The latest edition of the Hays Salary Guide reveals that pay hikes are on the cards this year for architecture professionals, but the raise will be significantly below their expectations.

According to the FY 2021-22 Hays Salary Guide, which is based on a survey of close to 3,500 organisations, 53% of architecture employers will increase salaries in their next review, up from 42% who did so in their last review. However, only 20% will award increases of 3% or more while a third (33%) intend to raise salaries at the lower level of 3% or less.

Professionals say they deserve more

While 72% of the architecture professionals surveyed said a raise of 3% or more would better reflect their individual performance, at least 73% are currently looking for a new job, plan to look or are open to new opportunities in the next 12 months. This is driven by a lack of promotional opportunities, uncompetitive salaries and absence of new challenges.

Simon Bristow, senior regional director of Hays Architecture called for sensitive handling of the issue by employers who would like to retain staff and attract new talent.

“The value of salary increases is driving a wedge between employers and employees,” Bristow says.

“On the one hand, we have over half of architecture 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.”

To overcome this gap, employers must invest in the training, development and career progression of their staff, Bristow says.

“After a year in which many skilled professionals put career plans on hold, they are focusing once more on their long-term goals,” he explained. Survey data shows that learning and developing new skills are now more important than a pay rise. Therefore, re-investing in career progression pathways and staff development is a sensible strategy for the year ahead.

Rising confidence

The Hays Salary Guide suggests that Australia’s recruitment market has almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels with almost three-quarters of employers saying permanent staffing levels are either above or equal to their pre-COVID-19 point. Almost one-half (47%) intend to increase their permanent headcount in the year ahead, while 15% will increase their use of temporary workers and contractors.

The 2021/22 Hays Salary Guide also indicates that employers are aware of a talent shortage with 64% saying that skills shortages will impact the effective operation of their organisation or department. The survey also reveals that architecture professionals are aware of the importance of upskilling. Those who invested their time during the pandemic to develop soft skills and technical skills or acquire additional qualifications are stronger job candidates today.

Not surprisingly, the pandemic year has validated the hybrid working model with only 7% of skilled professionals who worked remotely during the pandemic expressing a desire to return to the workplace fulltime.

However, in 12 months’ time, 63% of employers would like their staff to be working one, two or three days remotely, with the remainder in the office.

Download your copy of the Hays Salary Guide