by CIO staff

Banking royal commission has driven tech wages up by 20%: recruiter

Jul 22, 2019
CareersEducation IndustryGovernment

The demand for tech staff with experience in business and digital transformation, project management and business analysis has grown exponentially in the past year driving up wages across the board in Australia’s East Coast.

Davidson’s 2019 Tech Salary Guide, just released, shows demand has been driven in NSW and Victoria, in no small part, by the findings of the financial services royal commission, which has banks and the financial services sector scrambling for staff to implement remediation processes, restructuring and data analysis.

While Queensland has been less affected by the royal commission with a lack of financial services head offices located in the northern state, demand for staff from the same talent pool has been driven by the resources sector and, to lesser extent, utilities.

“Competition for staff in the relatively small talent pool that is Brisbane has seen wages across the board rise steadily in the past 12 months, by as much as 20 per cent for some roles,” saidAllison Huf, general manager, Queensland at Davidson Technology.

“In the software and digital space, we have started to see unexpected movement in salary increases by at least 10 per cent in the past 12 months driven by the shortage of skilled resources in this sector.

“We recently offered a .net senior developer the highest wage we have ever been able to offer anyone in this space, such is the demand.”

In Victoria, the pressure for talent has seen small to medium business and startups struggle to compete against the financial services sector for experienced staff.

“Experienced programmers are being offered lucrative packages by companies eager to secure talent in such a niche field,”said Karmen Guthrie, practice manager, Victoria at Davidson Technology.

“Of particular value are those experienced working with Python, Spark, Snowflake, Glue and Athena, while the skills in cloud data such as AWS and Azure are also highly valued as organisations continue to migrate their data into the cloud.”

This demand has been mirrored in NSW with change professionals, business and data analysts alongside project managers highly sought after.

“The flow-on effect of this is a quickly diminishing pool of talent as the banking and financial services sector seek candidates outside of their historical parameters to help them undertake large-scale remediation projects,” said Spencer Stirrat, NSW general manager at Davidson Technology.

“Consequently, the race to find top talent is on and corporates looking to entice the right staff are implementing lucrative employment packages and salaries, which have jumped in the past year.

“This activity is pushing up contractor rates up for contractors experienced in risk, compliance and remediation by as much as 20 per cent.”

Government demand to jump

With State and Federal elections completed and Budgets released, Davidson believes demand for government contractors will improve in Q1 setting up a strong Q2 throughout Victoria, NSW and Queensland.

Contracting to continue growing

The growth in contracting for IT roles will continue through the rest of 2019 and into 2020.

Huf reports that as much as 60 per cent of Queensland roles on their books now are for contract positions. Stirrat said that in NSW, ICT contracting had been a strong area of growth which would not stop anytime soon while Guthrie said that in Victoria, the flexibility of contracting had proven popular with talent and this was keeping rates competitive.


The Davidson 2019 Tech Salary Guide clearly indicates a shortage of talent as banks, financial services companies, resources firms and SME’s compete for the same narrow pool of staff.

Most in demand are those with digital and business transformation experience as banks look to implement remediation strategies, while experienced programmers continue to be able to command high salaries.

Contracting will improve and grow in Q1 to prepare the way for a strong Q2 with government elections and budgets now handed down encouraging more activity in this sector.