The gulf between employee and employer pay rise expectations continues to widen, says recruiting experts Hays.
According to a recent survey of 498 New Zealanders conducted by Hays, 35 per cent expect their salary to rise by more than six per cent in their next review. A further 28 per cent expect an increase between three and six per cent, while 37 per cent expect less than three per cent.
But employer expectations are not in alignment. According to the 2012 Hays Salary Guide, in New Zealand 63 per cent of employers intend to increase salaries by less than three per cent when they next review. 22 per cent will increase between three and six per cent and six per cent will increase above six per cent. The final nine per cent will not offer any increases.
"These intentions are clearly at odds with candidate expectations - particularly those of candidates in demand," says Jason Walker, Managing Director of Hays in New Zealand. "We're seeing a widening gap between salary expectations in all of the pay ranges.
"While many employers are still willing to increase salaries, they are doing so moderately and are instead focusing on non-financial rewards, such as flexible work practices. They are also quick to discuss potential career paths with their high achievers. In addition, some employers are improving benefits, such as bonuses based on individual and company performance, parking and salary sacrifice.
"But employees and job seekers are clearly still focused on the money, and this will likely remain the case for some time."
If you are approaching your next salary review, Hays has this advice to help you maximise your chances of getting an increase:
Prepare a list of your recent achievements that exceed your objectives. If this is your first review, look back at your original job description. List the resulting benefit to the company. This gives you strong evidence to support the value you are providing to the business.
Also list any changed or increased work volumes or duties you're now undertaking.
Be realistic. State the salary you feel your performance and results are worth, and back it up with evidence from a Salary Guide to show it is in line with current market rates.
Keep your salary review discussion professional. Stay calm and focused. Do not become emotional and do not talk of how much money you need - for example, as a result of rising bills or mortgage repayments. Keep your review purely professional.
Have a fall-back position. If your employer cannot afford to increase your salary, can you agree a date for another pay review in three or six months? What about additional annual leave, study or other benefits?
Above all, use your accomplishments and the value you add to the organisation as the basis of your negotiation. In this way, you'll clearly demonstrate your worth and will be in a stronger position to secure the maximum of the salary increase on offer.
Hays, the world's leading recruiting experts in qualified, professional and skilled people.
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