The tug of war over salary rises
With inflation on an upward trend, the cost of living keeps rising and that means we’re all having to stretch our take-home pay that little bit more. On top of this, the increase in energy prices means we’re also left with less disposable income to spend on ‘all the nice things’ we want in life.
What does that mean for a job seeker?
What you’ve been earning last year will likely not feel enough to pay for your own costs this year. If that’s the case, there’s a danger that you’re being underpaid so simply put, you’ll naturally want a pay rise.
What does that mean for employers?
Employers can’t ignore that salary has and will be the most important decision factor when candidates consider moving jobs. Those who are hiring in 2022 have noticed the challenge in finding talent while workers have the upper hand. Why? The UK has low unemployment, so most of us are already working and we can be more selective when we accept a role. This means the employer must work harder to offer attractive roles.
Is it okay to ask for a salary rise?
Yes, and employers are listening.
It’s good news, Aspire is currently seeing salaries rise for the most appealing jobs. In fact, we have come across some candidates whose salaries have jumped up to 50% more than what they earned in their last role. That would make a substantial difference for anyone, but this kind of increase is not the norm for all roles, so don’t get too excited.
How would an employer respond to you asking for a rise?
Employers are candidates too, they are also feeling the pinch on their salary and just like you keen to earn more, so they understand where you’re coming from. But…
If you’re asking for a significant pay rise, you might just scare them a little.
To understand an employer’s perspective; they would have already created profit and loss accounts and projections for the year ahead. These may very well have been signed off before the crazy rise in inflation. Therefore, the salary rise you expect, one which is at the level that copes with the demand of inflation, would not have been accounted for. Their costs would have been budgeted for too, so there’s only so much they will be able to afford.
So how much should you expect?
Personally, I’ve experienced some candidates are asking for salaries far beyond what seems reasonable. If you ask for too much, you’ll eventually fall short. Not to mention, one large salary increase sets up a false expectation that you’ll get just as much of an increase, and just as often as everyone else. That’s usually not the case.
Can we make a truce?
In my opinion, the tug of war between employers and candidates can be eased slightly if there was an average increase used as a guideline.
Before the crisis, Aspire used to see the average candidate secure a role that gave them up to a 10% rise in salary. This 10% usually reflects the experience you have gained and the value you will bring to an organization as well as a good incentive as you move jobs.
Inflation has also risen by around 10%, therefore it is fair to say that job seekers want to see a 20% increase to account for the inflation plus the increase they would usually expect.
An example of an average increase could be (but is not limited to):
Current S$25k – increase to S$30k
Current S$30k – increase to S$36k
Current S$40k – increase to S$48k
Current S$50k – increase to S$60k
There is light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to wanting to get paid more, but it isn’t a time to try your luck with how much you can earn. Hopefully this guide helps both the employer and candidate form a truce with an average of what to expect if you’re looking for a new role.
If you’re looking to have a conversation about your pay rise but are not sure where to begin, have a look a read of this blog: How to ask for a pay rise with confidence.
And if you’re looking for a new role with an ideal salary, browse job opportunities here: Search for jobs
Don't forget our Salary Guide can also help you work out what other people in your role are earning: Get your copy.
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