Hays UK blog


Is it time to boost your earnings?

By Nigel Heap, Regional Managing Director, Hays

What’s your salary strategy?

However the world of work changes around us, one thing remains common – most of us want to be paid more than we are. In fact, according to our Hays UK Salary & Recruiting Trends 2018 report, almost 60% of us were unhappy with our salaries last year, a figure largely unchanged over the years we have carried out this research.

Although the overall average salary increase for the UK last year was 1.8%, it is generally only jobs in areas of skills shortages that have seen significant salary increases above this. Outside these areas many people are feeling unvalued and underpaid, and it’s the reason a third of those moving jobs are doing so.

Whether you are looking for a new job or a pay rise, it helps to know what your earning potential could be. Our salary checker tool has been designed with this in mind, it will enable you to benchmark your salary against your peers and find out whether you are earning in line with other professionals in your role and location.

Whether your pay is below or above average, there is action you can take today to develop your career path and improve your earning potential. Here’s what you can do now if you find out you are:

If you’re disheartened to find you are earning at the lower end of the range, or even underpaid, there’s lots you can do now to take action. If you don’t already have a career plan in place to help develop in your role then now’s the time to set one.

If you feel you’re out performing your job description and objectives, then it could be time to ask for a pay rise. Doing your research and understanding the market and the salaries of your peers will give you a stronger position in any salary negotiation. If there is no room for movement on your salary, and you feel there’s no potential for career progression in your current role, as 50% of people told us there wasn’t, it might be then time to seek expert advice and consider your options elsewhere.

If you are comfortably in the middle of your salary range now may be the time to think about your next step by focusing on skill development, expanding your network and seeking out advice from experts on how to accelerate your career.

Even if you are not currently in a position to seek a pay rise, by developing your skills to align with those most in demand, you’ll be poised to take up new opportunities in your current role or elsewhere. Think about where you want to be in the future, and what steps you need to take today to set you on your way forward.

If you’re at the top of (or even outperforming) your salary banding, you’re in an enviable position, but don’t be complacent. The market is quickly changing and the demand for new skillsets is prevalent across almost all disciplines. Are you thinking about what comes next? Perhaps it is time to prepare for that next step up within your organisation and start working on developing the required soft and technical skills for that next role. Or maybe you would consider a lateral move to pick up new skills in a different organisation or industry that is more suited to your development interests? While you may be enjoying your top-tier salary now, you should continue to invest in your future progress.

While it’s never nice to find out you’re underpaid, by benchmarking your salary now you will be in a far stronger position to take action and accelerate your career path and earning potential for the future.

Check your salary with Hays Salary Checker, to see if you are being paid in line with other professionals at your level.

About this author

Nigel is Regional Managing Director for Hays UK & Ireland and EMEA, and Chairman of Asia Pacific. He joined Hays UK in 1988 as a trainee consultant. By 1997, he was Managing Director of Hays Australia, and consequently expanded operations to New Zealand, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia. In 2006, he was appointed Managing Director of Asia Pacific. He became UK & Ireland Managing Director and Chairman of the Asia Pacific business in 2012. In 2018 Nigel was appointed Regional Managing Director for Hays UK & Ireland and EMEA, and retains his position as Chairman of Asia Pacific.


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