Pay strategies that really work

Since the turn of the year, the news agenda has been dominated by the rising cost of living and the increasing intensity of the so-called salary wars that are seeing many people ditching their current employers in search of higher paid positions elsewhere – often to do the very same role they already have. But what if a salary increase has as yet not been forthcoming and you feel perhaps it should, what can you do about it?

You may be surprised to learn that you have a lot more control and influence when it comes to salary negotiations than you might think. We will talk you through some of the steps you can take to make this happen for you, but before we do let’s take a moment to consider the potential viewpoint of your employer.

Right now, organisations are facing a set of challenges. Although growth in the economy is driving demand for talent, job movement remains slower than anticipated. This in turn is pushing salaries upwards as employers clamber over one another to secure the people they need to fill the positions they have – positions that are likely to be critical to the organisation’s continued growth.

It is a nightmare scenario for employers who are losing great talent, as well as those who are being compelled to boost salaries in a bid to remain competitive in the talent war.

However, what we are seeing is people moving to new roles in search of achieving a higher renumeration without necessarily looking at how they can do so without the need to jump ship in search of greater spoils elsewhere.

The first thing to do is a benchmarking exercise. Research those salary surveys that are specific to your industry and role type to get an idea of how much your counterparts elsewhere may be paid. But caution does need to prevail here, as often the data can be out of date and not necessarily representative of the trends taking place in the here and now.

For a more accurate and real-time salary benchmark, speak with a recruiter like Maranello Search; they can tell you what you could and should be aiming for based on multiple factors such as the average salary for similar roles in the same industry sector and country as you. If your current salary falls below the going rate elsewhere, this will give you leverage by which to speak with your superior and start the conversion about a possible rise.

Of course, you also need to consider the context too. For example, if the company has recently lost a major contract that has resulted in redundancies, then now is not the time to be asking for a rise. If the reverse is true and a major contract has been won or the business has reported strong sales in the previous quarter, the timing could be just right.

Wanting a pay rise is not enough, nor is it something that anyone should be entitled to. Your employer is running a business and considering the events of the last two years they will be watching the coffers now more than ever and looking for how they can maximise the returns on any cost investment they make – that includes people.

Ask yourself, If I left the business today would I be leaving a gap that is hard to fill for my employer? Each person within the organisation has a clearly defined role to play, so when it comes to negotiating a salary improvement your job is to demonstrate the value that you add to the business. That means sharing your achievements over the past 12 months and quantifying them in terms of how the organisation has benefitted as a result – think in pounds and percentages.

If after all your efforts, negotiations reach an impasse and a salary increase is unlikely, simply leave. After all, you now have a clearer understanding and appreciation of your worth and the value you create. If your current employer either doesn’t recognise this or is unable to compensate you fairly, you are perfectly justified to consider whether this is the right environment for you to continue your career or not. Should the decision be taken to move on, your soon-to-be former employer will soon rue the day they allowed you to leave.



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