The IT upturn is slowly but surely starting to work its way into some industry pay packets, according to recently published salary surveys. But that trend is yet to reach the channel if the players ARN spoke to are to be believed.
Two recruitment agencies — Hays IT and the Chandler MacLeod Group — were behind the research, which pointed to economic growth and falling unemployment levels as key factors. Salaries in the IT industry, which was hit hard by the ‘Tech Wreck’ of three years ago, had the most to gain from the recent economic rebound.
The recent survey conducted by Hays IT included Express Data, BCA and Volante in its findings. The Chandler MacLeod Group included Tech Pacific in its survey. Hays IT senior consultant, George Skordos, said wages were edging up in this sector for the first time in several years.
Skordos estimated, a business development manager would earn $55,000-$70,000 as a base salary. This would be uncapped but on-target earnings (OTE) would be about $130,000-$150,000. Vendors would pay their channel managers a base of $80,000-$100,000, but OTE would be $190,000-$220,000.
Regionally, there would be little variation, with Sydney salary levels perhaps $10,000 higher than other states.
“The industry is coming up,” Skordos said. “Salaries tend to catch up 6-12 months after what is happening in the market,” Skordos said.
“There is a bit of a squeeze on resellers as the margins are less in hardware. It’s tougher in reseller land. Salaries for distributors are the same but life is easier. Salaries were on a plateau or going down but are now going up,” Skordos said.
While a strengthening Australian economy meant average salary increases of 4.1 per cent in the IT sector, senior consultant for Chandler MacLeod, Claire Golding, said there had been little movement in pay during the past two years.
“It’s fairly static, mostly US-dictated,” Golding said. “I deal with many general managers and they are aware their staff have had little increases and they are starting to get worried about keeping people. “If other firms offer better, they will lose their staff. Managers in Australia are concerned that the talent shortage is going to hit. They are lean and mean.”
Some local distributors interviewed by ARN said business was just starting to take off.
But while this meant higher commissions, base salaries were either static or just keeping pace with inflation.
One employer said his business development managers that go out on the road meeting resellers received $70,000 to $110,000, in-house telesales staff got $40,000-$50,000 and product managers earned $50,000-$130,000.
Another distributor said “fresh meat” in sales would typically earn in the mid-$40,000 range, medium-level staff would earn above $60,000, senior employees more than $100,000 and over-achievers could make up to $200,000. Management rates were around $120,000-$150,000, with up to $250,000 possible for a top performer, he said.
Such salaries had only kept pace with prices but one distributor boss said vendors tended to pay 25-30 per cent more than the channel.
Another distributor chief said wage rates were now stable after declining last year, but insisted he was yet to see an upturn. While he was busily recruiting sales staff and product managers, he said there was no pressure on distribution.
The marketing manager of a third distributor said he had received a pay rise during the first year with his current employer but was not aware of any general upturn in pay packets across the industry. If, and when, such a trend did become apparent, he would be holding out his hand for more.
What are you worth?
* Business development manager
$65,000-$80,000 (base salary)
* Sales manager
$65,000-$90,000 (base salary)
* National sales manager
$98,000-$123,000 (base salary)
* Marketing manager
$61,000-$96,000 (base salary)
* Head of marketing and sales
$97,000-$135,000 (base salary)
Source: Chandler Macleod