Negotiating a pay rise in 2021

Although your salary isn’t the most important aspect of your job, it still determines your loyalty,  quality of life, and overall job satisfaction. Whether you’re at mid to senior level or progressing into your first board-level appointment, negotiating a pay rise should still be a priority, regardless of seniority. 

At Apsida, we spend time with our candidates and clients consulting them on employment packages. This can range from the benefits a company offers through to the salary and bonus structure depending on the role. 

We’re going to focus specifically on salary in this article, however, we’ll also make reference to other parts of your package to consider when entering a negotiation (such as bonuses, commission, and employee benefits).

Why you should negotiate a pay rise

Simply put, negotiating a pay rise should be an important conversation that you have, at a minimum, annually, with your employer. Here are some of our key reasons as to why you should do this:

It allows you to foster an open dialogue with your employer

Communication is key, and having conversations about salary increase allows you to create an open and honest dialogue with your employer. The modern workforce rightfully demands better working conditions, healthier salaries and a multitude of benefits, and employees and new talent alike hold the power when it comes to seeking opportunities. 

Although the employment market in many sectors is still recovering from Covid-19, the Life Sciences industry has continued to prosper, meaning these attitudes and requests haven’t faltered. 

It demonstrates loyalty and long-term thinking

If you’re apprehensive about discussing a pay rise, we completely understand. It can feel daunting, especially if you’re still in the early stages of your employment. However, talking about a salary increase demonstrates that you have a long-term mindset, and have intentions to stay with your current employer. 

From our experience in the industry, we know that one of the main motivators when looking for a new opportunity is an increase in salary. Having conversations like this with your employer evidences your desire to grow with the company, as long as you’re compensated properly. 

Finally, it allows you to uncover earlier on in your tenure if you are a long-term match for your employer. If you are aligned from the get-go, it will give you confidence that you’re valued and respected in the company. 

When you should negotiate a pay rise

It’s important to note that each individual scenario should be treated on a case by case basis, and unfortunately, there isn’t a one size fits all approach to negotiating a pay rise. However, there are a few triggers that you can use to gauge whether negotiating a pay rise is appropriate: 

You have been with the organisation for at least one year

Although a lot of employment packages will include an annual pay review, you can still enter a negotiation for a salary that is higher than what you’ve been offered. Equally, if you have not been scheduled in for a pay review after a year, we recommend setting up a meeting to discuss your salary as you should be eligible for a raise. 

You have received consistently positive feedback for 6 consecutive months

Whether it’s due to the completion of a large project, or simply due to excellent performance, this should give you enough evidence and reasoning to schedule a meeting to talk about a salary increase.

You have conducted research on market-rate salary averages

Although your employer should make a conscious effort to stay up to date with market-rate salaries, you shouldn’t rely on them solely for this information. At Apsida, we spend time conducting salary benchmarking exercises for a variety of clients, so you can either ask for this information from us directly or from conducting personal research. 

If your research shows that you’re being paid below the market rate, you should flag this with your employer and ask for an increase.

In conclusion…

Finally, it’s important in all scenarios to negotiate a pay rise with research and evidence, to ensure that you are prepared to answer any questions from your employer when asking for a pay rise. If you aren’t granted a pay rise, it’s crucial to understand the reasons why, so you can make an informed decision on whether you would like to stay with the company or not. 

For example, if you are in a commission-based role or have the opportunity to earn additional bonuses, you should take this into consideration for your overall package, especially if the bonus structure is unique to the company that you work for. Also, if you receive premium benefits that would otherwise be unavailable at another business, you have to weigh up the pros and cons of your overall package. 

Making rash decisions will only do more damage than good, so make sure that you take time, regardless of the outcome, to digest the information presented to you (whatever the outcome). 

We are always open to speaking with candidates who are looking to take these steps, and we can help to consult you confidentially on what the best measures would be for you to take. 

 

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