Fifty per cent of Australia’s mining employers will give their staff a pay rise of up to three per cent in their next review, but 35 per cent will not increase salaries at all, says recruiting experts Hays Resources & Mining.
The annual Hays Salary Guide, released this week and now in its 39th year, shows that 12 per cent of employers intend to award a salary increase of between three and six per cent.
Just three per cent of employers will increase salaries at the higher level of more than six per cent.
The Hays Salary Guide is based on a survey of more than 2,950 organisations, representing 3,021,984 employees, as well as placements made by the recruiter.
“In the second half of 2016 we saw renewed optimism in the Australian mining market and job vacancies began to rise,” says Chris Kent, Regional Director of Hays Resources & Mining.
“Wage erosion appears to have abated as skill shortages begin to emerge, although salaries will remain flat in the year ahead.
“However, we do expect an increase in temporary and contract roles and rates as employers supplement new entrants to the mining industry with flexible and experienced contractors. As the available candidate pool drains, we would then expect to see more of these workers converted into permanent headcount.
“Looking ahead to the next six months, if global uncertainty subsides and commodity prices stabilise, we expect to see a spike in permanent hires, with wage inflation to follow.
“Another trend is the emerging skill shortage. Mass redundancies and the uncertainty of years prior drove much of the blue collar workforce into alternative industries closer to home, where many were satisfied to trade reduced wages for improved lifestyle. This is particularly evident in locations such as North Queensland where many workers were expected to work on DIDO rosters, and it may be challenging to entice them back.
“An additional change has been the announcement of high-profile diversity targets. Most major miners are focused on diversifying their workforce to include a greater proportion of female and Indigenous employees, which will improve their social license and widen their candidate pool,” he said.
Other findings from the Hays Salary Guide include – across all industries:
- Business activity increased for 70 per cent of employers in the past 12 months, while three-quarters (75 per cent) expect it to increase in the next 12 months;
- 36 per cent foresee a strengthening economy in the coming six to 12 months;
- 45 per cent expect to increase permanent staff levels, far exceeding the 11 per cent who say they’ll decrease;
- Meanwhile 23 per cent expect to increase their use of temporary and contract staff, also exceeding the 9 per cent who anticipate decreasing in this area;
- 23 per cent now employ temporary and contract staff on a regular ongoing basis and another 44 per cent employ them for special projects or workloads;
- In the last 12 months, 15 per cent of Australians asked for a pay rise but were declined – a further 17 per cent asked for a pay rise and were successful;
- The success of the latter perhaps explains why 45 per cent say they intend to ask for a pay rise in their next review. A further 24 per cent are as yet unsure;
- 32 per cent of employers say staff turnover has increased in their organisation;
- 65 per cent of employers, compared to 60 per cent last year, are worried that skill shortages will impact the effective operation of their organisation or department in a significant (23 per cent) or minor (42 per cent) way.