Is your new colleague getting paid more than you? Here’s what you can do

According to the last Hays Salary Guide, 63% of 4,800 professionals surveyed said they would benefit financially from changing jobs.


According to the last Hays Salary Guide, 63% of 4,800 professionals surveyed said they would benefit financially from changing jobs.

Those who stayed loyal to their employer last year are likely to be paying the price in a smaller salary than those who just started.

According to the last Hays Salary Guide63% of 4800 professionals surveyed said they had benefited financially from changing jobs.

High salary offers made to new staff in 2022 were now fueling pay equity concerns for tenured employees, who could pay a price for their loyalty.

Managing director of Hays New Zealand, Adam Shapley said skills shortages drove up salary offers for many new starters in 2022.

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“For skills in highest demand, employers offered a salary increase up to CPI to secure a candidate.

“This exceeded average salary increases for existing staff, financially penalizing loyal employees who are acutely aware of the monetary benefit of changing jobs.”

The survey found the skills shortage had forced employers to offer higher salaries than they otherwise planned. But a third said they had to offer ‘substantially’ higher salaries, while 43% offered ‘nominally’ higher salaries.

Hays also noted a small increase in the number of employers offering a sign-on bonus. According to a poll Hays ran late last year, 8% of 18,045 professionals surveyed said they had received a starting bonus in the past six months.


Company-X director David Hallett says IT workers are being poached by US companies offering to double their salaries.

In October the national average salary was $67,056. In November, it reached $67,836, before finishing off the year in December at $68,001.

“Despite reaching an all-time high in the fourth quarter, the rate of salary growth is already showing signs of slowing down, and we are likely to see this continue in the new year,” Trade Me Jobs spokesperson Patrick Cairns said.

If a worker suspected their salary was lower than a new starter’s pay, Shapley offered a number of suggestions on how to get an increase, which included researching typical salaries for the role, collating achievements, discussing concerns with the boss and having a reserve standpoint.

“Pay discrepancies can occur when a new employee negotiates a higher starting salary. If your employer can’t increase your salary at this point, use your own negotiation skills to improve your non-financial benefits, for instance, additional annual leave, a promotional pathway or upskilling could help close the gap,” he said.

Pay discrepancies between new and tenured employees can impact employee engagement, productivity and turnover as well.

To avoid this, Shapley suggested implementing benchmark salaries, adding a buffer to the salary budget, being transparent with staff and considering offering non-financial benefits such as more leave and role flexibility.

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