, NAIROBI, Kenya Nov 6 – A new survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers shows that only senior managers in Kenyan firms are being awarded salary increments.
According to the Human Resources Salary Survey 2009, senior managers salaries had gone up 30 percent while that of other employees only managed a slight increase of 10 percent, bringing into focus issues of pay equity.
Commenting on the findings, PWC Country Senior Partner Kuria Muchiru said many human resource practitioners have had to rethink HR policies in an effort to mitigate effects of the economic crisis.
Mr Muchiru said put in comparison, the difference between the highest and least paid individual, over the past year was more than 412 times.
For instance the highest paid individual was a chief executive in the Financial Services sector taking home Sh3.9 million monthly, compared to Sh2.5 million in 2007 when the last survey was conducted. This marked a 30.7 percent pay increase.
The lowest paid position was a room steward in the Professional Services sector at Sh9,450 per month up from Sh8,001 in 2007.
The survey shows pay increment disparities between different groups in an organisation. Personnel in management positions were awarded an annual average increment of 10.9 percent.
Companies were also found to respond differently to the economic crisis.
Thirty nine percent had retrenched staff, three percent had closed some of their branches and operations in certain services, while 18 percent had resorted to outsourcing services.
The biggest challenge for companies has been the delicate balancing act between aligning salary increments to the increasing rates of inflation and staying profitable.
“Generally, employees want to be paid more but there is a communication problem where employers are findinig it difficult to tell their staff how dire the situation was,” Mr Muchiru said.
The survey shows that a number of Kenyans living in the Diaspora were slowly taking up jobs in the Kenyan market. Each of the surveyed company was receiving an average of 72 applications per month translating to close to 8,000 applications, which it terms as brain gain.
“This is a reverse of what we had in the early 90’s when many Kenyans were looking for jobs abroad. Now opposed to losing talent, companies are slowly witnessing more and more talent applying for jobs,” he said.
The companies were found to be recruiting – on average – three of the 72 applications they receive. Fifty percent were recruited into middle management while 24 percent went to senior management.
According to Mr Muchiru, the main reasons for employing Kenyans returning from the Diaspora were their qualifications, experience and international exposure which companies feel could be a plus for their operations.
This group was however found to be posing different set challenges for employers, demanding higher salaries for their services.