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How to Get a Pay Rise During a Pandemic

01 December 2020

By Adam Butler

How to Get a Pay Rise During a Pandemic

One of the most eye watering impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, apart from the stark loss of life, has been the damage this seemingly simple virus has done to business, public finances, and the entire UK economy. Now some of you may say, it was the restrictions that caused the economic damage and if we had reacted sooner the lockdowns could have been avoided. Others may say if we had had a more targeted approach we wouldn’t have needed to close so many parts of the UK market. Well hindsight is 20-20 and whatever you may think we are stuck with the largest national debt during peace time and the largest reduction in economic output since the 1700s.

This dreadful reality means that, both the government and private sector businesses will need to find savings. One of the largest operational expenses of any business and public sector institution is salaries / pay. Although there have been hiring freezes in the public sector and redundancies in the private sector it is likely this will not go far enough. The fact is that many businesses will not be offering pay rise to their staff this year and this has given Rishi Sunak, The Chancellor of the Exchequer, cover to announce that, barring some NHS staff, all public sector pay will be frozen. It would be easy to just accept that a pay rise is just something that is not going to happen this year and it is just another thing that is out of your control. I disagree, it is very much in your control and as a recruiter I can help you get that pay rise.

What can you do to get a pay rise this year?

Whether you work in the public or private sector you have likely have been expected to continue delivering for your employer despite facing difficult working conditions, extra responsibility and an increased workload if your team has lost people to redundancy. So, what can you do if your contribution is not recognised? Simple, find a new job. When looking for a new job almost all candidates I speak to say they would like an increase in salary, and why would you not want that? If you are going to take the time to find a new job it needs to be at the salary level you deserve. Speaking to a recruiter can help you achieve this.

Recruiters can help in this situation in three simple ways:

1.     Market rate

Recruiters speak to their clients every single day about salaries, benefits and working conditions. Recruiters know what you are worth in your market and how valuable you are to other employers.

2.     Negotiation

A good recruiter will help you negotiate the salary you deserve. Having a third person in the conversation, a middleman, helps keep the conversation business like and not personal. Recruiters can help drive a good offer for you now which will also benefit you in the years to come (when annual pay rises return they will likely be a percentage of your current pay so the more you start on with a company the more your salary could increase over the few years.)

3.     They know who pays best

As well as knowing what you are worth, a good recruiter will also be able to advise you on who pays best in your market. Not only the best salaries but also who offers the best bonuses, who offers the best car allowance and so on.

This year has been tough for many of us and the lack of any meaningful pay rise would be just another disappointment on a long list of disappointments. However, this does not have to be the case. If you work with an experienced recruiter, who focuses on your sector, they can help you find a new role with an increased salary. It may not seem like it but now is an excellent time to look for a new role. With the new year approaching fast, new hiring budgets will be signed off and you have a chance to start the new year in a great job with a fantastic salary.

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