Two in five EAs plan to change jobs — here’s why

Hays research has revealed that 40% of office support professionals plan to look for a new job in the next 12 months.

According to data from the recruiter’s 2019/20 Australian and New Zealand Hays Salary Guide, another 28% of the 1,600 professionals surveyed said they may look but were ‘unsure’ at the time of enquiry.

The reasons? A lack of promotional opportunities tops the list, cited by 53%, followed by a lack of new challenges (42%), an uncompetitive salary (41%), poor training and development (27%) and poor work-life balance (also 27%).

Moreover, Hays found that only 44% are ‘very satisfied’ or ‘extremely satisfied’ in their current job. Just 47% and 54% are ‘very satisfied’ or ‘extremely satisfied’ with their current employer and direct manager respectively.

Fresh job market activity

There are currently strong job opportunities for office support professionals who are looking to explore their options. A new financial year traditionally brings fresh activity to the jobs market as new budgets are set and employers look to add to their headcount.

Financial year end, like New Year, is also a seasonal peak time of the year for people to review whether they should stay or change jobs. For employers, this movement of people will add to their staff retention challenges, which are already heightened in response to subdued wage growth.

In fact, according to the Hays Salary Guide, while more EAs will receive a pay rise this year than last, it will be a less significant increase than they hoped for.

According to the Guide, 90% of employers will increase their office support staff salaries in their next review, up from 87% who did so in their last review.

However, the value of these increases will fall. Almost two-thirds (65%) intend to raise salaries at the lower level of 3% or less, up from 57% who did so in their last review. At the other end of the scale, just 4% of employers, down from 9%, intend to grant pay increases of more than 6%.

The FY 2019/20 Hays Salary Guide is based on a survey of more than 3,400 organisations in Australia and New Zealand, representing over 4.7 million employees, in addition to a survey of 1,600 skilled professionals.

Get your copy of the Hays Salary Guide by visiting or contacting your local Hays office.

By Alex Jones, Senior Regional Director of Hays Office Support