Preparation and timing are key for employees when trying to negotiate a pay rise, according to a jobs expert.
With living costs surging, and some employers struggling to fill key roles, some employees will be looking for opportunities to open up conversations about pay.
James Reed, chairman of Reed.co.uk, said: “Whether it’s with a current or prospective employer, the ability to negotiate a salary increase is an essential skill that should be in everyone’s toolkit.
“In fact, recent Reed.co.uk research found that 70% of people believe salary negotiation should be taught during their education.”
He said that with worker shortages, now would be a good time to assess the salary options that could be available in the wider jobs market as well as employees perhaps using their value to secure a higher salary in their current role.
However, it is crucial that the matter is approached in the right way, Mr Reed added.
Here are his tips for negotiating a pay increase:
1. Arrange a meeting.
Fears of unsettling their current work situation can lead some people to avoid exploring the possibility of a pay rise in a formal meeting, Mr Reed said.
He said: “To get the ball rolling, start the conversation by requesting one-to-one time with your manager to discuss your performance to date.”
2. Make preparations.
Employees could consider some of their recent achievements, the knowledge and the experience they bring to their role, and link this to their request for a pay rise.
Mr Reed suggested that if the business or team is experiencing a period of growth, employees could highlight how their efforts have contributed to this broader success.
People can also use online salary checkers to research comparable salaries for their role, to help make sure requests are reasonable.
3. Try to time the request correctly.
Given the challenging economic landscape many firms face, it is advisable to tread carefully when asking for a pay rise, consider timing carefully, and stay attuned to the stability of the sector, Mr Reed said.
He said: “Sometimes, there are genuine reasons why you may not be able to secure a pay rise, such as a lack of available funds. If you haven’t been able to negotiate the pay rise you wanted despite your best efforts, be careful not to burn any bridges.”
He pointed out that even if an employee decides to look for another job as a means of securing a pay rise, they may need to rely on a reference from their current manager to seal the deal.
4. Negotiate for benefits.
Even if an employee cannot secure a pay increase, there may be other benefits that can be negotiated, such as more flexible working hours.
There may also be the possibility of funding for training or development, which could enhance an employee’s skills as well as making them potentially a more valuable asset to a company or alternative employers in the future.