21 July 2022

Is your employer paying you enough?

The UK’s cost of living crisis is something on everyone’s lips at the moment, from the dramatic rise in the costs of fuel and utility bills to the somewhat humorous response to the startling rise in the cost of a pack of Lurpak.

At times when our money goes less far, it’s inevitable that we start to question the livelihood our career provides us. In particular, we ask ourselves if our employer is paying us what we’re due. Whether you’ve felt underpaid for a long time, or the recent rise in costs has made you question if you’re being underpaid, there are a few ways you can assess this rather delicate subject. Here are our top tips if you feel you might be underpaid:

What is your employer offering new starters?

Websites like Indeed allow users to view expired job ads as well as new ones, while this might seem like a useless function it comes in really handy for snooping on what your has been offering other candidates for roles similar to yours.

It’s for this reason that many employers choose not to advertise the exact salary instead referring to salaries as ‘competitive’ or ‘in line with the market’. But it’s worth checking in case your employer does post salary offerings. This will not only give you a great indication of if you are being paid enough, but it will also provide you with good leverage to negotiate with if you are not.

What are other employers offering?

Once you’ve found out what your employer is offering new starters, it’s time to look at what you could get if you moved jobs. Spend a bit of time trawling job sites looking for roles that don’t just match your job title, but ones where the day-to-day functions, responsibilities and KPIs match your current role.

This is one of the best ways to assess your own salary but remember to consider some key variables: factors such as sector and location can have a dramatic influence on pay. For example, jobs in the charity sector tend to pay less than the private, and jobs in London typically attract considerably higher salaries, so unless you’re considering moving sector and/or region these may not be applicable.

When was your last pay rise?

Once you know what your employer (and other employers) are offering people similar to yourself, consider when you last got a real hike in pay. While employers will typically increase salaries by a small percentage annually to keep up with inflation, if you haven’t had a performance/experience-related pay rise in a number of years it’s time to consider if you are due one.

It could simply be that you’ve been overlooked, if you haven’t had a performance review recently you should speak to your manager and ask for one. These not only let you find out ways you can improve at your job, but they also provide a great platform to negotiate pay rises, or to discuss what you would need to go in order to merit a pay hike.

How have you developed in your time in the company?

Now it’s time to look within, how do you feel you’ve developed in your time with your employer? Have you developed any new skills or earnt accreditations that would allow you to command a higher wage if you went for the same job today.

This can sometimes feel a bit of a thorny issue, especially if your employer has invested in your development by funding courses and additional accreditations you may feel you owe them for this therefore you shouldn’t expect more pay. However, don’t shoot yourself in the foot by staying loyal to an employer who has undervalued you for a prolonged period.

Talk to a recruitment consultant

No matter if you feel you have been underpaid for a long time, or that the cost of living crisis is making you feel the squeeze and you feel you deserve more. Consider talking to a Recruitment Consultant. Recruitment Consultants are uniquely positioned in the job market to provide potential candidates with a realistic estimate of how much they could be earning.