WORKERS can learn the skills required to successfully negotiate a pay rise – and turn Australia’s current low unemployment levels to their advantage.
The unemployment rate has hit an eight-year low and experts say employees now have “strong bargaining power’’ to increase their salary.
But Robert Half Australia director Andrew Morris says workers must first do their homework to ensure they are well skilled to argue their case.
“There is definitely a skill involved in successfully negotiating for a pay rise … (and it) is an important skill that you’ll use all throughout your professional life, and a process that can always be further developed,’’ Morris says.
“Confidence and persistence are key.
“When asking your boss for a pay rise, you need to be able to convey with confidence what value you bring to your company and state your case effectively on why you believe you deserve a higher salary.
“If you’re not successful, ask again in six months’ time.’’
Morris says too often workers will fail to win a pay rise because they link their argument to their tenure at a company or compare themselves to colleagues, instead of concentrating on their own performance.
He advises workers, when scheduling an appointment with their boss, to forewarn of their desire to discuss salaries, rather than spring the conversation on employers without notice.
If discussions do not reach the desired outcome, workers should remain respectful, invite feedback and insist on regular catch-ups to track performance so that they are successful the next time, Morris says.
Adecco Group chief executive Rafael Moyano says workers who are able to provide evidence of their value to a company present the strongest argument for a pay rise.
“Concrete examples that can be quantified, such as sales results or new business successes are the most effective, but anecdotes that prove how you have gone beyond your job role are also important,’’ Moyano says.
Moyano says in general, the current market favours employees, although he warns workers to be realistic about the increase they request.
“Australian unemployment is at its lowest since 2012 at around 5 per cent, making it more challenging for companies to source the right talent,’’ he says.
“Challenges in recruitment mean employees that have made themselves invaluable through building client relationships, delivering high sales or developing technical skills, have strong bargaining power that can be used to increase their salary.
“This is particularly true for industries experiencing a skills gap, such as mining.’’
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