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Australian employers ready to pay salary premium for in-demand skills

New hires in finance, technology, and business support roles could command salary increases up to 31%.

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37% of employers ready to pay a premium.
Employers are willing to be flexible on certain criteria.
About 14% of employers are prepared to be lenient on certifications.

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Australian employers are ready to offer premium salaries to attract new hires possessing crucial skills and expertise, according to a study conducted by Robert Half. The research reveals that candidates may receive salary offers up to 31% higher than market rates, depending on their skills, certifications, and experience, especially in finance, technology, and business support roles.

Among the skills commanding the highest salary premiums, project and program management lead the way with a potential increase of 31%, although only 11% of employers are willing to offer higher salaries for candidates with these skills. Leadership and management expertise is the most sought-after skill, with 37% of employers ready to pay a premium, resulting in a potential salary 26% higher than the market rate.

37% of employers ready to pay a premium, resulting in a potential salary 26% higher than the market rate

Nicole Gorton, Director at Robert Half, emphasised that employers recognise the unique value candidates with these sought-after skills bring to their organisations. These premiums are seen as an investment in enhancing efficiencies, reshaping outcomes, and ensuring a prosperous future in the face of rapid change.

In addition, the study found that employers are willing to be flexible on certain criteria. Nearly 29% are open to candidates lacking specific industry experience, while 28% are flexible about the number of years of experience. About 14% of employers are prepared to be lenient on certifications, and 8% are open to candidates with less traditional education.

Gorton pointed out that employers understand the challenge of finding candidates who meet every criterion and are willing to compromise on certain aspects if the candidate brings advantages in other areas. The focus is on hiring individuals with the right skill set, even if their industry experience is relatively limited, as these skills are seen as essential for propelling innovation and navigating changing conditions.

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