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How much do I pay my staff?

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Blog Template Recruitment And Labour Hire

Unsure of the going rate for staff pay?

It's evident that Australia is experiencing a skills shortage, with some industries impacted more than others. What does this mean for business? They need to find a way to attract and retain the best staff.

Remuneration will always be a key factor in this equation, so it's important to ensure you are offering competitive salaries. This means conducting regular salary reviews and being open to increasing wages to stay attractive to top talent. Overall, wages grew by 2.4% up to the March quarter of 2022 and this rate has been rising since a low point in 2020 during the height of the pandemic.

Of course, it's not just about money. Offering staff interesting and challenging work, a good work/life balance, and opportunities for career progression or fringe benefits can also be key motivators. But at the end of the day, most people want to be paid fairly for their efforts, so it's important that your business is doing everything possible to remain competitive on salary.

Skills in Demand

Which occupations are most in demand? The National Skills Commission's Skills Priority List shows which industries and professions are either in a national shortage or have predicted future demand.

The effects of Covid-19 lockdowns and border closures are still being felt across the country in our workplaces. Unsurprisingly, healthcare is one of the most significant sectors in need of workers. Enrolled nurses, aged or disabled carers, childcare workers, pharmacists, psychologists and speech pathologists are all listed as currently in a national shortage, with strong future demand.

The construction industry is also crying out for workers, along with the manufacturing and mining industries. Engineers (civil, geotechnical, structural, transport, mechanical, and mining) are in high demand as well as qualified skilled trades. Skilled trade workers are in a position to negotiate higher pay as the tightness of the labour market becomes apparent. That's why it's essential to match market rates when advertising new roles (positions that may have had hundreds of applications a few years ago are seeing just a handful of people apply in 2022).

Some of the most in-demand occupations include:

  • Sheetmetal Trades Worker

  • Metal Fabricator

  • Pressure Welder

  • Welder (First Class)

  • Electrician (General and Special Class)

  • Agricultural Mobile Plant Operator

  • Diesel Motor Mechanic

  • Fitter

  • Metal Machinist (First Class)

If your business employs any of the above, TRS can help you find the staff you need today. We've established a candidate network of skilled blue-collar workers and with our industry knowledge can source, screen and advise market rates for your recruitment needs.


Wage Growth By Industry

Annual wage growth from March 2021 to March 2022 varied by industry, with some sectors rising more than others. The national average grew by 2.4%. Has your business maintained wage increases in line with your industry? Here's a snapshot of how wages in different sectors grew:

  • Mining 1.8%

  • Manufacturing 2.7%

  • Electricity, gas, water and waste services 1.5%

  • Wholesale trade 2.6%

  • Construction 2.5%

  • Transport, postal and warehousing 2%

You may want to keep these figures in mind when paying employees and setting rates for open roles.


Construction Workers are Highest Earners

Did you know that Melbourne tradies are pocketing a whopping average hourly wage of $124, making them the seventh highest-paid construction workers in the world? In Australia, Perth came in second with an average hourly wage of $117.28. An employee on $124 an hour could earn upwards of four grand each week. For comparison, the average weekly full-time earnings of an adult in November 2021 was just over $1800. Skilled trades continue to be some of the best-paid professions in Australia, especially with the amount of overtime and weekend work available.

What does this mean for your business? To attract qualified workers to open positions, employers must offer market rates or better - we're seeing record numbers of candidates moving between jobs for higher pay. If you want to keep your best staff, make sure you are staying ahead of the competition by offering salaries at or above the going rate, as well as ensuring your workplace is a safe and professional environment.

Employer Responsibilities

If you're not sure how much to pay your staff and which employment standards to follow, there are a number of resources available to guide you. The Fair Work Ombudsman's website has a helpful tool that can assist with setting pay rates, and there are also a number of private sector businesses that offer salary benchmarking services. You should be aware of the relevant award or agreement and what your employees are entitled to for the hours they work.

The current national minimum wage is $21.38 per hour. Most employees are covered by modern awards, and casual workers are entitled to a casual loading. Your business may also be required to pay penalty rates when an employee works certain shifts (such as overnight or public holidays).


Finding talent in a labour short market

With the loss of international migration in 2020 and 2021, skilled labour shortages are even more apparent. We're seeing record employment levels - in June 2022 Australia's unemployment rate decreased to 3.5%. Temporary business shutdowns have become more common due to difficulty in finding staff.

This is where TRS Resourcing comes in - with an extensive candidate base and network, we can find tradies for your business even in this competitive market. I've worked closely with clients in the manufacturing, trades and services, engineering, transport and warehousing sectors to find qualified staff in this labour short market.


Find Qualified Staff Today

TRS Resourcing Recruitment Consultants will reduce your labour costs while using their expertise to attract and retain the best candidates for your business. We offer tailored recruitment solutions in Melbourne and Perth so you can find the staff you need today.

Fill in this form with your staff requirements and I will be in touch with you straight away.

i.e roles required, assistance needed, areas you need help with, any recruitment questions



Do you have a job in Perth or Melbourne that needs to be filled? Contact TRS Resourcing today for exceptional recruitment services every time.

To speak with TRS Labour Hire Recruitment Consultants please contact the following offices:
Labour Hire Melbourne 03 9917 3545
Labour Hire Perth 08 6205 3570