Salaries higher, but challenges remain for recruitment

Australian financial and accounting salaries are among the highest in the world, suggesting that the country is competitive against other market leaders.

Earlier this year, recruitment firm Robert Half surveyed more than 2,400 chief financial officers (CFOs) across 16 countries, of which 300 were from Australia.

According to the research, 55 per cent of Australian firms plan to increase salaries for financial and accounting teams in 2014, compared to just 44 per cent of firms worldwide. As well as this, 37 per cent of Australia CFOs are expecting to lift bonuses for those departments this year, compared to only 28 per cent globally.

David Jones, Senior Managing Director, Asia-Pacific at Robert Half, explained Australia isn't far off China, but is still one of most competitive nations in the world for rising pay rates.

"An increase in salaries confirms a sense of optimism in countries where the economic future looks bright," he said.

Mr Jones did elaborate there was some challenges ahead for Australian businesses – the actual uptake of bonuses and retaining talent long term.

"CFOs and financial directors are typically expecting bonuses to remain static this year. The key exceptions to this include high growth economies like China – here in Australia; we're not too far behind," he said.

Investments in tools such as recruitment software could help businesses keep high value employees longer in the competitive market that is important, Mr Jones noted.

"Quality talent is always in demand; it is important for employers to have a strong understanding of salaries in their industry, and in particular, for highly-sought after skills," he said.

"A competitive remuneration mix is just one solution for attracting and retaining staff in the current hiring market."

Recruitment software can enable businesses to sort candidates by skills or by qualifications to ensure the perfect person is selected in the role and can contribute long-term.

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