Slightly fewer insurance professionals can expect a pay rise this year, and this salary increase will be less significant than they hoped for, according to the FY 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide.
The survey of more than 3,400 organisations found that 91% of financial services industry employers will raise salaries in their next review, a slight drop from 92% who did so in their last review.
The value of the increases will also fall, with 63% of employers intending to raise salaries by 3% or less, compared to the 58% who did so in their last review; while just 4% intend to grant pay increases of more than 6%, down from 10%.
On the other hand, most financial services professionals expect a pay raise, with 31% anticipating an increase of 3% or less, 19% expect between 3% and 6%, and a further 22% expect 6% or more. The remaining 28% said they expect no increase whatsoever.
Findings also show that 57% of financial services professionals see a salary increase as their number-one priority this year, with 46% intending to achieve this by asking for a pay raise while 46% are looking elsewhere for a more competitive salary.
“We’re now seeing a tug of war over salaries,” said Carl Piesse, regional director of Hays Insurance. “On the one hand, we have professionals telling us they’ve prioritised a pay rise and are prepared to enter the job market to improve their earnings. On the other, employers tell us they want to add to their headcount and are being impacted by skill shortages, yet they plan to curtail salary increases.”
Hays expects there will be exceptions in the areas of risk and compliance, underwriting, analytics, and claims, as a result of the banking royal commission and Commissioner Hayne’s list of recommended changes.
“Given that there’s already a shortage of insurance professionals with experience handling complex insurance claims, this demand will see salaries increase,” Piesse said. “Adding to salary pressure is life insurers’ reluctance to recruit and upskill entry-level candidates, with senior claims candidates instead preferred. Employers will, however, recruit workers’ compensation claims professionals as they understand a similar claims cycle and are willing to move for an increase in salary. We’ve also seen a peak in requirements for assessing professionals nationally, both property and motor, which is driving up salaries. Brokers meanwhile are under heavy scrutiny and are retaining the most skilled employees to ensure their continued growth and retention of business portfolios. Assistant account executives with exposure to specific insurance software are in high demand and salaries have increased in order to attract and retain experienced professionals.”