NZIM Testing the Talent Pool – NZIM partners on a key salary survey

Cliche it may be, but the only constant for today’s managers is change. Attendees at recent NZIM seminar in Wellington heard that managing workers’ changing expectations keeps things on an even keel. But another thing that never seems to change is our interest in other people’s pay packets – sometimes it’s curiosity, at other times we really need to know: particularly when closing negotiations with highly desirable recruit.
Hearsay and Chinese whispers may be an oft-used channel for finding out salaries, but there have to be better ways – confidential salary surveys for example.
In an effort to present reliable, tested, and reputable salary benchmarking mechanism to the NZIM members across the country, the Institute is joining forces with specialist publisher Brookers on this year’s New Zealand Salary Benchmarks. The anticipated outcome? Comprehensive and readable analyses of market salaries across range of industries, sectors, and positions.
First published in 1996, Brookers’ annual report last year attracted more than 2300 responses across 59 job positions. The results were confidentially and independently analysed, and published in comprehensive 130-page report.

Realising the benefits
“We are delighted the Institute has agreed to join us on this year’s salary benchmarks initiative,” says Brookers’ managing director Neil Story.
“If anecdotal feedback from the past is anything to go by, we’re anticipating that both NZIM and its members will quickly realise the benefits of the final report.
While we’re quietly confident of the success of our salary benchmarks venture to date, the support of David Chapman and the Institute will inevitably add valuable new dimension to this – and for our customers.
“We’re always pleasantly surprised at how many phone calls we take from others who’ve seen or heard about the report – wanting copies for themselves.”

Pointing in the right direction
The Institute has also welcomed involvement in this year’s New Zealand Salary Benchmarks.
“We are,” said National Office chief executive David Chapman, “very pleased to be working with Brookers on this year’s survey and report, and to be able to provide our members with another value-added benefit.
“While there are number of reports and benchmarking mechanisms in the market, we have to be careful when it comes to recommending them to our members.
“A lot of them are very good, but as manager of many years standing myself, and given my key role with the Institute, I know how important it is to be pointing people [wanting salary information] in the right direction.
“From our previous experience with Brookers, I’m confident of the benefits we can bring to our members with this – and I’m keen to make the most of this opportunity to work with one of the country’s most respected publishers.”
Both the Institute and Brookers agree that while the number of responses to previous surveys suggests that this year’s figures will be just as lofty, at the end of the day, the survey’s results can only be as good as the data collected.
Both Chapman and Story are urging those who get the opportunity to do so, to respond to the survey once they receive it.

The more responses the better
“The more responses the better,” says Brookers’ project manager Martyn Becker.
“The breadth of data collated from past surveys has made the job of analysing the numbers much easier for us. The Institute joining us for this year’s project will make for even better benchmarking once the country’s managers have our report on their desks.”
Becker has no doubt that salary-related issues are just as prominent now as they were when he managed the first survey almost nine years ago. And that when it comes to the figures, it doesn’t matter where people are in an organisation, they all want the best deal they can get.
“As manager,” says Becker, “I’m hearing lot right now about market forces and the booming economy. When it comes to the younger recruits I’ve been talking to lately, salary’s not always the biggest factor. But make no mistake – it’s still of lot of interest to them when we’re getting down to tin tacks.”

In bronze position
Becker’s comments have been echoed elsewhere in the past few weeks, with recent research finding lack of career progression to be the main factor stimulating people to visit the classifieds. And visiting the classifieds they are: according to recent Westpac report on employment confidence, when it comes to opportunity, today’s workers have been saying that they’ve “never had it better”.
Over 600 job candidates, said an April media release from Hays, leading specialist recruitment consultancy, were asked why they were endeavouring to find new opportunities. In bronze position came “salary”. “Seeking new challenges” was just edged out of first place by “lack of career progression”.
But in every cloud there’s silver lining. From Jason Walker, general manager of Hays New Zealand: “By identifying the common reasons people decide to look for new job, businesses can focus on preventative strategies to work towards keeping their existing talent.
“As our survey shows,” said Walker, “a big part of this is giving staff room to grow and develop their careers within the business.”
There are other factors as well. And when it comes to retaining the talent, salaries – the benchmarking issues at least – will likely fall under the spotlight.
For sample results from last year’s New Zealand Salary Benchmarks survey, see the New Zealand Institute of Management’s website: To participate online in this year’s survey, go to and follow the instructions from there.

David Kerslake MNZIM is managing editor of Brookers.

Individual Development
The important thing is not that you have rank, but that you have responsibility.
The person with the most responsibility for an individual’s development is the person himself – not the boss. The first priority for one’s own development is to strive for excellence. Workmanship counts, not just because it makes such difference in the quality of the job done, but because it makes such difference in the person doing the job. Expect the job to provide stimulus only if you work on your own self-renewal, only if you create the excitement, the challenge, the transformation that makes an old job enriching over and over again. The most effective road to self-renewal is to look for the unexpected success and run with it.
The critical factor for success is accountability – holding yourself accountable. Everything else flows from that. The important thing is not that you have rank, but that you have responsibility. To be accountable, you must take the job seriously enough to recognise: I’ve got to grow up to the job. By focusing on accountability, people take bigger view of themselves.

ACTION POINT: Strive for Excellence

Extracted from Peter Drucker’s book The Daily Drucker published in 2004.

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