Seven signs you're being underpaid – and how to ask for a raise

For 71% of HR professionals, 2020 has been the most stressful year in their career

Seven signs you're being underpaid – and how to ask for a raise

As HR professionals, we’re often called on to settle employee disputes. Everything from colleague conflict, unfair dismissal claims, payroll discrepancies, and miscommunication – the role of HR has evolved into something between a teacher, a mediator, a fixer, and a therapist.

Since the pandemic, senior leadership has really woken up to the necessity of a fully functioning HR department. Issues which were once thought of a ‘nice to have’ are now deemed essential – meaning HR leaders are busier than ever before.

For 71% of HR professionals, 2020 has been the most stressful year in their career – according to research from Career Builder.

Read more: Best Buy CHRO: 'The most difficult challenge I ever faced'

What’s more, 51% of HR practitioners are looking to move jobs – due to a lack of appreciation and recognition from senior leadership.

There’s no denying that COVID-19 has wreaked havoc amongst the HR sector – forcing many leaders to work longer, harder, often totally unmanageable hours.

And while many HR professionals don’t mind this added pressure - there has to be some recognition at the end.

It’s not all about money – in fact 37% of HR professionals would prioritise a healthy work-life balance over a bigger pay packet – however, it’s important people are paid fairly. 

HRD uncovered seven signs you’re being underpaid – and how to go about asking for a pay rise.

  1. You’re constantly approached by recruiters wanting to speak about job openings
  2. There are positions similar to yours but offering a lot more money
  3. Your level of responsibility has increased – but your wage hasn’t
  4. You haven’t had a performance review in over a year
  5. You see a lot of talented employees walking out the door
  6. You’re expected to work beyond your contracted hours – without any thanks
  7. Your manager is evasive when you try to speak about career development opportunities

 So, you feel as if you’re being underpaid. Now what?

Well according to Dr Melanie Peacock, it’s all starts with research.

“Find out what other companies in your industry are paying for similar positions,” she told HRD.

“Be sure not to benchmark solely based upon titles. Benchmarking needs to be done based upon the job description, as titles can vary greatly.”

It’s also important to review your own performance, Dr Peacock told us.

Read more: Playboy's CPO: 'We have a strict 'no a******s' policy'

“Be prepared to discuss how you have contributed to organizational effectiveness & achievement of strategic goals. Ask for a meeting in advance and tell your manager why you are requesting to talk to them. ‘Springing’ this type of request on someone is unprofessional.”

Throughout the meeting, it’s important to stick to a pre-prepared plan.

“Be confident but not obnoxious,” added Dr Peacock. “You know why you are worthy of a pay increase so stick to your facts and hold to your request. I know that some people like to role play this discussion beforehand as they get nervous during these types of conversations.”

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