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Watch Your Worth

During recruitment processes, prospective employers evaluate current salary not just as a metric for what they might need to pay to hire you.

I also regularly see opinions towards someone’s ability being coloured if salary is below market rate. There may well be very good reasons for this (such as cash swapped for equity) but it’s something to be aware of.

I therefore counsel candidates I represent around two things:

(1) Know your worth
(2) If you are paid below market, ensure that your current remuneration isn’t the reference point for negotiating your new package

Here are five steps to ensure you are competitively compensated.

1: Research your market value.
◾️  Be clear on your worth compared to similar roles within your industry. Some companies will pay better than others so use a range or take a mid-point. It’s difficult to get hard remuneration data easily so use a trusted executive search contact as a sense check.

2: Demonstrate your future contribution to company vision:
◾️  Be clear on the company’s bigger picture and vision and how your role will support this. Be specific with how you fit into this and the demonstrable value you bring to the equation.

3: Quantify your achievements at annual review time
◾️ Take the time to compile a list of your accomplishments and impact since your last salary review. Quantify these with solid metrics, percentages or financial figures to show your tangible value to the organisation.

4: Get future commitments in writing:
◾️ During remuneration discussions, promises can often be made for 3, 6 or even 12 months away in lieu of a bigger short-term increase to your pay. Whilst this may prove acceptable, get it in writing to ensure accountability and avoid the possibility of ambiguity.

5: Remember that salary negotiations are a two-way street:
◾️ Salary negotiations are about achieving an outcome where both parties feel there is a fair deal reached. If an employee feels undervalued, it will be reflected in their engagement, performance and quite possibly tenure. If an employer feels they are paying over the odds for someone, expectations around performance will climb significantly and it may create internal inconsistencies in pay.

Be clear on where you’re prepared to compromise and leave emotions at the door.

About BartonRock: BartonRock is the executive search partner for high-growth consumer and retail businesses

We manage the careers of executives whose know-how and commercial acumen steer the strategic direction for companies to thrive.

Our assignments search for executives who understand how to operate in dynamic and entrepreneurial environments.

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