Now is the time to push your salary up!
One of the best things that I get to do in my job, albeit not so much over the recession, is to advise candidates that they should be asking for more money.
- We are not in recession any more, we are in growth.
- The jobs market is tightening; More jobs & fewer candidates.
- Most retailers have by-and-large stabilised…even Tesco.
You will have seen the press recently about large scale pay increases in the US, with Walmart, McDonalds and Dominos all making significant pledges: http://www.mlive.com/business. There is also a growing pressure on government, in the UK, to increase the minimum wage or move to a living wage model. But how does this impact you?
Well, anecdotally, we have seen significant improvements over the past 12-18 months on salary & packages at the mid-senior management level (£50-150k). Indeed, the job market has tightened quite considerably since Autumn 2014. The unemployed candidate pool has shrunk to almost normal levels (in Retail at this level), with the usual ebb and flow one would expect in this space. The influx of people coming out of P4U and Tesco over the last 6 months has barely been felt with most people back in employment incredibly quickly. When you compare to the collapse of Woolies, Comet et al, it is a different world.
Many people at mid level look at some of the less positive national employment data and wrongly assume that this applies to all job functions and levels. It doesn’t. Retail cut faster and harder than any other employment sector. A full year ahead of Lehmans, we saw this from late summer 2007.
8 Years ago!
The public sector is still trying to align itself to the real world with various predictions of the budget not being balanced until 2020, or beyond (12 years to get the house in order… you are lucky if you get 12 weeks in retail if the numbers drop, but hey-ho!).
Retail is now under-resourced in many functions, especially the newer areas such as digital. Over the recession Area Managers and Divisional Managers were seen as a cost centre, and were cut accordingly. As a result succession was stymied and a talent shortage is developing across the market. As growth kicks in, plenty of big retailers are knocking on the door of double digit L4L’s in some categories / geographies; and field managers will be seen as a profit centre. L&D is getting investment again too. I am seeing this talent shortage now – in the agency world you have the benefit of working with multiple clients so you develop a relatively balanced view. So demand is beginning to exceed supply and we all know what that drives.
A cynic might accuse me of driving the wrong behaviours or expectations. Go for it, that’s fine. The reality is that many large employers have taken advantage over the recession because supply exceeded demand.
So, at long last, I am getting the opportunity to say to some candidates…
“Don’t undervalue yourself, you should be asking for more.”
P.S. I am seriously going to regret this blog given I have a number of offers pending!