Your salary, what review to expect, bonuses & how to review your team.
What are we currently seeing the market and what can you expect?
Well sadly, unless you can significantly increase the turnover of your company then do not expect to move jobs and receive a large salary increase. Companies do not compensate you for the fact that you live 100km from their offices, that is your choice, not theirs.
They do not reward financial people for saving them money. They expect financial people to save money this is part of your job description. What then are we currently seeing in terms of salary increases and bonuses? The days of the very large bonuses are gone. Salary increases are not exciting so yes, we look for stability. Having said this there are some large corporates who have consistently managed to financially treat their staff better than others, and they seem to manage to maintain this.
Having personally recruited in the financial space for 23 years I am not a fan of salary bands although I might cause an uproar from HR executives. I feel some people deserve to earn more money than others. Salaries should also be based on supply and demand – in other words, pure economics. This way you would not currently be moving for more money you would currently be moving to become more skilled at what you do. You would then long term be in higher demand.
If I give people career advice I tell them to think about themselves as something that is “for sale”. After your current job – in 5 years’ time you will be “for sale” again. How do you know that your marketability has increased? How do you know that more people will want to buy you? It is relatively simple look at what people are advertising. What are companies looking for? Who is in high demand? Is it you?
If you are a financial director with a budget of R10 million and you are busy doing salary reviews we can also apply similar logic. Who can you not afford to lose? Who is most likely to be stolen from your department? Often a financial director might make the mistake of thinking that their black female CASA who is responsible for their group consolidations is irreplaceable but without the correct information at hand they make the mistake of throwing their budget at this candidate when in fact it might be relatively simple to replace this candidate and the systems accountant is impossible to replace.
It is rare that a candidate is horribly underpaid but it certainly can happen. If you were to feel that you are underpaid in relation to what the market is currently paying, how would you best approach this subject whilst keeping the company’s interest at heart and remaining professional? Since we are speaking about financial people in this particular case my suggestion would be to address the issue with all your facts in order. If you are a CA(SA) with 7 years of experience after articles call three financial recruiters and ask their honest opinion about what you should be earning without telling them your current salary. You cannot depend on salary surveys because perhaps you moved jobs too many times, perhaps you have only worked in a very small division of the firm, perhaps you have limited IT knowledge.
If three recruitment companies can come to an agreement about what you should be earning, it should be possible for them to send you a few sample CV's of candidates like yourself (similar experience) with all personal information removed. Once you have gathered this information you are then in a position to have a polite salary discussion.
You cannot rely on advertisements. Let us be honest advertisements are exactly that – they are simply advertisements. They are trying to grab attention.
You cannot rely on salary surveys because as mentioned there are too many soft factors involved.
Emma Cavina is the Managing Director of The People Connection with over 20 Years experience in the Executive Financial Recruitment industry. Follow this blog for regular insights regarding financial careers, the job market and advice.