Operations director, Heather, shares her tips on how to have that difficult conversation about salaries and pay rises.
“There is no doubt that the media are bigging up the fact that the national average pay growth is not really going anywhere, at least for a while. It’s bound to be the case because we are still experiencing tough times out there. However with inflation and cost of living on the rise, your salary is important and so it’s equally important that you negotiate when it is the right time.
Here are a few tips to negotiate an often difficult conversation that might be worth considering.
Going for an interview?
- If you’re going for an interview do your research into going rates for similar jobs in the area you are looking. Speak to your recruitment consultant and have the conversation so you can understand the market and also the boundaries.
- Make sure that you are prepared to have the conversation and know what you’re willing to accept before you walk in the door but don’t make the first offer – let them do that.
- Make sure you are clear at interview what the remuneration package is and what your progress is likely to be. Can the salary be reviewed after 6 months and what do you need to do to achieve it?
- When the offer comes in and it’s not what you want it’s ok to negotiate, but only if what you want is within the band originally advertised. Something along the lines of this seems to work. As I suggested during our last conversation, I was hoping the salary would be higher. I’m really excited about the prospect of working for your company, so I’m willing to be flexible, but the number I had in mind was £X. I think I’m worth this because of A, B, and C value I will bring to the company.”
Annual appraisal coming up
- Make sure you prepare well and practice having the conversation with a friend.
- If pay is performance related then you need proof. Take along a log of what you’ve done well throughout the year.
- Equally understand how the company is doing financially and make sure what you’re asking for is not completely out of the question or unrealistic.
Despite your best efforts, there may simply not be enough money in the budget to increase your salary or compensation package. The company may also not want to create inequities by paying one person more than others in a similar position. In that case, you can at least know you tried. Plus, if this is a job you really love, consider whether the company culture, the benefits, and the job itself are worth it – regardless of the salary.