"But inflation...": Employers quickly take the wind out of the sails of this argument when asked about higher salaries. As a first approach, it doesn't have to be wrong. But there is a much more crucial point right now.
Price increases have pushed the rate of inflation in Germany to its highest level in almost 50 years. Inflation in Germany is scratching the eight percent mark. For employees, the idea of asking their employer for a higher salary for precisely this reason is obvious. is that wise
"Normally, the desire for a salary increase should be justified by one's own performance and the contribution to the success of the company," says Annina Hering, labor market expert at job portal Indeed. "At the moment, however, we are going through extraordinary times and sometimes they also require extraordinary measures." With an inflation rate of almost eight percent, the rising cost of living could certainly be used as a reinforcing argument for a salary increase.
A crucial point: The situation on the job market plays into the hands of working people. In view of the shortage of skilled workers, "employers are currently more willing to accommodate their employees in order to keep their employees," says Hering. Some companies have even made flat-rate salary adjustments based on price developments. This also puts other employers under pressure.
Nevertheless, if you want more salary, you have to justify your demands well and present them diplomatically. "No boss likes to be put under excessive pressure," says Hering. The labor market expert gives tips on how to make the salary interview successful.
Tip 1 - Be specific
Whether rent, groceries, consumer goods or energy costs: Hering advises to be specific when it comes to inflation. For example, by showing the employer how expensive the weekly shopping has become or how the deductions for heating costs or electricity have increased. Even if higher expenses don't hurt everyone in the same way: "Everyone has to pay significantly more at the checkout at the moment and feel the inflation almost every day. Your counterpart knows what you're talking about."
Tip 2 - Prepare for counter-arguments
It can be assumed that the employer will respond to the salary demand with counter-arguments. Then you have to have arguments up your sleeve. Hering advises creating a list of points that show, for example, when the special needs of the employer were met during the pandemic. After two years of the pandemic, employees are “very likely” to have money.
Tip 3 - Emphasize strengths
Successful work is still one of the most important arguments for managers. Those who know their professional and character strengths should also list them. Friends or co-workers can help you figure out what you're really good at.
Tip 4 - Avoid unrealistic demands
It is advisable to use your own request to signal that you have the employer's situation in mind. This increases the chances of success. Hering recommends doing research: Which salary group is really appropriate for which position in the company?
Tip 5 - Hit the right note
Rhetorical tricks can help in salary negotiations to reach your goal. Sometimes it starts with the wording: Instead of talking about a salary increase, Hering advises discussing inflation compensation or a salary adjustment.
Tip 6 - Negotiate a one-time payment
If the management shies away from permanent additional expenditure, a one-time compensation payment may be an option. Hering recommends not specifying a fixed sum, but a range within which to negotiate.
Tip 7 - Practice the salary interview
Last but not least, in order to prepare yourself optimally, it is worth practicing the negotiation situation at home with a conversation partner. In this way, employees can go into the negotiation in a more relaxed manner.
About the person: Annina Hering works as an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab. She has a PhD in Social Sciences.
(This article was first published on Wednesday, June 15, 2022.)