The Importance of Reward Packages in Australia

Two people having interview

Across Australia and New Zealand organisations are increasingly aware of the importance of reward packages when it comes to retaining their current staff and attracting new talent. With skills shortages in Technology, Banking and Engineering, the competition to hire top talent is monumental. These pressures are causing companies to not only look at remuneration but also reward packages that comprise of both tangible and intangible aspects.

What are the current trends in reward packages?

There has been a far greater focus on creating more attractive reward packages over the last 12 to 18 months and while there are some similarities in the rewards being offered across industries, each organisation is shaping their benefits according to what they are able to offer. On top of monetary rewards, organisations are taking a whole different approach in order to engage the right talent by offering global mobility, flexible working conditions and other perks.

Salaries in the ever-evolving Technology industry have been steadily increasing but tough competition for desirable skills means organisations also have to adapt their reward packages quickly if they want to compete for the best talent in the market. Alongside the Technology industry is the Financial sector. With the rise of FinTech, it’s critical to develop and deliver reward packages that attract key talent to drive improvements in performance. The huge growth in FinTechs has spurred the Financial sector to mimic reward packages similar to that of the Technology industry which has in turn, reduced the initial advantage Technological firms had in securing candidates through offering lucrative benefits packages that their competition could not match. 

With a handful of companies unable to compete on salary, they are coming up with innovative ways to incentivise staff.  Within the Technology industry, we’ve seen an increase in performance related bonuses while FinTechs and start-ups are offering equity options and end of year annual leave give-aways.  Other conventional offerings such as fully sponsored leadership programs, mentoring and advanced accreditations are also seeing growing investment.  These incentives bring extra value to candidates by prioritising their development while driving organisational performance.

Are candidates looking for better work/life balance?

Employees across Australia and New Zealand are driving organisations to understand the importance of wellbeing and work/life balance.  In response, organisations looking to improving work/life balance are not only offering flexible working conditions but also investing in other benefits to target well-being, such as free gym membership or health insurance.

In markets where skills are in shortage, work demand within an organisation can far outweigh capacity, meaning candidates with these niche skills are being pushed to their limits to reach targets, resulting in employees working longer hours. The Technology industry is leading the field in terms of work/life balance thus allowing them to attract key talent.  These organisations have a relentless focus on lifestyle and are famous for flexible working hours and allowing you to work from anywhere with remote access.

The millennials and post-millennials, who are fundamentally the key talent pool of the future, heavily prioritise work/life balance therefore driving change in the Technology industry.

How important is flexible work and what does this look?

With the average commute taking over 30 minutes, organisations in Australia and New Zealand are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of offering flexible hours or working from home options.

On a fundamental level, flexible working conditions are made easier for those in the technology industry compared to the rest. Such flexible work has allowed organisations to access larger pools of talent, increase employee retention and indirectly improve business performance.

While flexibility is a top priority for some industries, we cannot dismiss those in the Tech scene who follow their passion for Technology regardless of what an organisation has on offer. Some individuals will choose to work for an organisation because the intrinsic value to them is far more important than the extrinsic benefits they receive.

How influential is a benefits package on a candidate's final choice of job?

Delivering a benefits package can be a pivotal factor on a candidate’s final choice of job. Whilst career progression remains a key concern, the role of the benefits package is undergoing radical changes. In some circumstances, candidates are willing to change jobs for a similar, or lower salary, purely because the role peaks their interest and the passion they have for the industry – this is especially prevalent in the exciting technology market.

“Money is always important as people have lifestyles they want to maintain but when it comes to technology, people are looking for innovation, disruption and a degree of excitement from the products they are delivering. These factors can be an even bigger motivator than money”, commented Ari Hayton, specialist consultant at Progressive IT.

Within Australia and New Zealand, organisations risk stifling their business if they are not willing to formulate attractive benefits to influence candidates to choose to work with them.  With some individuals demanding significantly higher monetary rewards, benefits packages can be highly influential in today’s generation.  This is particularly prevalent for organisations across Technology industries who have invested heavily to be able to offer lucrative benefits in skills-short markets.

Nonetheless, the attractiveness of a benefits package is highly dependent on individual preferences. For example, Global mobility is often a great incentive for those who seek international exposure; however candidates with young families would place greater value on flexible hours.  For a benefits package to truly influence a candidate’s final choice on job, the organisation needs to understand a candidates’ motivations and tailor their offering accordingly, which is often easier said than done.

If you would like to find out more about a job opportunity within the Technology sector in Australia, please kindly contact Rory Gove, Senior Business Manager of the Australia team at [email protected]

Progressive is a trading division of the SThree Group

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