As we have just published our salary survey for 2016 we would like to take this opportunity to talk a little bit about salary negotiations.  Perhaps you feel that your salary is not in line with the current market, or perhaps, you are gearing up to discuss your salary/salary expectations with your current or potential future employer. Either way, we would like to offer you a little advice on how to make the task a little less daunting. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to salary negotiations. We do believe that each situation is different and instead of following a strict set of guidelines, it is more important to assess the individual situation and use your best judgement. However, below are a few pointers that may help advise you on how to approach securing the salary you deserve.

Whether looking for a new actuarial job or attempting to elevate your existing position, you must do your research to ensure that your request is in line with the market. You can get this information through various mediums such as; talking to us here at Raretec, looking at salary surveys, talking to others in the actuarial profession, looking at job advertisements and other general research. A good understanding of the current market will give you a solid standpoint from which to base your negotiations and in turn, it will also help ensure that what you are asking for is realistic. It would be useful to find out what the salary band for your existing or potential new role is, to see if there is room for your salary to be increased.

Once you do know what you are asking for, you must then be prepared to present your case professionally. Have a list of reasons and examples as to why you believe you should be offered this salary. You may not need to produce the evidence but, it would be good to have them to hand if they are needed. Once you are prepared it will help you to communicate confidently.

If you are at a point in your current role where you are now looking for a raise in salary, then we suggest waiting until after you have had your performance review. It is important that your employer feels you are an asset to the company and that you are worth the investment. Asking for a salary raise after a poor performance review is certainly not advisable to say the least.

Employers do normally expect some salary negotiation during an offer process, but we do not advise tackling the matter until you are actually at offer stage. Your recruiter will have already told the company what you are currently on and what your salary expectations are. You should of course be ready to answer the question if you are asked, but if you do not feel comfortable, you can always redirect the interviewer to your recruiter who is your liaising agent after all. In our experience most employers will try to accommodate salary requests where they can as long as the salary is in line with others at the same grade in the organisation. Furthermore, it is unlikely that they would have selected you for interview if your salary expectations were completely out of line with the role.

In any negotiation everyone always looks for a  “win win” situation but unfortunately your salary request will not always be granted and it may be out of the power of your immediate superiors.  It is always important to be able to compromise. Before you make your request, we suggest mentally preparing yourself for a case in which the employer offers you a figure lower to the one that you have asked for. Assess how much lower you are willing to go and be aware that sometimes budgets simply cannot be stretched. If you feel it really is the role for you, then perhaps accepting a lower figure is worth it. There is room to grow in the majority of roles and you can always reassess the salary down the line. If you are adamant that the base salary is too low, but the employer is unwilling to move, perhaps you could also counter-request for a higher bonus, or more holiday days. On the other hand, perhaps it could be time to look for a new position?

If you would like to have a more in depth chat with us on how to go about asking for a salary increase, or if you need help with anything else for that matter, then please do get in touch with Jacqui van Teutem at 01 5311 400 or through email at jacqui.vanteutem@raretec.ie.