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salary alignment among peers

 
#1 salary alignment among peers
13/07/2013 10:59

Dan! Dan! Dan!

I found out that a colleague, in the same role and job grade, with a similar amount of experience, gets paid around 30% more than I. How entitled am I to ask for a raise, based on this fact alone?

Assume similar levels of capability.

Sure, everyone's salary is negotiated separately and there's no rule saying they should be the same. But that would be fine for differences up to around 10%. A 20-30k difference seems like a p1ss take.

And if your starting position is that you shouldn't be getting paid less at all, do you settle for closing the gap somewhat, or do you have to maintain that you should be getting paid the same amount?

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#2 RE: salary alignment among peers
14/07/2013 10:36

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#1)

Let the market correct it...

So brush up that CV and free yourself from internal company "policy" on your rate of pay...

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#3 RE: salary alignment among peers
14/07/2013 14:48

Dan! Dan! Dan! to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#2)

That's the obvious option, except that I want to stay in my current job and I don't feel particularly badly paid as it stands.

I guess my Q was also a more general one... Is finding out that a colleague (in the very same job as you) earns a lot more money a good enough reason, on its own, to ask for a raise? Or at least push your boss to explain/justify the gap?

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#4 RE: salary alignment among peers
14/07/2013 17:20

detoilet Consultant to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#3)

Your bosses don't need to justify anything - this happens all the time.

You say they are same experience - really ? I'd suggest they have better negotiating skills !

Also as well as negotiation skills timing is the usual pay differentiator.

Imagine your firm just wins 5m deal and it is time boxed on deliverables. They need someone quick their bench has only you and get a vacancy raised. At this point they may have to pay market rate+ to get the experience quick and if this coincided when the market was good (possibly pre2008 ?) then you'll find the premium is higher.

BEP is correct if it concerns you that much leave or improve your own negotiation skills.

Of course if Dan is short for Daniela you have another more obvious course of action!

DC

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#5 RE: salary alignment among peers
15/07/2013 13:13

Dan! Dan! Dan! to detoilet Consultant (#4)

Thanks for your thoughts.

I work in Industry, so timing is not that big a deal. More relevant is probably the fact that I joined years ago, and got to my current grade and salary through promotions, in line with the previously-mentioned 'internal policy' of my company on pay increases. My colleague joined more recently. He was obviously negotiating from a position of greater experience than I was back in my day, with only a couple of years of experience when I joined.

I don't think my company would admit to valuing experience gained externally above a career built internally (not to me, at least), i.e. being prepared to pay more to attract someone from outside, but not to reward loyalty / deter someone inside from leaving.

That I could potentially negotiate a better deal is what I'm hoping, and that I need to step it up in terms of negotiation skills could well be true. My question is whether this fact can be a useful negotiating tool, in principle, or whether using it can backfire in any way. Does it seem like jealousy/cry-baby tactics, or is it an acceptable cause for a negative impact on my motivation?

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#6 RE: salary alignment among peers
15/07/2013 13:25

PatrickMcIntyre to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#5)

No, I would say this fact (colleague getting paid more) cannot and should not be used as your primary argument for getting a pay rise.

Focus more on what you can offer over your colleague before you go in moaning about more wages. Justify why you deserve more and focus on your own abilities rather than saying "we have the same title, give us the same pay."

Like you mentioned, yes - if you go in with this attitude you will come across like a 'cry baby'.

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#7 RE: salary alignment among peers
15/07/2013 13:44

Dan! Dan! Dan! to PatrickMcIntyre (#6)

I appreciate the time taken for the last comment, but it is completely off the mark.

I am not going to go in claiming to be 'better than' my colleague, because I'm not looking to be paid 'more than' him. In all honesty I'd be perfectly indifferent about being paid up to around 10% less, but 30% seems like it warrants some sort of justification.

Nor is the point that we have the same title, rather that we do the same job, to the same level of competency (as mentioned earlier in the thread).

There are, of course, other prongs to my argument (frequently being contacted externally about opportunities paying more, previous salary increases seeming disappointing) but I feel like this is the one that stands out.

If anyone has had experience of this type of situation, I'd be very grateful to hear your thoughts.

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#8 RE: salary alignment among peers
15/07/2013 14:11

abc123 to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#7)

I guess you could investigate these potential opportunities elsewhere. If you have an offer, your current firm could make a counter-offer to keep you if they think that you're really worth it?

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#9 RE: salary alignment among peers
15/07/2013 14:21

Mr Cool to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#7)

Dan! (Can I call you Dan! For short?).

I have had EXACTLY this experience with both external and expatriate colleagues brought in at my level but on better pay.

Learn to love this!!!! It means that your "grade" and "role" clearly support a higher salary than you are currently on. Think of all the many thousands of people stuck at a salary level because they are already at the top of their grade range and need a full promotion in order to earn more?

First step: read and understand the concept of BATNA - best alternative to negotiated agreement. Either google it or buy "getting to yes" by Fisher & Ury.

Step 2. Calculate your own BATNA - what is the Best you could achieve if you do NOT get pay equality at your current firm.

Step 3. Estimate your employers BATNA - include the outcome whereby you move externally. Do they replace you more cheaply or more expensively?

Step 4. Aim for a negotiation outcome somewhere in the intersection of the two BATNAs.

In the negotiation avoid positional demands like "I want £x", instead ask open questions like "what would I need to achieve to merit the same salary as x person?" Or "if I no longer worked here, who would you give my work to? "

If the theoretical replacement is better paid than you then you you push to close the gap. If they are worse paid than you then you're unfortunately not as $hithot as you thought you were!

Mr Cool

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#10 RE: salary alignment among peers
15/07/2013 14:26

powernap to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#7)

What BEP said.

Don't be naive. Your only chance of getting a raise commensurate with that of your colleague is to do exactly what they did - go to market and find a new role. Clearly you are attracting interest.

Given your resistance to the sensible advise so far I think you aren't too keen on leaving.

If you have a really compelling reason to stay (hot receptionist, excellent sarnies in the cafeteria, company bingo nights etc.) you should really aim to frame it as a renegotiation of role/responsibilities, rather than just more money. It would be doubly difficult to argue if for years your employer hasn't seen any reason to give you a substantial promotion (or so it appears.)

Also - your colleague's salary is confidential, so any way of obtaining that information other than them revealing it directly is not going to be looked upon in favourable terms.

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#11 RE: salary alignment among peers
15/07/2013 14:46

Dan! Dan! Dan! to Mr Cool (#9)

Thanks Mr Cool.

I usually prefer D-Dawg, but Dan! is fine for such a formal environment.

Your "learn to love this" comment is interesting. My initial reaction was a quite nauseating feeling that I was being had, followed quickly by "hold on, surely I can only use this to my advantage".

The softer approach to bringing this point up in any negotiation also seems very wise.

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#12 RE: salary alignment among peers
15/07/2013 21:32

Mr Cool to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#11)

Hey D-dawg it is! To be honest I only use Mr Cool because if I was to use my full title of Prince Matmadukr, Duke of Cool and Bratislava, people would know who I am. Better to work incognito as plain, but suave, Mr C.

Power nap is probably correct that you are unlikely to completely close the gap without an external move, but the two strategies are not mutually exclusive. Start NOW on your internal raise while considering external options.

A good external offer will give the BATNA to play hardball with your current employers, while an intermediate raise from your current employers will mean new offers will have to be higher again.

Remember - its all about your money...

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#13 RE: salary alignment among peers
16/07/2013 00:15

Dan! Dan! Dan! to Mr Cool (#12)

The disappointing part is that I feel like I've just lost my last frontier of corporate naivety.

Despite several years in large corporate environments, I genuinely believed that when you're valued in a team (in Industry, especially), they will make sure to pay you as well as they feel they can and should, within reason, to stop you from leaving (especially when you work for smart people who fully understand the concept of perfect markets).

Now I'm faced with two possibilities:

a) I'm less valued than I thought

b) my company is perfectly prepared to return the favour of my hard work, late nights, weekends and wry office humour, by viewing me as a cost to keep to a minimum, as long as possible

I guess if (b) is true, it's probably a liberating realisation, that enables you to cut the idealism and take a more blunt approach to future career moves and salary negotiations.

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#14 RE: salary alignment among peers
16/07/2013 10:49

a07 to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#13)

My only point to add to this is be careful when you do consider a move and choose somewhere with your eyes open - consider everything from money to lifestyle, stability of the role.

I.E don't just be led by £'s - I'm not preaching but I did something similar and ended up being made redundant with my whole team 10 months later as the business decided our department wasn't business critical.

Took me a while to get back to a stable job and my wages have levelled out now - I am still happy with the end result but it took 2 redundancies to get here.

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#15 RE: salary alignment among peers
16/07/2013 21:04

Mr Cool to Dan! Dan! Dan! (#13)

Dan, the main imperfection to markets is inequality of information....

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#16 RE: salary alignment among peers
29/07/2013 17:14

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Mr Cool (#15)

Not to mention the lefties in the civil service ;)

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