FM salary expectation divide evident, new report finds

More than 50 per cent of facilities management employers will increase salaries in their next review, study finds.

More facilities management professionals will receive a pay rise this year than last, but it will be a far less significant increase than they hoped for.

According to the FY 2021-22 Hays Salary Guide, based on a survey of close to 3500 organisations, 52 per cent of facilities management employers will increase salaries in their next review, up from 35 per cent who did so in their last review.

But just 6 per cent will award increases of 3 per cent and above. Instead, almost half (46 per cent) intend to raise salaries at the lower level of 3 per cent or below.

Professionals say they deserve more

For their part, 68 per cent of the facilities management professionals Hays also spoke to say a raise of 3 per cent or more would better reflect their individual performance.

Meanwhile, 93 per cent of facilities management professionals are currently looking for a new job, plan to look or are open to new opportunities in the next 12 months.

A lack of promotional opportunities, poor training and development and an uncompetitive salary are the main drivers.

Salary expectation divide

“The value of salary increases is driving a wedge between employers and employees,” says Austin Blackburne, regional director of Hays Facilities Management.

“On the one hand, we have over half of FM employers intending to increase salaries in the year ahead, which is a remarkable sign of the confidence employers exhibit today. On the other, professionals say the value of these increases is far less than they deserve. This is creating a gap between what employers will offer and employees say they are worth.

“This divide must be managed sensitively if employers are to retain staff and attract new talent in short supply.”

There are several ways to help overcome this gap, but Austin says one strategy stands out above the rest: investing in the training, development and career progression of staff. “After a year in which many skilled professionals put career plans on hold, they are focusing once more on their long-term goals,” he says.

“As our data shows, learning and developing new skills is now more important than a pay rise.

“A lack of promotional opportunities is also the primary factor driving professionals into the jobs market today. This makes re-investing in career progression pathways and staff development a sensible strategy for the year ahead.”

Confidence rises

Following a year like no other, several indicators in the Hays Salary Guide suggest Australia’s recruitment market has almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels.

Almost three-quarters of employers say permanent staffing levels are either above or equal to their pre-COVID-19 point. Almost one-half (47 per cent) intend to increase their permanent headcount in the year ahead, while 15 per cent will increase their use of temporaries or contractors.

Other key findings

In other key findings, the 2021/22 Hays Salary Guide found:

  • Employers are aware of a talent shortage: In the next 12 months, 64 per cent of employers say skills shortages will impact the effective operation of their organisation or department, either in a significant or minor way.
  • Upskilling is important: When thinking of their career, learning and developing new skills is the most important priority for 65 per cent of skilled professionals, ahead of a pay rise (58 per cent).
  • Skilled professionals have become stronger job candidates: Many skilled professionals elected to remain shielded in their existing job during the pandemic, putting their career progression plans on hold. However, they were not idle. Many developed their soft skills (46 per cent), technical skills (45 per cent) or undertook higher or additional qualifications (21 per cent) to improve their job prospects should they need to look externally for career progression.
  • Hybrid working is here to stay: Of those skilled professionals who worked remotely during the pandemic, only 7 per cent wish to return to the workplace fulltime. For their part, in 12 months’ time, 63 per cent of employers would like their staff to be working one, two or three days remotely, with the remainder in the office.

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