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Planning will pay off

Karen Young offers some advice on that most important of skills – negotiating a pay rise!

January 2016

Over half of finance professionals are unhappy with their salary, according to the Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2016 report, yet only a third asked for a pay rise in the last year. Despite salaries for PQs increasing by an average of 2%, many of you are dissatisfied with your pay. But only 35% of you asked for a pay rise in the past year and just 20% were successful. With so few successful pay rise negotiations taking place, it is important to plan your approach carefully. Asking for a pay rise can feel taboo, but it doesn’t need to be. Preparation is key, as you will need to present a strong business case to your employer to show that you have added value to the organisation and deserve a pay rise.
If you are about to ask for a pay rise, here are my do’s and don’ts for a successful negotiation.

What to do:
• Know your worth – research the market so you know what other employers are offering for your level of experience and location. You can find online salary guides and search for similar online jobs to help you do this.
• Build a business case – if you want a pay rise you will need to prove your worth by demonstrating and quantifying the value you bring to your organisation. Why not show any evidence from your research to your employer?
• Time it right – time your request in accordance with regular pay and performance reviews or after a big achievement. Planning is important; ultimately, this is a business decision and the right timing will increase your chances of a successful result.
• Consider other benefits – are there other financial or non-financial rewards that you would accept? Employers may offer training or additional benefits instead of pay and some of these may be as valuable to you as a salary boost at this stage in your career.
• Be polite – however the negotiation goes, don’t forget to thank your boss for their time and consideration.

What NOT to do:
• Take it personally – stay calm and focused and treat the discussions as you would any other business transaction.
• Rush to a decision – you don’t have to agree on the spot. Take time to consider your employer’s offer before accepting.
• Dismiss a lower offer – think about what offer you would accept from your employer if they do not agree to your desired increase.
• Think it is now or never – if your employer is not willing to increase your salary now, make sure you set a date for another pay review.
• Be lost for words – your employer is likely to question you about the reasons you deserve a salary increase, anticipate these questions and prepare your answers.
For more information visit www.hays.co.uk/pq
• Karen Young, Director, Hays Accountancy and Finance

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