Is a significant wage increase worth it?

We totally get it. The cost of living has gone up dramatically. Food, bills, even a haircut (wink) have gone up in price over the last year. Yet wages haven’t always kept up with the pace of inflation. Mix this with the difficulty to find experienced and qualified staff and lately, employers are throwing money at people as their recruitment strategy. And it’s changing the landscape of our industry and how we find and pay our people – not always for the better. Is a significant wage increase worth it?

Candidates will find that they are approached more often about new opportunities in a competitive recruitment market. Sometimes it’s a welcome conversation and sometimes it’s completely unsolicited – either way, it’s tempting! But here are the things you should be looking out for when an employer offers you a new opportunity with a significant wage or salary increase. 

  1. Why are they so desperate for staff?

Staff turnover is a major red flag. If the only perk that an employer is offering their team is money, it’s very likely that staff won’t stick around long. Always ask why they’re actively looking for people with so much urgency. And if you’re brave enough, ask if anyone has recently left their business, and why. 

  1. Are the costs of the services a reflection of the wages offered?

Another sign of desperation is businesses that offer reasonably cheap services, but high wages. If it’s a high end/high service level salon with a high earning margin, then higher wages can be justified. However if it is a competitive salon with reasonably standard pricing – the amount they’re offering to pay you may become a contentious issue later on when it’s time for things like annual wage reviews. 

  1. How will your career be nurtured?

If they’re offering high wages but skipping out on education opportunities, your career might end up in trouble. There’s no denying that education comes at a cost to a business. Some employers may avoid that cost to subsidise the extra that they are paying you in your hourly rate. Ensure that education opportunities are still on offer despite the increased salary. 

Is a significant wage increase worth it? If you’ve managed to find a great opportunity that is paying you well, educating you, and nurturing your personal and professional wellbeing, you’re on a winner! Just beware of those that aren’t what they seem. 

Good luck!

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