Salary satisfaction is at a high for UK workers as close to two-thirds (61%) say they are now happy with their pay compared to just 43% the previous year. Workers in the South West are the most satisfied region at 63%, with employees in Leicester being the most satisfied with their salary by city at 67%.
The research by recruiting experts, Hays revealed employers are now under more pressure than ever to offer attractive salary and benefits packages to secure talent in a skill-short market. Close to half of employers (49%) expect to encounter applicants with unrealistic salary expectations this year, compared to 45% last year.
Staff are more satisfied, but could many be earning more?
Despite salary satisfaction rising, workers are urged to review what they could be earning, especially for those who are planning a career move this year. The Hays Salary Checker is set to prove popular with jobseekers as it sheds light on average salaries for their role, experience and location. Over half of the UK workforce (56%) are likely to look for a new role this year.
Armed with the right knowledge, workers may feel confident enough to ask for a pay rise or discuss pay in their review meetings. Just over a quarter (26%) of workers asked for a pay rise in 2018 compared to 31% the year prior. Research revealed London had the highest proportion of workers who asked for a pay rise (32%) with workers in Wales being the least confident to do so at 18%.
Staff remain tempted by pay on offer elsewhere as over a quarter (26%) say their salary and benefits package is the top reason they would leave their current role, with 44% saying a better salary and benefits packages would also tempt them to move jobs. Of the 42% of staff who said they moved roles last year, the most common reason (27%) was because their salary was too low.
Simon Winfield, managing director of Hays UK & Ireland said, “As salaries have risen consistently over the past few years, more staff are now happier with their salary. However, in order to stay on the front foot, jobseekers should take this opportunity to check their salary and see what their earning potential could be.
In areas like technology and finance where there are plenty of jobs, candidates who are armed with this knowledge will be in the best position to secure a good salary and benefits package. Alongside this, I’d urge professionals to think about what they can do to secure the best possible salary and keep progressing their career.
This includes having a dedicated approach to learning, to focus on developing your skills, expanding your network and seeking out advice from experts on how to accelerate your career.”