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Talent Trends 2021

Talent Trends 2021: Australian Salary Guide

The Michael Page Salary Benchmark report has traditionally been our annual salary guide that allows business leaders, hiring managers and jobseekers to make informed employment decisions in Australia. However, in light of COVID-19 and continued global economic disruption, we recognise that our salary guide must go beyond salaries and provide a current overview of the world of work – reflecting the true environment and the ongoing challenges that come with it.

Enter Talent Trends 2021, our new report featuring new insights and market sentiment for areas that have experienced major upheavals in the past year. 
It covers prominent recruitment and talent-related focus areas such as digital readiness, organisational design, flexible work, leadership, performance management, and diversity and inclusion. The results draw from a regional survey of 12 Asia Pacific markets, with responses from over 5,500 businesses and 21,000 employees, of which 3,500-plus are directors or CXOs. The refreshed report then takes a deep dive into the specific hiring trends in Australia for 2021.

With further advice and recommendations from experienced Michael Page leaders and recruitment consultants, our Talent Trends 21 report is the definitive guide to hiring trends for Australia, as well as the greater Asia Pacific region, for the year ahead.

 

Australia's Key Statistics

45%

of surveyed participants who are currently employed anticipate looking for new work opportunities in 2021

43%

of employers intend to increase salaries in 2021

65%

of companies believe that business conditions will improve from Q2 2021 onwards

Report Highlights

1. Future workplace trends

From our findings, discover the top priorities for business leaders in 2021, key investment areas in technology and digital tools, employee preferences on workplace flexibility, and how performance assessment has changed.

 

2. People-first strategies

From leadership communication to mental health and wellbeing, our report highlights the best people strategies in 2021 to engage and retain your most valuable asset – high potential talent.

 

3. Salaries and bonuses

Find out how your company’s salary package for new hires matches up with competitors, plus learn about what high potential talent require when it comes to salary expectations.

 

4. Attracting and retaining top talent

Remuneration may be important, but it’s no longer the leading factor when it comes to talent attraction. Learn what our survey participants had to say about non-monetary aspects of talent attraction, and the retention strategies that really matter to employees.

 

Australia Salary Benchmark 2021: Embracing disruptions and the road to recovery
 

COVID-19 threw a spanner in the works during what was supposed to be an exciting new decade. Despite the severe disruption to our local economic activity, Australian businesses found some silver linings by controlling what they could in 2020 and seizing opportunities where possible.

At Michael Page, during the height of the pandemic, many jobs we were recruiting for were paused, but we began to see signs of confidence around the country in July. The quick containment of the virus, along with the shift to remote working, meant that many businesses continued with their hiring activities and plans sooner than anticipated, albeit remotely. Furthermore, the government’s 2020/21 federal budget is reason for optimism – $677 billion worth of spending measures were announced, with many of the major policy initiatives helping to create new jobs.

Our Talent Trends 2021 report reflects key market insights for the next 12 months ahead of us.

Acquiring and retaining high potential talent will be crucial to allow for future growth. We saw many businesses look to prevent employee cuts and redundancies as much as possible during the pandemic, having learnt from these lessons off the GFC. Instead, ensuring your teams remained robust and ready to take on the market when the time was right was a key priority during 2020.

In the technology space, we’ve seen strong demand for critical tech roles with candidate shortages in development, machine learning, AI, automation, cybersecurity and cloud technologies and a significant increase in remote working.

The pandemic also placed critical importance on healthcare and life sciences roles, particularly those that are highly sought after in key industries. The sector’s resilience, along with ongoing demand, looks set to last well after the pandemic is gone.

While temporary work and contracting opportunities were established in Australia well before COVID-19, we saw its acceleration due to the pandemic’s impact on hiring plans. As it became an attractive and viable alternative to permanent jobs amid the uncertainty, we expect a continuation of its popularity and it remains an ongoing area of focus for us.

Importantly, Australian businesses are looking ahead with optimism and are very focused on both retaining and adding high potential talent to drive future recovery and growth.

Normally, this is the time of year when we would publish our annual Salary Benchmark Report. However, like many traditions and standard practices over the past year, those plans have been upended. That’s why this year, we have created a new report, one that offers a more holistic view of the business world that covers everything we have learned over the past year, and what we can all expect moving ahead with our ‘new normal’.

This is the Talent Trends 2021 report, a collection of insights and data on hiring trends, talent attraction strategies, salary expectations, promotions, bonus expectations, and more. While we can certainly expect more challenges and hurdles in the months to come, we can also look forward to many bright spots on the horizon.

The technology space was understandably one of great change in 2020, and there are more changes to come in 2021. Just over half (55%) of employers expect to increase headcounts by 11% during the year, as countless businesses and organisations continue to digitise their products and services in the wake of the pandemic. As a result, there has been less hesitation and far more interest in hiring remote workers and contractors throughout Australia - and even around the world.

In the healthcare and life sciences sector, we’re seeing significant growth in all areas. Yet this trend began even before the coronavirus outbreak, with demand for healthcare workers across a variety of roles taking up several spaces in the top 10 hardest-to-fill positions.

As for the banking and financial services sector, we’re also seeing a number of pandemic-driven changes. Notably, there’s a strong demand for contract workers to pick up roles instead of permanent employees. Generally speaking, the sector took a hit in 2020, but is looking positive for the upcoming year.

As Australia and the world begins to recover from the stresses of 2020, it will be more important than ever for businesses to stay up to date on current trends and expectations from talent in order to bounce back and attract and maintain the most qualified candidates.

Get a copy of the 2021 Salary Guide now