What is Your Worth on the Job Market?

Many websites give the opportunity of learning our value on the job market. Can these tools help us negotiate a better salary? Yes, on condition of not being too financially greedy…

Negotiating your salary is often very strategic – you have to know how to get the highest potential income, without losing your chances of getting the desired job. However, it is difficult to objectively assess your skills and know what you are worth on the professional market.

Various websites such as Glassdoor, Indeed and Payscale have appeared in recent years. Based on data from employees and employers, they provide the opportunity to compare your salary with those offered in your profession as a whole, based on your qualification, experience, education, seniority and even by location.

These resources are in addition to those of the professional orders, specialized schools and government statistics such as the Survey on Total Compensation in Quebec (ERG), which provides information on the average salary.

While these tools are certainly useful to evaluate a salary offer, they can also be a double-edged sword. “The sites don’t indicate if the employer with which the candidate is negotiating can afford to pay the amount stated for other organizations,” says Michel Larouche, human resources management consultant.

Seeing beyond salary

According to this expert, information collected from the web needs to be taken with a grain of salt. It can lead a candidate to expect a salary offer that is too high and hinder his job interview. “If it says that compensation is in the range of $20 to $24 per hour, the candidate will inevitably expect to get $24,” he says. “If the wage offered is below the minimum threshold reported, because the employer cannot pay more, he will he disappointed.”

In addition, our perception of these statistics may be very subjective. “Some candidates have the tendency to overestimate their value on the market,” the specialist explains. Remember that the directories are public and can also be consulted by employers. “They are able to know if the salary offered is unreasonable or not,” says the human resources consultant.

In addition, social benefits are not taken into account in the data found. The employee can sometimes lose a few dollars in compensation, but earn a lot in social contributions or see his salary grow faster than at the competition. “Employers usually have to do something to attract labour,” Michel Larouche says.

In Quebec, companies with 10 employees or more must comply with the Pay Equity Act. Organizations that do not comply are identified by the Commission des normes, de l’équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST).

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