Almost half of Australians looking for a new job
A recent survey has unveiled significant insights into the preferences and attitudes of Australian professionals. The survey, part of the 2024 Salary Guide by global talent services company Morgan McKinley, sheds light on the evolving dynamics in the Australian job market.
One noteworthy finding indicates that 47% of professionals in Australia are willing to forgo a pay raise if it means gaining the flexible work schedules they desire. While 56% of employees express a preference for spending one or two days per week in the office, a surprising trend emerges: nearly two-thirds of organizations are increasing their in-office requirements, compared to the prior year.
The research further highlights that 62% of Australian organizations are currently grappling with “very” or “quite” competitive hiring conditions in 2023. Notably, challenges such as ‘no sign-off for new headcount,’ ‘a scarcity of qualified candidates,’ and ‘budget constraints for hiring’ are the top recruitment hurdles anticipated by Australian employers for 2024. Only 20% of organizations are planning to onboard new employees over the next six months.
47% of professionals in Australia are willing to forgo a pay raise if it means gaining the flexible work schedules they desire.
For job seekers, 46% of Australian professionals have intentions to actively explore new job opportunities in the coming half-year, marking a decline from the 59% reported at the close of 2022.
The survey underlines the persistent importance of flexible work arrangements, with ‘work from home,’ ‘flexible working hours,’ and ‘remote work opportunities abroad for an extended duration’ ranking among the top five desired benefits for Australian employees, alongside ‘bonuses’ and ‘health and well-being support.’
The concept of contracting also gains prominence, with 65% of professionals currently in permanent roles open to transitioning to contract-based work. The primary motivations for this shift include the promise of ‘better pay rates,’ ‘greater skill development opportunities,’ and ‘increased flexibility.’
Additionally, more than half (52%) of Australian professionals hold optimistic expectations of receiving a salary increase in 2024, while 60% of employers plan to enhance salary offers for select high-demand roles.
Dominic Bareham, Managing Director of Morgan McKinley Australia, observed, “In 2023, businesses adopted a cautious approach, scaling back on hiring and cost containment, despite robust profit figures.”
He added, “Unemployment rates remain historically low, but the job market has seen an influx of job seekers. With a broader pool of talent to choose from, companies have been able to negotiate terms more favorably, resulting in stable salary expectations. However, the abundance of candidates has created challenges in identifying specialized skill sets for hiring managers.”
Retaining top-performing employees will be crucial, especially for companies with ambitious transformation agendas that require specialized skills.
Bareham further noted, “The outlook for 2024 is marked by caution and will depend on various factors, including reduced hiring, smaller teams, and increased workloads. Retaining top-performing employees will be crucial, especially for companies with ambitious transformation agendas that require specialized skills. Offering meaningful benefits with a strong focus on flexibility will play a pivotal role. If additional skills are needed, hiring contractors or consultants can allow organizations to proceed with projects without long-term headcount commitments.”
The Morgan McKinley 2024 Salary Guide provides an invaluable resource, offering real-time, precise salary data for a wide spectrum of roles across Australia. It equips hiring managers with industry benchmarks for compensation decisions and empowers professionals with valuable insights into their earning potential.
This comprehensive survey drew insights from 650 businesses and 3,400 professionals, shedding light on hiring intentions for 2024, motivating factors for job changes, and salary expectations.