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Industry workers, bosses face salary demand ‘mismatch’

Recruiter Hays says 59% of insurance and banking employees expect a pay rise above 3% at their next salary review. 

Hays’ annual survey of more than 15,000 workers also found 81% of insurance and banking professionals are looking for a new job, or plan to in the next year. 

“The mismatch between what employees want and what employers are willing to offer will play out over the next year, with 42% of banking and insurance employees being dissatisfied with their salaries,” Hays MD Asia-Pacific Matthew Dickason said.  

Hays found 79% of insurance and banking employers plan to increase salaries at the next review – though only 40% will award 3% or more. About 47% expect to increase permanent headcount over the next year and 30% plan to add temporary staff, as 70% experience skills shortages – 12% of them “extreme”. 

About 63% expect skills shortages to dent the effective operation of their businesses in the next year. 

“We saw an increase in banking and insurance employers being forced to offer higher salaries in the past year due to the skills shortage, with 27% offering substantially higher salaries and 46% offering nominally higher salaries,” Mr Dickason said. 

The rising cost of living was cited by 60% of people looking to leave their jobs in pursuit of higher salaries. Poor management style or workplace culture, negative mental health and wellbeing impacts, and lack of promotion opportunities also featured.  

Insurance employees are “ready and waiting” for learning and development opportunities and career progression, Mr Dickason says. 

“Businesses should take advantage of this eagerness to upskill to embed learning behaviours and avoid losing key talent.” 

Additional flexibility and performance bonuses are also among tools to retain insurance staff.

Mr Dickason warns insurance workers to be mindful that commercial reality “dictates that salary increases can only stretch so far. Consider the whole package when you negotiate a new job or your next pay rise. Think about what you’d really value and what could make a difference to your life and career long-term.” 

See the Hays Salary Guide here.