The greatest weapon in your arsenal? Your value

3 mins

If you hadn’t noticed, we are currently operating in a candidate-driven market where applica...

If you hadn’t noticed, we are currently operating in a candidate-driven market where applicants are being spoilt for choice when it comes to job offers. We’ve heard stories of employers offering double or triple salaries to poach much needed talent, and a new phenomenon is materialising too – the great counteroffer, where employers are desperately going above and beyond their means just to keep their precious staff.

But as a candidate, swimming in this sea of opportunity, it might prove difficult to know where you fit in. How much are you worth and should you be holding potential employers to ransom over your pack packet? We’re here to tell you how to demonstrate that value and discover your worth.

Become familiar with average salaries

Familiarising yourself with the average salary for the role you are currently in or that which you have your sights set on will give you a sense of direction in terms of where you should be aiming. Seeing a job that you know you have the skills and experience to exceed in yet is higher than yours will give you the confidence necessary to ask for that pay rise or prompt you to consider looking elsewhere.

It’s worth noting that the average salaries you see online may vary widely. Indeed, factors such as experience, skills and location can all have an impact on the level of salary advertised. It also does not take into account your own unique abilities. If you excel in your current role and arguably edge ahead of a colleague at the same level as you, this can boost both your stock as an employee and your value in monetary terms, too. So, whilst online salary tools may not give you a guarantee on pay scales, they can at least provide a helpful prop during salary conversations.

Factor in your soft skills

We know that writing you are ‘a good team player’ on your application may fill you with unease, but if you do have other skills which would make you a strong asset to your employer make sure you highlight them.

There is growing research around the benefits that softer skills can bring to further enhance your technical capabilities. If an employer has a choice between a technical engineer and a technical engineer who has the communication skills to be able to explain complex problems in laymen’s terms, it will be a pretty easy choice. Management experience or team leading, even if it was just for one project, will also enhance your value - employers don’t just want to hear that you can do it, they want to see the evidence that you already have.

Digitisation = Added Value

In this increasingly digital world, new technologies, software and automated processing tools are constantly emerging. As these are increasingly adopted into the mainstream, employers will need human conductors to oversee these new systems and ensure they function. If you can acquire these skills from the outset, that will immediately put you in the minority and be of gold dust to a company on the precipice of modernisation but who are crying out for a safe pair of hands to guide the transition. So, consider what skills you have and what the demand is for them, and if what you have is in short supply you could increase what you are worth.

Speak with your recruiter

Your recruiter is your ticket to the other side of the VIP curtain - they have access to the so-called 'hidden' jobs market which you do not. It is estimated that 80 per cent of jobs are never advertised so the figures you find on online platforms will not be fully representative of the market.

Recruiters invariably have a better understanding of salary levels depending on experience, location, and size of employer. As well having the network and resources to be able to take a bird’s eye view of the market and their finger on the pulse of what is and isn’t in high demand.

Whether you are considering a new role or not, there is no harm in taking some time to evaluate your experience and skillset and a get a feel for your value as a candidate, if nothing else it is bound to be nice reminder of all you have achieved.