinise disparities and make adjustments when required to ensure fair and equal pay,” said Shapley.

In addition, 70 per cent of technology professionals plan to ask for a pay rise, up from 58 per cent last year and 45 per cent the year before.   

The report also found fading loyalty among tech workers with only 44 per cent of technology professionals unquestionably intending to remain with their current employer beyond FY23-24, with another 40 per cent unsure whether they will remain.  

Those intending to or considering changing jobs are motivated by a lack of promotional opportunities, followed by an uncompetitive salary and a poor management style or workplace culture.  

Although Hays said salary is “undoubtedly the most critical factor in attracting, rewarding and retaining technology professionals today”, employers recognise that benefits such as training, mental and physical health and wellbeing programs and ongoing learning and development are also important.  

“With skills in demand [employees] still have bargaining power, but it’s important to temper it to avoid pricing yourself out of consideration,” added Shapley. “Yes, employers are investing in salary increases, but margins remain tight. The commercial reality dictates that salary increases can only stretch so far.   

“Consider the whole package when you negotiate a new job or your next pay rise. Benefits can go a long way to bridging a possible financial expectation gap, so think about what you’d really value and what could make a difference to your life and career long-term.”

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