In today’s climate, equitable pay and conditions may not be at the forefront of many minds. After all, just keeping a job will be seen by many as winning. However, this doesn’t mean we should ignore the matter, as whatever we settle on could be with us for years to come and may have a materially adverse impact on our quality of life. Further, if you work in a thriving growth sector, you will be in a strong negotiating position, despite the wider economic difficulties.
When going out to seek equitable pay conditions or negotiate a job offer there are a number of things that should be considered beforehand in order to maximise your chances of securing just compensation.
AKEPB has prepared this comprehensive best practice guide to help with negotiating pay and employment conditions and is also offering 1-to-1 assistance with your CV, cover letter or interview preparation. Please contact us on [email protected] and we’ll be happy to help.
Reflection on Your Position
Prior to diving into discussions with an employer about the matter of pay, it is crucial to take some time to understand your role in the firm and your value in the wider labour market. When it comes to negotiation, your ability to justify a pay rate is significantly enhanced if there is a clear disparity between your pay and that of a counterpart in another firm or branch of the organisation. Furthermore, if the circumstances in the market have resulted in your role becoming one that is heavily sought-after, this too could contribute to your case.
Have the Right Motivation
Why are you asking for a particular salary and conditions? Whilst this may seem like a question that has an obvious answer, your subconscious motivation will play a role in the perception of your request. It is worth ensuring that you do not come across as being interested solely in personal financial gain. Rather, consider the pay rise as emblematic of long-term growth, a reflection of your self-worth and your willingness to commit to the company. In certain scenarios, however, taking on more responsibility, and by extension proving your ability, may be a more organic way of justifying a potential pay rise later down the line rather than a larger upfront salary.
Timing is Critical
The art of negotiation revolves heavily around timing. Consider the state of your firm’s finances. If the organisation in which you work has been experiencing turbulent times it may be worth delaying your request to coincide with a moment of success, thus ensuring the sentiment amongst management is in your favour. Go into the discussion with a robust understanding of the firm’s constraints and their approach to compensation. On a more granular level, think about timing your appeal with your development review (or equivalent). Finally, ensure that you request a meeting with your manager in advance and prep them on what you will be asking for so that they too can come prepared to the discussion.
Provide Ample Evidence
When it comes to making any case, evidence should form the basis of your position. Quantitative data points – such as, number of clients, past performance, commission rates, division growth etc. – will always be more tangible than sentiment leaving less room for subjectivity. Finally, think about growing your human capital outside of the workplace by taking courses or getting new qualifications as these will help justify your increase in value.
Have a Good Justification
Be sure to be prepared for questions from an employer. Collating your evidence and pre-empting potential points of rebuttal will help you demonstrate that your request is warranted and deserved. Demonstrate a willingness to join or stay at the firm and link this to your motivation to discuss pay.
Whilst your case may be water-tight and justified, sometimes circumstances outside of your control will make it hard for your employer to grant you a permanent pay rise. It is worth, therefore, having a few alternatives prepared – these may include a performance-based bonus, flexible hours, non-cash perks or firm-funded education.
Finally, try not to negotiate for the sake of negotiating. Not only will this leave a bad impression, but it may subconsciously result in your argument lacking authenticity. If you are devoted to your firm remember that pay can always increase further down the line and it may be worth sacrificing compensation to demonstrate loyalty and to gain experience.
Harvard Business Review
Michael Page Recruitment