Salary and Benefits

January 4, 2008

Be creative, practical in seeking more pay

, Newsday

MELVILLE, N.Y. – If you've been delaying plans to seek a raise, now might be the time.

The shortage of highly skilled workers has emboldened some employees to demand higher salaries. Fifty-eight percent of employees surveyed nationwide by the staffing company Robert Half International and said they are more likely to negotiate a better compensation package today, double the percentage a year ago.

Dale Carnegie Training in Hauppauge, N.Y., has received increasing numbers of requests for training from companies convinced that the only way to get good people in today's market is to steal them or grow their own – as in training, says Peter Handal, Dale Carnegie's chairman and chief executive.

For employees seeking a raise, here are a few tips from Handal:

  • Look at things from the other person's point of view. What does the manager want or expect from you? Are you sure that you deliver?
  • Communicate. "It's not just a matter of doing a good job; it's equally important to let a manager know you are doing a good job and doing what he or she wants," Handal says.
  • Do your homework. Find out how much a position like yours commands in the job market and in your company.

Also consider the company's circumstances. "If the company is on the verge of bankruptcy ... there's no point in spending a lot of energy in negotiating a raise," he says.

  • Get creative. If your pay won't go any higher, try asking for an extra day off, a parking space or another fringe benefit that would be just as valuable as cash.
  • Be flexible and reasonable. "Don't ask for something that is over the moon," he says.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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