Architects, construction workers and accountants are among those likely to receive pay rises over the next 12 months, according to a new survey of 3000 employers and workers by recruitment company Hays.
The survey found more than half (55 per cent) of all employers intend to raise wages by up to 3 per cent while one in 10 are willing to pay up to 6 per cent more.
But if you want to cash in, you’re going to have to ask. Bosses are hoping workers will remain content with what they have, with 42 per cent of surveyed staff already not expecting an increase.
Workers have some leverage
Hays talent expert Shane Little said employees should recognise they have more bargaining power than they realise when negotiating their wages this year.
Our closed international borders are making it harder for bosses to source cheap labour from overseas, which gives local professionals extra leverage in salary negotiations, he said.
“Skill shortages in certain sectors are growing more acute and that is leading to a supply and demand conversation that workers should understand,” Mr Little told The New Daily.
Employers are already preparing to give in.
Only 32 per cent expect to offer no pay rises over the next 12 months, according to Hay’s survey, down from 50 per cent in 2020.
But a large gap exists between what workers believe they’re worth and what bosses are offering: Two-thirds of staff want a larger rise than most employers are prepared to offer over the next 12 months.
And that means you need to improve your salary negotiation skills.
“Do a bit of research, check what the industry salaries look like compared to your own position and how market demand for skills is changing,” Mr Little said.
A key factor is whether you are willing to walk away from the job if negotiations fail. But Mr Little said it is best to avoid ultimatums because they could backfire.
If you aren’t given what you want, don’t forget that 70 per cent of employers are looking to hire this year, so finding a new job might be easier than you think.
Although it’s worth noting here, too, that seven in 10 workers are already keen to find a new job, so there will be plenty of competition.
Your ability to get a decent pay rise will also depend on your skills.
Employers told Hays they want people who have soft skills like teamwork (81 per cent), problem solving (79 per cent) and adaptability (70 per cent).
Unlike hard skills, it can be difficult to demonstrate these abilities, so your best bet here is to compile a list of examples where you have put these skills to good use.
Pay isn’t the only game in town
Lastly, make sure you think through all the implications before accepting a new job or different agreement with your current boss.
Salary is important, but it’s not everything.
It’s also worth taking into account work-life balance and the additional perks on offer as well.
Hays found almost three-quarters of workers aren’t satisfied with the extra benefits offered to them.
Workers said they wanted better flexible working options (79 per cent), career progression (52 per cent), and training opportunities (50 per cent).
And don’t forget: Businesses are increasingly competing with each other for talented and skilled staff, so don’t be afraid to talk up your value.