More than half of New Zealanders working in finance and accounting industries can look forward to a pay rise this year with 58% of salaries expected to rise in 2012, revealed Robert Half's survey of 200 New Zealand CFOs and Finance Directors.
Of those who expect salaries to rise, 54% will increase them by 3-4%; while one fifth expect salaries to rise as much as 5-6%.
Furthermore, 15% of New Zealand financial leaders plan to increase bonuses this year, with an average bonus hike of 4.4%.
This is despite the devastating earthquakes of 2011 and the volatile global economy, both of which had a significant impact on hiring activities across all sectors and industries in New Zealand. The survey results show that the market is continuing to recover which is supported by the fact that 79% of Kiwi CFOs and Finance Directors expressed confidence in New Zealand's economic growth in 2012 when compared to 2011.
Measuring performance and return on investment are key considerations for rewarding pay rises, which is supported by the fact that 64% of financial leaders believe an employee's ability to meet or exceed performance targets is the most important factor when awarding pay rises.
Accountants look set to benefit from the biggest pay increase with a predicted 6.9% average salary rise year on year. Finance managers are also well placed to take advantage of pay rises ranging from 4.8% (large businesses) to 7.3% (small to medium businesses).
Demand for transactional roles, which shrank during the recession as companies streamlined personnel, is now steadily increasing to meet the increased workloads dictated by new projects and business expansion. While there will be growing demand at all levels, individuals who can demonstrate sound technical skills, business acumen and commercial sense will be best placed to expect to receive a pay rise in 2012 .The most in-demand candidates and those who will be rewarded accordingly will also have strong communication and presentation skills to bolster their financial and technical abilities.
Robert Half general manager, Megan Alexander, says this will come as good news to employees in the industry and is also the result of salaries remaining static over the past couple of years while economic conditions were tougher.
She also advises that in a challenging hiring market, it is important for employers to ensure compensation, including bonuses and benefits, is competitive when attracting and retaining talent.
"Talented Kiwi staff in competitive industries where there are skills shortages may take advantage of increased employment opportunities and incentives as business optimism improves if they feel that they are not being compensated fairly in their current organisation."
The research compared favourably with findings from across the Tasman, where 10% fewer (48%) of Australian finance and accounting employees could expect to receive a pay rise this year. Despite this, the lure of employment in Australia remains a threat to the retention of staff due to the higher salary potential and the strength of the Australian dollar.
For finance and accounting salaries in Auckland and information on the current hiring and remuneration landscape in New Zealand, download a copy of the 2012 Robert Half Salary Guide www.roberthalf.co.nz/accounting-salary-guide.
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