Wednesday, 12 June 2013

How to Negotiate a Pay Rise in your current job

Are you under-paid? MP’s are (according to them) with 7 out of 10 believing that the back-benchers annual salary of £65,738 is too low.

On average, MP’s believe they deserve salaries of £86,250 — a 32 per cent rise, as reported in a survey by the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa).

The Ipsa survey also revealed that 1 in 5 MP’s thought they deserved at least £95,000 a year and more than a third thought they should keep generous final salary pensions.

In their quest for higher pay, I can’t see MP’s receiving much support from fellow civil servants who have had their pay frozen, or the general public who still haven’t forgiven MP’s for the expenses scandal. The recent ‘cash for questions’ probe is further embarrassment for MP’s and further diminishes MP’s standing with the tax paying public who fund their current salaries and expenses.

It seems MP’s are not alone in believing they are under-paid. A large proportion of UK workers are unsatisfied with their pay, but many of them refuse to ask their bosses for a pay rise.

MP’s brazen call for a pay rise seems ham-fisted and ill timed, but how can the rest of us learn from their mistakes and succeed in Negotiating a Pay Rise? 

Reasons for employees Not asking for a pay rise include; Asking for a pay rise is humiliating or embarrassing; It wouldn’t be appropriate in the current economic climate (Boss: “you’re lucky to have a job”); Or they don’t want to be perceived as ungrateful or a trouble-maker.

As a recruiter, you might think I am all for folk changing jobs every year or two, but that’s not true. If a Food Industry business (my sector) comes to me for assistance and we help them recruit an employee, we want that employee to stay and grow with the company. If the employee leaves after 6 or 12 months, the employer might not see the recruitment fee as value for money and might be reluctant to use our service again. However, if the employee stays with the business for 3 or 4 years there’s a strong likelihood the employer will use us again when they are next looking to recruit.

It’s quite alarming that a high number of employees would rather jump ship every couple of years in order to increase their pay. Surely this is bad for both the Employee (job-hopper, burnt bridges etc) and the Employer, who bears the cost of recruiting and training a new employee, not to mention the reduction in productivity as the new employee gets ‘up to speed’.

When negotiating a pay rise we inform candidates that the onus is on them to be focused and assertive, as they may only get one shot at it in a 12 month period.

We have found that what is required to maximise the opportunities of salary negotiations being a success is, information, information and more information. This includes: the motivations of the employee, the market rates paid for this type of role by other similar businesses in the area, the culture of the business, the expectations the employer places on the employee, the career progression available, the scarcity of the skills possessed by the employee, the employers pay policies, the financial health and prospects for the business, and a number of other factors both generic and unique to each salary negotiation.

Workplaces are more transparent than they were 20 years ago, so gaining the required information necessary to negotiate salary is less difficult than it once was. When all the facts and information is out in the open and readily available to both parties, it is much more likely that the Employee and Employer will agree a realistic pay rise without damaging relations or losing goodwill.

When Negotiating a pay rise, we advise the following:

1.) Be frank with your Manager. It's acceptable to ask about the company's pay philosophy and pay practices. Line Managers should be able to explain why they pay the way they do. Use this information wisely, you don’t want to ask for too much…or too little.

2.) Practice what you want to say. Don’t be afraid of going into a pay review meeting with notes you can refer to. How do you think the bosses will respond to your pay rise request? Counter any objections with a rational and persuasive argument, backed up with facts and figures. Be assertive but Don’t demand a pay rise (no employer likes being held to ransom).

3.) Keep calm and play the long game. Keep a clear head, keep the positive dialogue flowing. If your pay rise request is met with an unfavourable response, don’t show any anger, and don’t threaten to leave. Be patient, as the company might need to get back to you. Keep your manager onside as although he/she might not make the final decision, they will have a big influence in what the final decision will be.

4.) Choose the right moment. If you're asking for a pay rise, do it after successfully delivering something tangible for the company. This could be a project delivered or some other quantifiable achievement (especially those where the monetary value to the company can be determined).

5.) Understand the company’s unique circumstances. For example, If the company has announced significant new business, are recruiting new staff or have just had a record quarter – This may be the perfect time to ask for the pay rise. Conversely, Don't ask for a pay rise if the company has just made redundancies or posted poor financial results.

What tactics have you used to Negotiate a pay rise?

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

SALARY SURVEY - Maintenance Engineers in the Food Manufacturing sector

We have been busy (Nov 12) pulling together a Salary survey based on the responses of over 400 Maintenance Engineers based in the North West and working within the Food Manufacturing sector.

Check out our finding, look at average salaries and trends at the following link....

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Are accidents inevitable, or should more be done to protect workers in the Food Manufacturing Sector?

2 Sisters Food Group fined £230,000 after worker loses most of his hand.

It was reported last month that 2 Sisters Food Group were fined a total of £230,000 after two incidents at its Suffolk factory.

In the first incident a Night Shift Supervisor lost four fingers, part of his thumb and some of the palm of his right hand. This incident occurred when the Supervisor was assisting a member of his team to clean equipment and his hand was pulled into two rotating cogs and crushed. (A safety guard had been removed from the machine).

Just a month later, at the same site, a Fork Lift Truck driver had his arm trapped and broken. The company had fitted a bypass device to override a safety control that would have prevented this happening.

Rather surprisingly, a 2010 survey commissioned by health Insurer Aviva suggested that people working in Food Manufacturing are one-and-a-half times more likely to be injured at work than Construction workers. 

If Food Manufacturing is more dangerous than Construction and given that two serious incidents happened within weeks of each other at the same site……….

Are accidents inevitable, or should more be done to protect workers in the Food Manufacturing Sector? 

Apprenticeships and Retirements in the Food Manufacturing Industry

It was encouraging to see The Food and Drink Federation (FDF) host a workshop for Food Manufacturers a couple of weeks ago, to inform them of the benefits of apprenticeships.

The FDF is looking for food manufacturers to sign a pledge to take on more apprentices and they have teamed up with the National Skills Academy and National Apprenticeship Service. This alliance will support food manufacturers to develop apprenticeship schemes and ensure companies have access to the maximum funding available.

One interested statistic to come out of the workshop was quoted by Angela Coleshill FDF’s Director of Competitiveness who stated that “Over a third of the Food Manufacturing workforce are due to retire in the next 5 years.”

This statistic seems high to me, so I would like to ask, What (approximate) percentage of your workforce will reach retirement age within the next 5 years?

Friday, 25 February 2011 Launch

Food Careers is pleased to announce the launch of its new recruitment service, Food Recruit, available at

Aimed exclusively at the Food Industry, the service substantially reduces recruitment costs for all Food Sector businesses. Offering recruitment consultancy services at just £495, Food Recruit provides average recruitment savings of 90% compared to using a traditional recruitment consultancy.
Managing Director Chris Burns comments, “We have been recruiting exclusively for the Food Industry since 2002 and it’s the industry knowledge we possess that has enabled us to consistently add value to our customers recruitment activities.”

Burns continues “As a company, we listen to our customers and they told us they place a high-value on our industry knowledge, but they wanted an additional service where they pay a lower upfront fee and have nothing further to pay once a selected candidate commences employment. This is exactly what we are offering with our Food Recruit service and our customers can tap into our food industry knowledge, but pay only £495 for a comprehensive recruitment service.”

Food Recruit combines dedicated sector knowledge with value for money, two key features customers expect in a recruitment partner. The Food Recruit service also includes job board postings, CV searching, application screening, shortlisting, a recruitment guarantee and optional extra services.
To find out more visit Food Recruit at

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Using LinkedIn to help search for Food Industry Jobs

As a job seeker you need to be proactive and it is important that you get yourself on the radar of the recruiting manager. Networking used to take place on the golf course or at breakfast clubs, but the internet has opened it up to all.

A basic account with LinkedIn is free and if used correctly can be a powerful tool in your job searching arsenal. You can add contacts such as current and past work colleagues; you can ask your contacts to introduce you to their connections. You can seek out hiring managers and even add a PowerPoint presentation detailing a project you have successfully completed or demonstrate your skills in a previous role.

Groups are the engine room of LinkedIn and we would recommend joining relevant Food Industry groups where you can enter discussions, view jobs, catch up with ex-colleagues and let relevant people know that you are available. There will also be groups available covering your particular job discipline, alumni, and company groups for current and ex employees. We would recommend that you join at least ten relevant groups. FoodRecruit manage a very active group on Linkedin where Food professionals discuss market trends, company news and the state of the jobs market. If you would like to join our group, just send us a request on LinkedIn.

Being proactive and maintaining a positive online identify is increasingly important and time spent on LinkedIn developing your online persona, sharing experiences and contributing to discussions will be time well spent, as employers latch on to the benefits of social media as a cost-effective candidate engagement tool.

Friday, 4 February 2011

How to find Food Industry Jobs on Twitter

You can quickly set up a profile on Twitter, with keywords which will have relevance to their past work experience, type of job you are seeking, previous job title, and other buzz words that will help you get noticed. Brevity is a byword for Twitter though, as you will only get 140 characters to use on your profile. You also get one link and I would recommend you use this to link to your LinkedIn profile or your online iProfile CV.  

It is possible to link your Twitter profile to your Blog or Facebook page but I would not recommend this, as it is much better to link to a portal that will provide the viewer with some of your career history and achievements. As with any social media, you need to commit to make regular tweets and keep your tweets Food related focusing on news and developments and other useful snippets of information relevant to the sector.

People can also retweet your tweets causing them to go viral amongst your online community of food industry professionals, creating fantastic exposure. A good tip that will help put you in the right place is to follow people on Twitter who work in your sector, follow companies within your sector and stay active to let key influencers know that you are available.

You can use Twitter to find companies within the Food sector and then follow them. You can also use LinkedIn to find relevant contacts, recruitment managers, talent acquisition managers (at corporate companies) and then follow them on Twitter. Quite often, companies will look to save cost on print media and online job boards so they will place job adverts on Twitter first. You may therefore gain the advantage of getting your job application in early, before it is advertised to the wider market and if you are a strong candidate this may negate the need for the company to advertise the role more widely.

I would highly recommend following up any application made via any social media (or company career portal for that matter) with a phone call as this really can work wonders and will separate you from your competition. With a follow up phone call, if you get through to a decision maker, try and broker an interview for yourself. It may sound pushy, but this is your career and livelihood so go for it. With new services and third party job search apps coming available for Twitter on a weekly basis, candidates can also use it to distribute your CV, find job postings and network successfully using bite size snippets.  

Top Twitter Tips
Stay active. Try and find 30 minutes twice a week ensure you carryout the following:
1.) If someone sends you a message, Always reply.
2.) If you come across a Food Industry professional who you feel could assist you in your job search, send them a link to something interesting within the Food Industry.
3.) If you have written an article or contributed to a piece of work, distribute a link to people who may be able to assist you in your job search.
4.) Mention that you are looking for a new role, get word out!
5.) Share some information about any Food/Business related event’s you are attending.