Salary negotiations are one of the toughest aspects of career progression; aside from the actual work that is. Considering today’s economy and the current unemployment rate, it would be conceivable that the power in these situations is controlled by the employer, however it is actually dictated by the scarcity of the skills required to fill the vacancies. In essence, it all boils down to Supply and Demand.
Ireland is currently experiencing a two-tier labour market characterised by an oversupply of workers for semi-skilled roles and a shortage in some sectors of highly skilled workers. Favourable business conditions on our green shores have generated significant FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) and job creation in particular areas of the economy. In sectors showing green shoots of recovery; IT, Science and Pharmaceuticals, there is an apparent demand for certain key skill sets and in these areas, there is room for salary negotiation.
In a survey conducted by Cpl of 367 high level HR professionals, 24% said that they expected to increase remuneration packages in 2012. But what is the best way of negotiating your salary? We’ve compiled some top tips for both the pre-offer package negotiations and on how to get a raise.
Negotiating your salary before you sign your contract:
- Information is power. Know your market value. Check out our recently compiled Salary Guide 2012 to find out what the market rates are for employees with your experience. Ring recruitment agencies like Cpl to determine what particular companies will pay and talk to people within the organisation.
- Have valid reasons for why you deserve a higher salary – identify your key skill sets and sell your attributes to the company.
- Asking for €2,000 – €3,000 above the advertised salary is not unreasonable and the company will probably meet you in the middle. Ask for too much though and you could price yourself out of the position, it’s a fine balance.
- Understand what you can and can’t negotiate on. In some cases, if the organisation is not prepared to move on the base salary, consider negotiating for additional benefits; packages like car allowance, health insurance etc.
- Benefits (Pensions, for example) may normally kick in after a year or two or employment and you may be able to bring these forward. This can be seen by the hiring team as a more cost effective method of giving you a better compensation package and can benefit you significantly in the long run.
While some of the tips above are transferable to securing a pay rise, you should also consider the following pointers when looking for a raise within your current job.
- Be the best. Know your boss’ boss and impress them. Tell people how good you are and specifically how you’re making a difference. Companies will want to make sure that they keep good employees.
- Know when to ask for a raise. How?! The answer is simple; when the company has decided they want you. (See point above!)
- If your employers aren’t budging during negotiations, consider a pay rise based on key performance indicators. That way, if you meet these targets, your employers also succeed and will be more comfortable giving you a bonus.
The most important aspect of negotiations is to know what you’re worth and remember; no one is going to give you a rise unless you push for it – especially in today’s climate.
Best of luck!
To listen to Peter Cosgrove’s interview with Newstalk’s Tom Dunne on pay rises, click the link below.