How EQ could enhance your salary!

Why one particular year-old study could inspire you to work on your EQ! 

We recently saw a Guardian career piece pop up as a recommended read. The piece claimed that EQ (AKA ’emotional intelligence’ or ‘EI’) could be ‘the secret to a high salary’.

In order to reach this conclusion, the Amercian study explored students’ emotional intelligence and then tracked their career path over the coming decade. As you can gather from the above, the students with the greatest EI also had higher incomes.

How EQ increases earnings…

Essentially, the salary effect is achieved by understanding how others are feeling and then using this to ‘accurately motivate and influence their behaviour’. Although the idea of influencing others may sound sinister, it can also be highly positive.

The research showed that people with high emotional intelligence make many friends in their work, allowing them to tap into a wider knowledge base, which boosts their performance (and salary!).

It also proved positive from a people management/mentoring perspective, as high EQ workers are more attuned to the needs and feelings of others. Helping employees and mentees feel ‘heard’.

How is emotional intelligence actually defined?

You’ll find a full definition here. Really, it comes down to being self-aware and able to identify and help manage emotions – both your own and those of others.

Wondering how high your EQ is?

There’s no single specific EI test. However, Pyschology Today offers a fairly comprehensive free emotional intelligence test. They predict this takes around 45-minutes to complete. At the end of it, you then receive a percentage score and a brief overview; without so much as entering a name or email address. Anyone wanting to receive a full report with advice can then pay around $10 for it.

This isn’t to say everyone’s onboard with the EI-salary connection…

If you take another look at the original Guardian article, you’ll see it’s received over 90 comments. Many of which are highlighting the successes of people with questionable emotional intelligence levels!

There’s certainly truth in this, however, what’s the harm in working on your own EQ levels? Even if it doesn’t immediately (or ever directly!) increase your income, it offers many benefits.

Forbes discusses some of these.

Further reading for furthering your emotional intelligence!

  1. In a separate Forbes post, they share 5 ways to develop your EQ.
  2. Medium has an interesting question-filled article to help you to work towards a greater score.
  3. Balance also shared 9 useful steps.

One final EQ tip…read more and read differently!

Don’t only read the research and news articles that strike you as immediately relevant to your life. Get in the habit of seeing what’s happening in the world, and what other demographics are saying and feeling.

Recruitment news makes for a perfect example! There are so many studies which highlight what matters most to employees and employers, what professionals fear or strive for, the similarities and differences between different groups, and the steps we can all take to reach our goals. We publish many such stories on our News blog. Why not pick a post that you wouldn’t usually read and spend some time considering the emotions experienced by the news item/study subjects, how you feel throughout, and how you would express yourself in the given situation?

Get in the habit of doing this often and let it extend to the audio and social media that you also consume.

Graduate & millennial salary news

There is a wealth of discussion out there regarding graduates and millennials…and their salaries. Why has this topic become so newsworthy and what is it telling us?

A quick skim of the headlines might present a negative picture. However, read on for some useful links and the positives surrounding these discussions…

Grads fear they will lose jobs to unpaid interns

Source: People Management

More than 1/4 of graduates worry that unpaid interns will secure the best job opportunities. It is also popularly believed that internships offer a great route to that first graduate level role (55% of respondents).

Worryingly, some organisations may still be dangling the carrot of a ‘possible job’ in order to attract unpaid interns. Such strategies can also prove a major barrier to anyone who cannot afford to work for free. Which applies to many of us! Thought unpaid internships weren’t legal? Here are the current rights (via

Reminder: internships aren’t the only route into your first career role. We frequently share job opportunities of this nature. You can also use our job hunting guide to support your search.

Plenty of opportunities, yet frozen salaries

Source: HR News

Graduate demand is still high – no doubt offering a huge relief to this year’s university leavers. However, starting salaries have changed little over the past ten years.

Although this year did feature an increase in the threshold for paying back a student loan. Meaning anyone earning less than £24,000 per annum will not start paying back their loan as yet (providing as they entered university after September 2012).

Concerned that not having a degree will affect your income? These are the best-paying degree-free jobs.

Millennials earn ‘significantly less’ than they thought they would 

Source: Independent

The Office of National Statistics has revealed some fascinating findings. Back in 2011-2012, a number of 16 to 21-year-olds were invited to share their ‘salary and career aspirations’. The difference between expectation and reality has now been reviewed…

  • 1/2 of the youngest respondents (then aged 16-17) predicted that they would earn £35,000 by the time they turned 30 as graduates, or £25,000 per annum as non-graduates. Yet the average 30-year-old currently earns £23,700.
  • Only 7% believed they would they would earn under £20,000. 37% of 22 to 29-year-olds do, however, earn under this threshold.
  • Whereas 5% thought they would earn above £80,000, only 2% of respondents have done so.

For some realistic earning insights: take a good look at the latest jobs listings. Be sure to research both your industry and target locations. You can also keep on top of the latest salary news – including the items recently shared here!

Almost 1/4 of millennials don’t think they’ll be able to afford to retire

Source: HR News

Some millennial workers are concerned that they may never be able to retire, as they cannot afford to ‘invest in their pensions’. Additionally, 1/5 don’t believe a state pension will exist by this time.

1 in 3 workers from this age group currently resides at home with their parents due to their financial constraints.

Younger employees are facing ‘spiralling debts’ 

Source: HR Magazine

Financial stress is rising among younger workers:

  • 70% of under 34-year-olds have to borrow money on a regular basis just to cover daily living expenses and/or settle their monthly bills.
  • 20% of 25 to 34-year-olds say they’re ‘only just coping’.
  • 33% of 25 to 34-year-olds are forced to use credit cards to cover their general costs, while average unsecured debts have reached £14,794.35 for people aged 25 to 44.
  • 45% of under 34-year-olds are suffering performance issues as a result of their financial anxieties, and 40% are experiencing problems with their workplace relationships.

What do these millennial salary news items tell us?

While the news may look negative at first glance, the insights can be used positively – for graduates, millennials, and their employers.

Clearly, financial anxieties greatly affect a large number of younger workers. The more that these issues are discussed, the better we’re able to address them. We instantly think back to our recent exploration of ‘Gen Z’ news, in which employers were advised to incorporate financial schemes into their staff attraction and retention tools.

Alongside this, have another look at the stats above. Many workers from these age groups are not feeling the same level of anxiety. 80% of employees are more than ‘only just coping’, while 3/4 of grads don’t fear that they’ll miss out on job opportunities due to unpaid interns.

We welcome applications from working adults of all age groups. Register your CV today!

UK salary news roundup

Sharing three of the latest salary news items from around the web. These pieces cover the national payrise forecast, the well-paid jobs that don’t require a degree, and the possible job-switch effect…

Salary news #1: a national pay rise

Source: HR News

Half of all employers surveyed intend to offer their team a pay rise of more than 2% within the next twelve months. It’s promising to read that these findings span businesses of multiple sizes and industries.

  • What’s more, the majority of the companies offering a pay rise will do so at 5% or more (32% of businesses).
  • 12% of companies plan to increase their salary levels by 2-5%.
  • While 18% will implement a 1-2% pay rise.
  • Sadly, 2% of businesses will be forced to decrease salaries due to their ‘increasing upfront business costs’.

The article references the skills shortage as an influence. This is also discussed in The September ‘Report on Jobs’.

Salary news #2: switching jobs may lead to a higher salary

Source: Recruiting Times

A new think tank study suggests that changing jobs can enhance your salary level. This article explores short-term pay rates and suggests that, within the next few months, salaries will rise at around 2.7% growth. Here it’s stated that the pre-financial crash average was in fact 4.5%.

Conversely, those that change jobs are currently more likely to experience an 11% salary increase, which is higher than any average observed within the past seven years.

Again, this brings to mind the above-linked Report on Jobs and ongoing skills shortage. Additionally, and as the piece cites, fewer people are presently switching jobs than they were prior to the financial crisis (therefore enabling such salary advantages).

It seems prudent to remind that we’d never recommend switching jobs until you have a secure offer in place. See Day 1 of our 7 Days of Job Hunting Tips for more on this topic.

Salary news #3: the best-paying degree-free jobs

Source: HR News

Fear that not having a degree could stunt your salary prospects? Indeed has shared a round-up of jobs that don’t require a degree to earn more than the national salary average.

Note: the UK salary average is now £27,600 per annum.

Topping the list (and almost doubling the average salary) is the role of the Ethical Hacker. However, some more familiar commercial office openings also make the list, including the Executive Assistant, Sales Manager and Software Engineer.

We hope that this list will inspire you to feel more positive about your job search and future career prospects. Don’t forget to use this advice post to take your hunt to an expert level. You can also find out more about local salary levels by keeping a close eye on our jobs page.

For managers and business owners, you may be interested to read more about the influence that pay-rates currently have on our UK work culture…and how this could affect your search for your next employee!

Graduate salary expectations

How do graduate salary expectations vary by job sector? And how realistic are they? These questions underpin Unidays’ recent research (published by Recruiting Times)…

Graduate salary expectations: the top 10 roles

The top ten roles or industry sectors perceived to offer the highest starting salary currently include:

  1. YouTube personality: £55,000 per annum
  2. Chemicals/pharmaceuticals: £32,183
  3. Oil & energy: £29,000
  4. Other digital influencers: £28,700
  5. Marketing & PR: £27,650
  6. Engineering: £26,600
  7. Legal: £26,550
  8. Banking: £26,500
  9. Investment banking: £26,400
  10. Medicine: £25,900

Job predictions ranking from positions 11 to 24 are additionally available here.

As you can see, the findings cover job vacancies ranging from the traditional to the contemporary. Currently, ‘influencer’ and ‘online personality’ type roles are estimated to exceed the earnings of other longstanding graduate jobs.

How do graduate salary expectations compare to real-life earnings?

This is where things become all the more interesting. The above figures are, after-all, based solely on predictions.

However, on the whole, graduates overestimate their potential earnings by £3,150 to £6,150 per annum. Putting this in salary terms, the average graduate salary expectation sits at £25,150. Yet the average real-life earning falls between £19,000 to £22,000 per year.

How can people form more realistic graduate salary expectations?

Make sure that you’re looking at local data. Many graduate job guides will be based on national averages, which don’t take into account regional nuances.

Your best bet is, therefore, to research local vacancies within your target sector. Read job specs closely to see who they’re targeted at (i.e. whether it’s an entry-level or graduate role, or whether you’d need further sector experience. It’s helpful to remember that graduate jobs aren’t always advertised specifically as graduate openings). Then take a look at the salary level.

The more often you do this, the more realistic your predictions are likely to be. This is important for your initial career decisions. You don’t want to overlook excellent opportunities because you’ve built an unrealistic expectation. Equally, you don’t want to undersell yourself against your competition.

You’ll often be asked about your salary expectations during interviews; this is yet another opportunity to demonstrate that you’ve put some groundwork into your interview preps.

For further guidance…

  • New grads should have a good read of our Job Hunting Tips guide. This contains seven days of expert tips to help you tailor your recruitment processes and stand out from the competition.
  • Anyone looking to attract this year’s graduates will want to take a look at this post on what graduates most want to know about their first career opportunities – and what local employers can do to draw their attention.

Permanent placements have risen again!

Discussing the latest REC stats on permanent placements, starting salaries and more…

Each month the REC teams up with IHS Markit to bring us all the latest facts on national employment. This data offers frontline insights, with primary research generated from recruitment agencies throughout the UK.

Permanent placements have risen again

Not only have permanent placements increased, they’ve done so at their fastest pace in four months (as of December). Agencies also report continued demand for temps – with growth only slowing slightly from November.

The 20-year survey averages continue to be beaten! Overall vacancy numbers remain well above the norm, despite the fact they’re said to have ‘softened’ marginally.

But what about candidate availability?

Candidate availability remains an area of chief concern for the majority of employers. In fact, this issue is worsening at its most rapid rate in two years.

Temporary staffing availability is also proving problematic.

TIP: for this reason, we’d further advise employers to seek the support of experienced local recruitment consultants. You’ll find more advice regarding this specific issue here

Salaries are growing

National starting salaries are seeing continued improvement as a result of the skills shortage. Temporary pay rates have also followed suit.

Sector differences

Both the private and public sectors are experiencing increases in demand. However, the curve has been steeper for the private sector (and as witnessed in recent reports).

Accountancy & Financial openings have experienced some of the greatest growth, followed by the IT & Computing sector.

Discussing these figures, Kevin Green of the REC suggests more employers are now utilising the services of recruiters. He reminds businesses that job-seekers are often more active at the start of a new year; recommending that employers expand their “talent pools and be inventive about how to improve their employer brand and make themselves an even more attractive place to work”.

Please call Appoint on 01225 313130 for further advice on your recruitment plans for the coming year.

Looking for work? Visit our jobs page to see the roles that we’re actively recruiting for. You’ll also want to catch up on our 7 Days of Job Hunting Tips!

[Stats: REC 9th Jan 2018]

Millennials choose SME employers

Why do millennials choose SME employers over their larger counterparts? Exploring the latest stats and what these mean for Bath…

Almost half (47%) of millennials say SME businesses represent their ideal employer size. Conversely, just 19% favour a larger employer, according to research shared by HR Review.

What is an SME business?

‘SME’ stands for Small to Medium Enterprises – with such businesses employing anywhere from 1 to 249 staff members.

‘Millennials’ (also known as ‘Generation Y’) commonly refers to anyone born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s.

So, what’s the attraction of an SME?

The research explores both respondents’ working values and expectations in relation to businesses of different sizes. The findings show:

  • Flexible working hours is the most desired working benefit among millennials. Furthermore, it’s one that 43% believe to be a characteristic of SMEs.
  • This was followed by career progression, higher salaries, and friendlier working cultures. Again, each of these being benefits perceived more likely within an SME.

You can find the full stats on HR Review.

What does this mean for Bath?

As discussed in our Career Change special, SME business dominates the South-West. The 2016 ONS stats say 103,370 companies employed 0-4 people. Clearly, vastly more than the region’s 505 employing more than 250 last year.

Once again, we must consider the meaning of such stats. This research is based on people’s values and perceptions, rather than employers’ specific offerings. Not all SME businesses are in the position to provide each of the most desired benefits, after all.

Yet this doesn’t mean that these results are not of value to local job-seekers or employers…

  • As an employer: you’re receiving an insight into (some of!) a generation’s core values. This becomes valuable when tailoring an attractive and competitive recruitment offering – something we can help you achieve.
  • As a job-seeker: firstly you can feel confident that there are many SME opportunities throughout the region. Visit our latest jobs listings for more. Yet it’s also a great reminder to consider your working values. What do you most need from your next role; what will allow you to truly commit to a permanent position? Your Recruitment Consultant will be able to advise on what is most realistic at this time and any recruiting clients you are most suited to.

For further advice on your recruitment plans, please call the office on 01225 313130.