ICT salaries increase five per cent while CEOs set new records

ICT salaries increase five per cent while CEOs set new records

Soft skills gain prominence

ICT professionals have achieved average salary increases of five percent over the last 12 months as a result of the current skills shortage. While the results are much higher than inflation, they pale in significance when compared with executive salaries.

According to the Hay Group, chief executive pay increased 27.7 percent last year, the highest growth rate on record.

Most of the increases were paid in short term bonuses, as base pay grew by just nine percent.

Chief executives in the finance sector enjoyed the biggest pay jump at 39 percent, followed by the resources sector at 24.8 percent.

Senior executives in Australia's top 100 companies were paid 10.4 percent more in 2006 than 2005.

A prime example of this generous climate is the $17 million paid to Phil Green, the CEO of investment bank, Babcock & Brown.

This is a 38 percent increase on the $12 million he was paid in 2005.

Macquarie Bank paid its CEO, Allan Moss, $21.2 milliion including $16.5 milliion in short term incentives.

The five percent average increase for the ICT sector was released today by the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) which issued the results of its Survey of Salaries and Remuneration Packaging for the ICT industry.

Forecasts for salary increase budgets in the coming financial year also remain steady, averaging 4.2 percent.

AIIA CEO, Sheryle Moon, said many ICT companies are increasingly focusing their attention on reviewing and enhancing their entire employee value proposition, rather than pumping extra funds into salary increases.

"In a tight labour market 'soft benefits' such as wellness programs, rewards and recognition, child care and parental leave options can be the difference between keeping and losing an employee," according to Jairus Ashworth, managing director of remuneration consultants, CSi, which compiles AIIA's salary survey.

"Parental leave policies, in particular, have once again been under the spotlight for review - especially the number of weeks of paid leave, staggered parental leave payments, return to work policies and child care assistance schemes," he said.

"The ICT industry is certainly ahead of the game in terms of offering flexible working conditions."

Many ICT companies pay a 'baby bonus' for women on maternity leave, and provide more options as they transition back into the work force.

Global technology services company, EDS, offers its employees twelve weeks' paid maternity leave as well as flexible work arrangements which help retain their top talent.

Flexible work arrangements include returning from maternity leave on a part-time basis wherever possible, flexible hours to suit family life as well as working from home options.

EDS Australia managing director, Chris Mitchell, said over the past three years EDS has invested heavily in the company's networks, telephony and office space to support alternative employee work strategies.

"Different dimensions of alternative work strategies are vital to maintaining a competitive position in the market place. They bring many people an improved work/life balance and allow us to keep our top talent," Mitchell said.

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