Wage growth is stagnant in Insurance. How can you increase yours?
by Heat Recruitment
by Dave Bell
Earlier in the month, the Office for National Statistics published data showing that August’s wage growth figure (3.1%) was the fastest since the recession that followed the financial crisis. Meanwhile, research recently published by Indeed revealed that the average Brit believes they require a pay rise of up to £7,200 to lead a comfortable life.
More than ever, it is becoming increasingly apparent that while some industries may be undergoing a quiet remuneration renaissance – others just simply are not.
It may seem like a lifetime ago to some, but anybody working in the insurance industry will still be feeling the pinch from the ramifications that rippled globally post-2008. While employers may use consumer confidence as an excuse for underpaying star players, determined professionals should not accept this fate.
Don’t ask, don’t get
It may sound obvious, but the first step to jumping out of wage stagnation is plucking up the guts to at least ask the question to your employer. Of course, asking for more is rarely as easy as it sounds: if you are to secure a pay rise, you must be prepared to argue your case and have facts and figures to support your claim.
In truth, the response you receive will generally rely on several external factors that are out of your control: costs being a prime example. Knowing when to ask is equally as important as knowing how to ask – and that goes beyond bothering your boss when their schedule is particularly busy.
If the firm is hitting targets and profits are up, it’s only logical that your chance of getting the pay rise you ask for will be greater than it would be during a period of downturn. In any case, a compelling argument can often be a golden ticket to a higher salary, so don’t hesitate to draw from a list of accomplishments, express your desire to grow in the role and reiterate your desire to grow with the business. This will all play in your favour during that pivotal meeting.
Specialisation means salary growth
As with most industries, specialist roles are where the high salaries can be found. In the insurance industry, there exist a plethora of different options that can lead you towards the salary packet you desire.
It largely comes down to your ideal career direction. If, for example, you already work in retail insurance, you are probably more than aware that making the switch to commercial brokerage brings with it more complex challenges, long working hours and generous bonuses.
Roles within high value, high risk industries like aviation, maritime, and energy are some of the highest paid roles available without making the lead to management or even the C-suite. Specialising in management is also an option if you are looking to grow your salary in the immediate future and are not wishing to hit the books and get your highlighters out all over again.
Becoming a partner in a small firm, managing an internal sales team or even starting your own firm are all avenues available thanks to the nature of the skillset required to work in insurance.
Look for greener pastures
While some companies consistently reward loyal, high-performing employees in key roles, some candidates may find they need to look beyond their current company to secure a competitive salary. If you have become bereft of new challenges and met with wage stagnation, it really is time to look for a new job.
Naturally, financial performance and corporate aspirations will influence the salary on offer from prospective employers – for instance, small insurance firms looking to build a reputation for attracting top talent may pay in line with FTSE 100 companies while large companies facing financial constraints may pay below market rates.
However, where salaries may be stagnating, the insurance sector still offers cash bonuses 10-15% higher than other core industries. What’s more, insurance companies tend to boast the most attractive pensions schemes of all sectors. In a bid to bowl over top talent, some insurance sector employers will happily put together a tailored package that reflects your requirements.
In any case, demand for top talent in this industry is at a high, which puts those boasting the relevant skills in the driver’s seat when it comes to salary negotiations.