Salary Negotiations, Part 1 - How To Appraise Your Market Value






Recently, we polled candidates and discovered that 54% of them had never asked for a pay rise, but 21% had in the last six months. In the current market, where salaries are growing, many employees are conscious that new recruits could be getting paid more than them and that loyalty is not always rewarded. From our conversations with passive talent, we believe that more people are considering this conversation. Still, many people don’t feel they know how to do this in a way that is constructive in the employee-employer relationship. After all, asking for a salary uplift can be one of the most stressful experiences at work.


We have prepared a four-part guide on this subject. This will cover appraising your value in the market, laying the groundwork for a negotiation with your current employer, including specific tips for women negotiating their salaries, how to negotiate with a new employer, and final preparations for a negotiation. Hopefully, you will have all of the tools for success at your disposal and the confidence to move forwards.


Work out the tangible value of your current package


Before entering into any negotiation, it’s important to know your complete package and what is important to you. Many people are not aware of their bonus potential, the details of a commission scheme, what benefits they receive or the financial value of these.


All of the below can and should be considered when calculating your current package.

  • Salary

  • Bonus

  • Options or Equity

  • Overtime

  • On-call

  • Commission

  • Pension

  • Car allowance or company car

  • Flexible benefits

  • Health and dental insurance

  • Income protection insurance

  • How many days holidays

  • Other perks you value and use

  • Cost of your commute if not working from home

  • Flexible/hybrid/remote working or a four-day week.

  • Paid qualifications

  • Access to online learning and development

  • Conference attendance

The intangibles can be more important


Lastly, don't forget to consider the value of the experience you’re getting. It’s intangible, but once you’ve worked out the compensation element, write down the top three things that are important to you outside of this. For example, are you getting to work with a new technology or market that will add value to your career? Are you receiving valuable training or coaching? Is it important to work for a company with a specific culture or values? Or, if work-life balance is important to you, work out how many hours do you work a week?


Ensure you know what it’s important to you and where you are now, keep a note of this and be sure to factor it in.


How to benchmark your salary and appraise your value


While it can be hard to identify whether your salary is appropriate, there are things you can do to gather information.

  • Speak to recruiters in your sector and ask for their opinion

  • Ask your friends and network contacts

  • Read job adverts on major job boards and look at what people are paying now

  • Look at salary survey guides online

  • Use websites like Glassdoor or IT Jobs Watch for relevant salary information

  • Look at the websites of other similar companies and any companies that compete for the same talent as your employer to see if they have salaries advertised.

Glassdoor data is not always accurate, salary guides go out of date, and many companies don’t share what they’re paying on their career sites. Over the last year, many companies in the technology sector have started benchmarking their salaries on a quarterly rather than annual basis as the rate of increase has been so swift, so consider this when reviewing a salary guide.


Anecdotally, more male candidates seek this kind of advice from recruiters than female candidates. Experienced specialist recruiters are always happy to give you an overview of the market and what you could realistically achieve that aligns with your aspirations, so call on your network.


Next Steps


Once you’ve done your research, if you believe you are underpaid, it’s good to start planning how to address this - not only in terms of negotiation. Think to yourself if you want to stay with your current employer. Businesses often don't realise that people are underpaid until it is brought to their attention, and if you want to stay with your current employer, start working on your business case for a raise.


It’s important to note that sometimes there can be an imbalance in salary within an organisation. If you find out you’ve been treated unfavourably, it can be best to move on in some instances. For example, if you find out that others are paid more than you and the only factor for the disparity is gender, I’d move on if it’s not addressed promptly.


Next week we will cover laying the groundwork for these conversations, how to build a business case and delve into avoiding social cost in a salary negotiation.



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We help fintech and cyber security businesses grow, scale, and become as successful as possible by hiring the best people in the most effective and impactful manner. Lucent was founded to beyond the usual transactional approach because one size fits does not fill all - businesses going through start-up and scale-up periods need bespoke, adaptable recruitment solutions and services created by experts. So we go above and beyond.


We work differently in the structures, systems and processes we use. That makes us more flexible and responsive – giving you faster access to higher-quality leadership and commercial talent, data-backed market intelligence and transparent progress reporting across executive search, key hires and people solutions.