Pay

With the new year upon us, many people around the UK will begin making their resolutions for the year ahead. For those with professional aspirations, top of that list will often be securing a pay rise.

Although talking money can be an awkward and uncomfortable process at times, it can be an extremely important and vital part of professional life - particularly when it comes being paid what you're worth.

That being said, identifying exactly how much you are worth isn't always a straightforward process. It's not unusual for employers to want to pay you as little as possible to maximise profits, so they aren't always going to be forthcoming if you are in fact being underpaid.

As such, it's important to be able to recognise this fact for yourself. Luckily, this blog aims to help you do exactly that.

 

Look Around

Perhaps the easiest way of determining whether or not you are being underpaid what you or your position are worth is to simply have a scope around the jobs market and note the typical salaries on offer.

If you search for roles similar to your own, you'll soon be able to gain insight into what the going rate is for a position of your skill level and responsibility. However, it's worth remembering that this method isn't an exact science.

Chances are, there will likely be some form of a discrepancy between your duties and the standard roles listed on job boards and recruitment sites, particularly if you have been in your role for some time and have taken on additional responsibilities along the way.

If this is indeed the case, knowing whether or not you are being paid what you are worth isn't always straight-forward. Luckily, there's an easy way to help identify your eligibility and determine once and for all if you are due a raise…

 

Look Inside

Perhaps the most effective way to gauge whether or not you deserve a pay rise is to take a good hard look at yourself… by placing your own professional skills and personality under the microscope!

An honest and candid approach to appraising the man in the mirror is a fantastic way to uncovering the truth about where you stand in the company pecking order and whether or not you are being paid what's due.

To help you formulate your introspective self-assessment, here are four fundamental questions you may want to ask yourself before you head into your boss's office with an axe to grind and a cross to bear.

 

Are your skills indispensable?

Any worker that is a vital part of the overall machine and a key ingredient in the processes that make the company work can count themselves lucky.

If you hold a skill set that is unlike anyone else's, you have yourself a fundamental USP that is totally individual and specific to you as a person.

Whether you're a salesman with ironclad client relationships established through years of rapport or a creative with your own quirky style that cannot be easily replicated, such skills can be essential to company operations.

However, you don't need to be the best in your field to be seen as indispensable. As is often the case in the working world, experience is seen as a big plus point and tenure can also translate to indispensability.

As the old saying goes, you can't teach experience and anyone that has a storied history with the company and the insider knowledge that goes with it has themselves a solid argument. Long-standing tenure can provide abilities that cannot be taught.

 

Have your contributions made a difference?

Tangible contributions can be one of the strongest arguments in the arsenal of anyone looking to make a valid claim for a pay rise - particularly if they are backed by corresponding facts and figures.

If you have brought in substantial business and were the primary reason for such a deal getting finalised, you will likely have a large bargaining chip to play with.

For example, a salesman with a salary of £25k/annum that brings in £75k of sales will have theoretically paid for his salary three times over, which makes for a solid statistic when it comes to requesting a pay rise.

That being said, contributions don't always need to be measured in pounds and pennies. Your contributions could simply be your continued hard work and ability to help a project reach completion on time and above expectations.

Providing a consistently high level of output and performance can be the best contribution of all and is applicable to virtually any job and department.

 

Are you a positive influence on the company?

In addition to making positive contributions to the bottom line and the business as a whole, being a positive influence on others within the office environment can also be a big contributing factor to your company worth.

Office morale can have a big influence on overall performance and its widely believed that, as a rule, a happy worker is a productive worker. If you are in a position of managerial responsibility and maintain a positive work ethic and upbeat environment within your team, such an influence should be recognised.

While it may not be the overriding factor that swings it in your favour, being a positive influence on the team and those around you can be a great supplementary quality to reinforce your argument and support your case for a pay rise.

 

Are you a key part in the company's future plans?

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, determining whether or not you are a fundamental part of the machine going forward could be your most valid reason of all.

If your presence within the company is vital for the business to achieve its goals in the future, your value within the organisation should be rewarded with the appropriate remuneration.

For example, if the primary project of the year is to be spearheaded, managed or set up by you, it's fair to say that you are a pretty big part of the company's future plans. Highlight this importance to hammer home your worth and underline your standing in the company.

For more details on salaries and pay rises, why not check out our How to Ask for a Raise blog?

Similarly, you might also be interested in reading our blog on How to Get Promoted.

New year's eve fireworks

Happy New Year! Now that 2020 is upon us, people all over the world will be thinking about ways to change themselves and their lives for the better over the next 12 months.

However, those vows of self-improvement don't need to be restricted to the usual suspects: weight loss, quitting smoking, seeing the world. New year's resolutions can be just as important (and beneficial) in the workplace too. Take a look at these new year resolution ideas for work and see for yourself.

 

Workplace Goals for the New Year

To help you better yourself, enhance your professional development and increase your chances of scaling the career ladder, here are a handful of handy goals and achievable aspirations you can set yourself to ensure your success in the year to come.

 

Learn a New Skill

A critical component for continued development and workplace progression, learning new skills over the course of your professional journey can be your entryway to a better role.

Whatever you do for your profession, there are likely to be a myriad of new skills you can explore to help better your existing abilities and benefit your current role.

What's more, learning a new skill can also provide you with increased confidence which, in turn, can help lead to new opportunities.

Meanwhile, the fresh challenges can also provide your current job with a shot in the arm in terms of variety and provide a welcome change from the norm.

 

Gain a Qualification

Much like the last section, gaining a qualification can have a big impact on your value within a company and increase your standing amongst your peers dramatically.

Offering multiple skills makes you more valuable to your superiors and not only secures your position within the company even further but can also put you in line for a promotion.

While professional qualifications do typically cost money to attain, they can be well worth the investment and pay for themselves in spades down the line.

What's more, continuing your education as your career progresses shows other potential employers that you are still eager to learn and strive to be your very best.

Meanwhile, adding further qualifications to your existing skillset can improve your worth notably and open up financial opportunities both within your current employment and elsewhere.

 

Revamp Your CV

Keeping your CV up to date with key information is a task that very few of us do anywhere near as much as we should, especially those in long-term employment.

However, staying on top of your resume periodically is a great way to ensure you don't miss out important areas of information, such as key responsibilities, new qualifications and notable achievements.

Leaving your CV unattended for any length of time, it can be all too easy to neglect to include a training course or you've certificate attained along the way, particularly if you haven't applied for a job in some time.

Meanwhile, in addition to the information held within the document, the layout and presentation of your resume can also have a huge impact on your success rate, should you decide to apply for a job down the line.

Give your CV a facelift and play around with the layout to help give your CV a look that fits today's recruitment preferences and includes accurate, up-to-date info to provide substance to go with the style.

 

Get Connected

By the very definition of the word, networking is a great way to meet people and expand your professional circle outside of your immediate employment.

Connections made through networking events can prove pivotal down the line, with the ability to forge and strengthen business relationships, broker deals and even provide job opportunities.

Meanwhile, networking events are also a great way to keep on top of your industry and stay abreast of all the latest happenings within your professional sphere, along with who the key players and influential figures may be.

What's more, continued company and individual presence at industry networking events can help to establish both you and your company as key players within your field.

Conversely, non-attendance can have the opposite effect and leave you behind in the rat race, playing catch-up.

 

For more advice on the best new year career resolutions, why not drop us a line and speak with one of our career specialists today? Call now on 0203 225 5120 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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Motivating employees

So, you've realised your dream and set up your own business. You have a shiny new office and hired a bunch of talented, enthusiastic and excited employees. Everything seems to be going just right. Until one day you notice some of your staff seem unmotivated and unwilling to work, what do you do? Well, HRS are here to help with our top ways on how to motivate your employees! Ensuring your staff remain happy and want to work for you.

 

Make them want to be at work

The first thing we recommend you think about when trying to motivate your staff is to make your workplace a pleasant place to be. The majority of your employees are going to spend most of their day working there, so the least you can do is to ensure they enjoy being there. Now there are a few ways in which you can do just this! The first and easiest way to do this is to make your business aesthetically pleasing. A place that when your workers first walk-in in the morning, brightens up their day and gets them in the mood to be productive. Make sure it is well-lit, functional and fun. You can do this by choosing appropriate lighting, using up-to-date equipment and keeping the place clean and tidy.

 

Offer rewards and incentives

At times, you will need to offer your employees more than just a pat on the back. By offering rewards and incentives, you give your staff a greater motivation to complete work and push their own professional development. It doesn't necessarily have to be monetary rewards that you can use, something as simple as offering a personal car park spot for a month, free lunch, gift vouchers or a free trip abroad. The possibilities are endless, you just need to make sure that the rewards are good enough that they make your staff work harder.

 

Offer long-term career prospects

Nobody wants to work in a dead-end job. By providing your employees with a clear career path, you provide them with a target to work towards, albeit it is an achievable target that can be gained through experience and accomplishments. By providing your workers with opportunities to progress and develop new skills as well as earning more money, not only will they benefit, but you will too. The sense of greater responsibility and trust that you place in them shifts their thinking from "this is just a job" to "this is my career".

 

Offer flexible working

Advances in technology have changed the way that businesses operate. It has also changed the in which we work or the way we can work. If your employees are able to check work emails on different devices such as their phone or finish projects on their laptops, there will be an expectation to allow them to work from home. In a study from Forbes, 46% of respondents said that flexibility is the most important factor when it comes to job hunting. So, whether it's working from home or offering flexible working hours, it's important to keep flexible working in mind if you're wanting to attract top talent as well as holding onto the talent you already possess.

 

Be clear and honest

Another great way to motivate your staff members is to always be honest and transparent with them. Let them know and understand how the business works and how the business is performing. Keeping them in the dark about such things may lead them to think they are being alienated or aren't important enough to know what's going on behind the scenes. You can do this in several ways, such as including them in business meetings and briefing, sending them monthly reports or just a regular email every now and then keeping them in the loop. Not only will they feel like an important part of the team, but they can also point out areas if the business that can be improved.

 

Provide refreshments

Something that seems so simple but is so effective. Nobody wants to work when they're hungry, so, by offering your staff food and drinks such as tea, coffee and biscuits will definitely go a long way in keeping them happy and motivated whilst at work. A survey by Seamless found that 57% of staff said that food-based perks would make them feel more valued and appreciated and that 38% said food perks would make them more likely to recommend their employer in a 'best places to work' survey. So, not only will a great selection of snacks and refreshments help keep your staff, but will help to attract more.

 

Find out what they want

Too often, in too many workplaces do bosses and managers come across as if they don't really care about what their employees want. They only seem to care about what they want and what's the best way to make their employees help to achieve it. This is a surefire way to make your staff up and leave. To avoid this, simply sitting down and listening to your employee's needs and finding out what thing they value will help to foster a positive work environment. Doing the unexpected can sometimes be the best thing you can do for your employees and your company.

 

Create meaningful and worthwhile goals

The best levels of work are always produced when aiming towards something. If you find your employees are coming into work just to sit around and get through the same stuff on a daily basis without ever having a real objective to achieve, you will soon find them becoming bored and hopping onto job sites. Ensuring your company and employees have clear and achievable goals will foster a great working environment.

 

For more information and advice on work-life and getting the best out of your employees, be sure to keep an eye on the HRS blog and social media channels.

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Pedestrians during rush hour

For many of us, the commute to work takes up a large portion of the day and has an impact on our mood and productivity! A late train or a crash on the motorway can really set you off to a bad start, while a quick and enjoyable journey into work can make you feel positive and motivated!

So, what are the perks and pitfalls of the most popular commuting options? Let's take a look at some of the most significant aspects of the commute and put public transport and cars head-to-head to see what comes out on top.

Paying by card

Price

When you're making a journey twice a day, five days a week, you want to know you're getting some bang for your buck. When you add it all up, learning to drive, buying a car, filling it with petrol and forking out for maintenance is likely to cost you more in the long run.

There are a range of discounts available for public transport users, especially if they use season tickets, buy in advance or use a railcard. The costs for public transport users are fairly straight forward in comparison to a typical driver, so in this round public transport wins!

London commuters during rush hour

People

If you've ever graced your local bus or train station, you'll know they can be chaotic at the best of times - never mind during rush hour! For some, the hustle and bustle is a welcome bit of excitement, while for others, the large crowds coupled with the unpredictability of public transport can be completely overwhelming.

When you drive your own car, you can avoid the awkward conversations on the platform, enjoy a bit of peace and quiet or offer a lift to a colleague if you do fancy a bit of company on your way to and from work.

Having your own car gives you freedom pick and choose who you want to travel with, so we'll give this one to car drivers.

Glasses and tablet screen

Activities

One of the benefits of choosing public transport is the additional time to you during your day for activities! Without having to keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road, you can use your commute time to your advantage. Some popular public transport activities include:

  • Reading a book
  • Ordering shopping online
  • Learning a new language

Thanks to aux cables and Bluetooth connections in cars, you can listen to a podcast or your favourite radio show while you commute, but there really are limits to what you can do. So, for that reason, public transport wins this round!

Driving to work by car

Environment

Traditionally, public transport options are more eco-friendly than personal transport and it's clear to see why. One vehicle like a train or bus can carry a number of people to their desired location at once! If all of those individual people drove their own cars to work, they'd use more petrol & produce more emissions.

That being said, the gap between the environmental impact of cars and public transport is starting to close. With more and more electric vehicles on the road, we might be seeing a shift towards more eco-friendly commutes on the roads. With that in mind, we'll have to call this one a tie!

Hopefully, this has helped you decide whether you should travel to work using public transport or by car. If you're someone that doesn't currently have a commute... browse our current job vacancies!

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Job hunting

'Twas the build-up to Christmas and all 'cross the nation, jobseekers everywhere grow mad with frustration...

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas throughout the UK, as houses glow bright with sparkly decorations and the airwaves once again become flooded with festive tunes.

With that, offices and workplaces around the country are also beginning to gear up for the holiday, as eager eyes focus on the well-deserved Christmas break on the impending horizon.

Unfortunately for job hunters, this joyous noel can result in a less joyous no-reply for job applications, as hiring trends and recruitment activities often get put on hold until the new year.

That being said, it's important to remember that, while Christmas is undoubtedly a time of giving, it's definitely not a time for giving up.

In fact, Christmas can be the perfect opportunity to get ahead of the January/February boom period...

 

Why Job Hunt Over Christmas?

As alluded to above, the new year is often the most popular time for recruitment as candidates and companies refocus their attention on finding work and finding workers respectively.

That being said, there's definitely a sizeable upside to job hunting at Christmas and numerous benefits to sending off job applications during the festive season.

 

Less Competition

While there may be less emphasis on hiring during the tail-end of the year, waiting for the January boom period to apply for vacancies can cause you to get lost in the shuffle.

Increased competition from other applicants also applying during the new year means that, by waiting until January, you are effectively increasing your chances of slipping by unnoticed.

Think of it as doing the weekly grocery shop during peak times on a Saturday. Congested aisles can lead you to miss some great deals and overlook some quality products - the same principle applies to recruitment.

 

More Vacancies

In addition to being a better time to apply in terms of getting a leg up on the competition, the Christmas period can also present an increase in the number of job vacancies as well.

It's not unusual for people leaving their jobs to finish up their roles in the run-up to Christmastime, as a means of extending their Christmas break. As a result, there can often be a spike in vacancies prior to the Christmas break.

Getting in early on these vacancies could prove fruitful as many jobs will include a condition on their job ad noting they reserve the right to close the ad early, should they find the right person for the job.

 

Budget Deadlines

 

For companies working with an annual budget, the end of the calendar year can often leave employers with a pot of change left over before the year is out.

In order to avoid budget cuts the following year, a "use it or lose it" mentality can take over and such businesses will move to spend their allotted hiring funds prior to New Year's Day.

Should the stars align, this enhanced focus on recruitment can be the perfect way to help you find your very own Christmas miracle in the form of securing a new job.

 

Temporary Work

Job hunting over Christmas doesn't always mean applying for the role of your dreams or the next logical step in your career development.

For some, finding a job can be as simple as finding ANY job, especially if such a search comes after an unfortunate lay-off or unforeseen restructure.

As such, it may be worth taking advantage of the numerous Christmas jobs available during this festive period.

While they may not present a comparable salary or an in-road to the next step on your career path, it will help you to cope financially.

Meanwhile, who's to say your Christmas job won't take a life of its own and develop into a career long after the festive season is over?

 

So, there you have it: don't just sit back and raise a glass this Christmastime; raise your game and put your job hunt into overdrive - it could pay off big!

For more information on job hunting at Christmas or to hear more job search advice, why not speak with one of our expert advisors today? Call now on 0203 225 5120 or get in touch online by clicking the button below.

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