Analysis from Paylab, an international salary portal, suggests that people who are entering the labour market for the first time have the most ambitious expectations with regard to their salaries. The older the job applicants are, the more realistic are their salary expectations. In addition, they have a tendency to undervalue their potential salary at a job position with which they had no prior experience. The most ambitious salary expectations can be seen with employees under 24 years old. On average, Generation Z – that is, current graduates and labour market newbies – expect a salary that is about 9 percent higher than real salaries in this age group.
Other options, such as initiating a pay discussion and negotiating a pay rise with their boss, would be chosen by considerably fewer people - only 35% of underpaid employees. A fifth of underpaid employees would choose to communicate their willingness for career advancement with the same employer. About 16% of employees would try to find a side job to increase income. 14% of employees would consider starting their own business.
Interestingly, the survey found that employees who assessed their earnings as adequate have a much greater tendency to stay with their current employer. Compared to people who feel underpaid, they are more likely to choose career progression to a higher position, or further education as part of their income-increasing strategy. Another option preferred by employees with more appropriate remuneration is working more shifts or hours as part of the current job.
These findings are the result of the
international Salary Satisfaction and
Preferences Survey, which was conducted through Paylab Data Research in November and December 2017 on a sample of 34,065 respondents with real salary in 10 European
countries. The survey is part of the Paylab
Compensation Monitor, which regularly monitors remuneration and labour
market trends. Read more about how employees perceive their salary.
Employers are more concerned with employee remuneration strategy
Finding a better-paid job is clearly the most preferred way to increase income in all countries that participated in the survey. Half of employees in Central and Southern Europe, as well as in the Baltics and Finland would choose this strategy. For employers, it is a signal that regular salary reassessment can greatly reduce the chances of employees leaving. Companies that take employee remuneration seriously can monitor remuneration trends through Paylab's current salary reports.
Salary negotiations are challenging for both employees and employers
Approximately a third of employees in Central Europe and the Baltics, and 38% of employees in Finland, would initiate pay negotiations as an acceptable way to achieve a pay rise. Tips on how to approach a pay rise can be found in Paylab blog article. Since pay negotiations are challenging to prepare and argue, employees often use an anonymous online service to compare salaries for a specific position and specific region. Paylab has also prepared a series of videos for employees with guides on how to negotiate salary and working conditions.
About the survey
An international Salary Satisfaction and Preferences Survey was conducted in 10 countries across Europe on a total sample of 34,065 respondents with real salary. It is part of the Paylab Compensation Monitor, which regularly monitors trends in employee preferences and remuneration in Europe. Data collection was conducted in November and December 2017 through localised salary portals: the Czech Republic - Platy.cz (5778 respondents), Slovakia - Platy.sk (6462 respondents), Hungary - Fizetesek.hu (3528 respondents), Slovenia - Placa.si (2629 respondents), Croatia - MojaPlaca.hr (3172 respondents), Serbia - InfoPlate.rs (735 respondents), Estonia - Palgad.ee (1268 respondents), Lithuania - Manoalga.lt (2371 respondents), Latvia - Algas.lv (1433 respondents), Finland - Palkkadata.fi (6689 respondents).