Career And Interview Advice | Collins McNicholas

I was horrified to learn I am paid less than male colleagues – how do I reduce the gap?

I was horrified to learn I am paid less than male colleagues – how do I reduce the gap?Question: With all the talk about the gender pay gap in the news recently, I started to wonder if my pay was on a par with my male colleagues so I did a bit of asking around. I was horrified to find out that not only was my pay substantially less than my male counterparts, it was also fairly significantly less than one more junior male member of my team – a person who I manage. I have found it hard to bite my tongue, but I have no idea how to tackle the issue as we do not have pay scales in work and I only found out the differences as I started asking. How should I broach this with my boss? Answer: I can imagine this was a great shock and I would hope that, in this day and age, you are in a minority as many companies have started to address gender pay differences and are being proactive in ensuring that pay scales are in place. There should be no discrepancies between male and female workers in the same role and I would suggest all companies review pay to ensure there are no obvious gaps. The safest way is to tie in pay scales directly to market value for the role at hand, which leaves a narrow range for negotiation and addresses unfair pay gaps. Organisations should conduct annual pay-equity analysis to ensure pay is in line with relevant variables such as market value, employee experience, annual performance reviews, etc. Some companies are introducing total ‘pay transparency’, which allows everyone to be aware of what their counterparts are earning; forcing organisations to establish a meritocracy so those who are most productive get paid the most. Some tech companies are already implementing these strategies and I think this will soon become the norm. However, in the meantime, here are some pointers to consider when broaching a discussion with your employer: Research: Conduct basic research to find out market rates in similar job roles so you can address the difference between manager and subordinate. Know your worth: Be ready for a discussion around your worth. Be ready to list your achievements and consider what you’ve done to meet objectives, new initiatives you brought to the table, and projects you managed – they are all your unique selling points (USPs) that others may not have put their hands up to take on! Establish ground: Think about the final figure you feel is equitable. You can start the discussion on a slightly higher figure, as often a company will want to negotiate to meet in the middle. Discuss: Ask your employer to highlight the comparators and assess why there is a difference in pay between you and male counterparts. Then sit down with your manager to discuss how to redress the situation. Stay focused to making the best possible case to your boss without getting flustered or losing your point -always be professional and clear in this type of discussion. Negotiate: It is not a key strength for everyone but do not be deterred by entering into a negotiation around your salary – if it does not sit well with you as a proper compensation then don’t accept the first figure put on the table. Remove emotion: Always remain calm and collected -this is no time for emotional reactions even after discovering a discrepancy in pay rates. Practise your pitch before the discussion if you need to and think about the likely responses you may get. You need to put forward convincing factual points, especially if you are presenting information around what others are being paid. Be able to back this up when asked. This is not the time to threaten to leave or disrupt the current state of play (they could call your bluff) – this is the time to show how you can deal with a pressurised situation in a calm manner. Think of it as a business case to your employer as to why you should have a comparative salary to someone in a similar role contributing a similar level of work. For some companies it will take time to educate them when it comes to pay gaps or differences but as a manager you need to highlight that you only have their best interest at heart as you want them to be recognised as an employer of choice in the region with a productive and happy workforce all working in a very fair and equitable environment.           Michelle Murphy, Director Collins McNicholas Recruitment & HR Services Group This article was first published in the business section of The Sunday Independent on the 17th of September 2017, and the original article can be found...

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I’m worried about how I’m going to make my mark as a young first-time Team Leader

Question: I’m in my early 30s and nearly 10 years into a successful IT career. I’ve recently been given the responsibility of managing a team of junior staff. If all goes well, I’ll be offered an official management role. However, this is my first time taking any kind of team leader responsibility and I’m worried about taking on such a big responsibility. I’m determined to be a good mentor and a strong team leader but I don’t know where to start. How can I approach this new role and start off on a strong note? Answer: First of all, congratulations. It is great to hear that you understand the gravity of the change that you will be undertaking in your role. High-potential individuals, having displayed exceptional skill in their role, are often promoted to the very different position of team leader or manager. While seen as a natural “next step”, the skills required in managing people are often very different to the qualities and actions required in the day-to-day role. For example, delegation, empathy, planning, negotiation may all be demanded daily of a team leader. In order to approach the role with confidence, take some time to think about how you are going to approach this new opportunity. Here are some items that you should consider. 1. Examine the key characteristics or skills of a leader or manager you respect or admire Take some time to contemplate the qualities and actions of a current or former leader, which you have seen as being particularly effective. Focus on the areas that you believe makes them successful, rather than just what makes them...

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It feels like the time to spread my wings, but should I heed fears about the role on offer?

Question: I am a senior manager in the medtech industry and, after 20 years with my current company, I feel it is time to seek new challenges. I’ve been for several interviews and I’ve been offered the perfect role with another firm. But I am concerned, as I heard the last person in the role damaged staff morale and several team members left as a result. Should I accept the position despite this? How can I go into this new role and invoke a positive working environment for everyone? Answer: Making a change in your work life is a difficult and brave decision to take at any point in your career development. You should balance both your feelings for your current role, as well as the potential development beyond. While you might have heard rumours about your potential new role and the state of morale, there are other things that you need to consider before you even tackle that issue. Be sure about the move for your own reasons first and then you can look forward to how you might address any internal issues. Here are a few things you should consider before deciding if this is the role for you. 1 The organisation Have you looked at the overall structure and culture of the company? The organisation’s position and reputation in the market should be taken into consideration. How does this match with your expectations for your career? Are their ethics, the product or service they provide as well as their ideology in keeping with your outlook? 2. Role content How would you prefer to spend your time...

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Jobseekers Guide – Managing Your Job Campaign

Jobseekers Guide – Managing Your Job Campaign What is a job search campaign? A job search campaign is a structured and consistently employed plan to promote a positive self image and enhance your career opportunities. Key Steps in a Job Search Campaign: • Apply yourself fully to your job search campaign; your job now is to get a new job • Research the market, evaluate possible options and opportunities. • Generate a list of companies to target in your region and research how to target these companies. • Set daily, weekly and monthly targets. • Organise your job search and establish an efficient record keeping system. Succeeding in Today’s Job Market Over half of vacancies are filled without being advertised, this is what is known as the Hidden Job Market. There are many different routes to market, both advertised and hidden: Routes to market 1. Recruitment Agencies Select agencies that best suit your needs. It is important to build a relationship with the recruiter. The onus lies with you to keep in contact with the agency and to follow up regularly. Try and arrange a meeting with the agency and treat it as an interview. Continue to review websites for suitable positions, and if you locate a position that is of interest to you discuss this role with your recruiter and seek their advice. 2. Start Networking Networking events include; Open Coffee Mornings, Chamber of Commerce Meetings, College Seminars, public networking events at local sports / communities / parishes, etc. It is vital to use these opportunities and to be proactive while attending. Attending networking events gives you the opportunity to...

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Will passing up a promotion when my children were younger ruin my chances this time?

Question: I am trying to move up in my career but am worried past decisions may come back to haunt me. Five years ago, when my two children were quite young, I passed up a promotion as it would have meant working longer hours. The same position has opened up again recently and I now feel ready to take on this role. I am worried that because I refused in the past, I will be passed up by my employer this time. How do I approach going for this promotion? Answer: Try not to worry as it is unlikely your previous refusal of the role will impact your career path at this stage. There is no doubt that your choice to prioritise your home life in the past should not be held against you in this process. Under the Employment Equality Acts, your organisation must not discriminate against you on the grounds of family status. This means that, all things being equal between your application and that of another candidate, legally your organisation cannot choose another candidate above you on the basis that you have a family. However, be careful not to let your concern impact your application negatively as this will result in you approaching the process in a more negative light. It can often happen that more experienced candidates are so concerned with a potential difficulty – such as the possibility of being discriminated against because of their age – that they fail to communicate their competency for, and their genuine interest in, the role to the best of their ability. Focus instead on preparing your application...

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Jobseekers Guide – Interview Tips

Introduction “You only get one chance to make a first impression” First impressions do count, and research has shown that the average person can make up their minds about somebody within the first 30 seconds! A job interview is no different. Preparation, presentation and attitude are the key ingredients to be successful. What to Expect? From the employer’s perspective, the purpose of the interview is to evaluate you and your capabilities, to assess your ability to contribute to the organisation and to see how well you might fit into the organisation. The Stages of an Interview There are 4 stages in a typical job interview: • Breaking the ice – introductions and ‘chitchat’ designed to help you relax and feel comfortable. • Exchanging information – questions that focus on the organisation, the job and your interest in both. • Expanding the focus – specific questions about you and how well you will be able to do the job. • Wrapping up – time for clarifying, asking questions and final comments. Interview Preparation Preparing yourself properly for an interview will help you relax and give you the confidence to answer tough questions. Thorough preparation will dramatically improve your chances of getting the job. Research the Company & the Role Firstly make sure you read through the job description carefully. If you are dealing with a recruitment consultant they should also be able to tell you about the company you are going to see, and about the person who is interviewing you. You should also conduct your own background research on the firm and the individuals you are meeting. You will...

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