Pays and Chief Sustainability Officers on the rise | The Fifth Estate 

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From The Fifth Estate, by Rose Mary Petrass

New year, new vibe. Well, maybe, or is it more of the same? The great resignation continues and so do the great pay rises if you listen to Richard Evans of recruiter Talent Nation.

Evans who’s managing director of the company said people are looking at new roles. “Throughout the GFC everyone hunkered down.” After a long period without a pay rise and two years of Covid they’re now looking at new roles. Sustainability expertise is particularly on offer with “whole teams being built out”, he says.

While a sustainability manager might have needed to be “across everything” previously, now there might be focused on climate change, another on human rights and another on reporting. Specialisations are being built.

As for salaries, these were rising even as Evans and his colleagues were writing the report. By mid-year there was a 10 per cent increase across the board and Evans says, “I would not be surprised to see that continue”.

Salaries at the senior level are between $200,000 and $250,000 depending on the size of the organisation. For a tier one property company it could be $350,00 to $400,000 but for a highly skilled person possibly with a particular focus. They need to be senior, he says, because they’re engaging at the board level.

What’s emerging too is the title of Chief Sustainability Officer.

In 2019 that was an emerging title, but by the end of the year there could well be many more CSOs.

Evans says most of the most lucrative appointments have been internal because these are the people who best understand the enterprise and can work with what its investors expect.

The report was a tad disappointing on women, Evans said. “To be honest I was surprised there was a pay gap” especially after the strong result from women’s pays last year.

“It’s looks like we’ve gone backwards a bit.” But then again the stronger representation in the report from the mining sector, which is skewed towards males, might be the cause of the discrepancy in expectations.

“And doesn’t’ reflect what we’re seeing. Anecdotally, diversity and inclusion is front and centre and men and women are not being paid any different.” This is especially so for candidates for new roles

Among those hiring aggressively is Woolworths. “They have been building capability and capacity and hiring quite aggressively in the market.”

But it’s the property companies that are most satisfying to work with he says because “they got rid of compliance a long time ago and they’ve got different strategies – some are quite aspirational.”

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