Insurance professionals have higher expectations than employers for a salary increase, with 19% expecting a pay rise of 6% or more, compared to a mere 7% of financial services employers who will increase their staff's salary by the same rate, according to the 2018 Hays Salary Guide.
Hays also revealed that 67% of employees see salary increase as their top-most career priority this year, and that 48% of them will request a pay rise if their employer doesn't offer one.
On the other hand, most employers, at 62%, will give their staff a pay rise of less than 3% in their next review, a further 21% will give their staff a 3% to 6% increase, while 10% will not increase salaries at all.
Hays said that compared to its last review, when 9% of employers gave no increases and 13% increased by 6% or above, slightly fewer professionals will receive an increase this year. The number of employers increasing at the 6% and above level will also drop.
“The supply-and-demand ratio continues to favour insurance professionals, with employers still plagued by candidate shortages,” said Jane McNeill, managing director of Hays Insurance. “Despite this, salaries across the sector remain broadly stable. Instances of salary increases are the result of geographical skill shortages rather than sector-wide trends. For example, a shortage of outbound sales consultants in NSW has seen salaries increase for these professionals.”
McNeill also said insurance professionals with specialist digital and technology skills “can expect a salary increase,” as the extensive technological disruption across the insurance sector drives an increasing demand for candidates with those particular skill set.
“Turning to the underwriting sector, regulatory change and compliance is resulting in rising vacancy activity for risk and compliance specialists at all levels,” McNeill said. “However, a gap has emerged between the salary expectations of highly experienced senior underwriters and employers since candidates know they are in demand.”
When it comes to attracting and retaining talents in a candidate-short market, McNeill said employers should consider offering extra perks and opportunities.
“Candidates tend not to move jobs for the same salaries, so employers need to look at offering additional benefits, such as flexible working and training and development,” McNeill said. “Looking ahead, the retention of senior staff will become a priority for organisations in response to ongoing skill shortages. This may lead to salary increases. In other trends, employees and jobseekers continue to request flexible working hours and working from home options. Offering such opportunities can help employers attract and secure talent in a candidate-short market.”