Cost Of Living – How Will It Impact You & Your Job Prospects?

Last Updated on 21st July 2022 by Freddie Chirgwin-Bell

Cost Of Living – How Will It Impact You & Your Job Prospects

Since the beginning of 2022 there has been a consistent theme on the news – inflation is going up.

As a result, the cost of living is going up. Petrol is more expensive, as is food, energy, and more.

With that in mind one of the first things people begin to do is look at their finances and their jobs.

Should they stick out with their job or should they try and move roles into a higher paying position?

These are serious questions and should not be taken lightly.

I asked our directors for their expert opinion on the situation and the ultimate question; what should you do with your work right now?

Anna Shelvey MIRP CertRP

How do you think the cost of living will affect people?

The rise in cost of living is going to have a significant impact on everyone, people, and companies alike. The rise in petrol with negatively impact those who commute and do not have a hybrid working environment.

It will also affect regional sales professionals who travel extensively for work and do not have a fuel card or the PPM is not increased to account for the increase in petrol prices. If they do have a fuel card this will increase the costs to the company and decrease ROI on any sales.

The rise in gas and electric will be grippling for many, especially those on NMW, where difficult choices within the household will have to be made.

In addition to this, those who do own their own property and are on a variable rate, the rise in inflation and subsequent increase in Bank of England rates will squeeze available money even further.

How much do you think it will affect the recruitment market?

I feel that people will become more focussed on a role that allows for working from home, this reduces the number of roles candidates will consider.

It also means that candidates are less likely to move due to the uncertainty of the market now and the threat of another recession.

This fear means that candidates are more likely to only make a move if the salary and benefits of the new role are significantly higher than they are currently receiving.

Clients that are recognising the difficult financial times and increasing salaries as a result are being a lot more successful in their recruitment. Clients that are also focussing on work life balance and creating a collaborative and ‘nice’ working environment will see a lot less staff turnover as candidates are reticent enough to make a move in the current market, so there must be genuine offers of a better working environment to get a candidate to make the move.

How would you go about asking for a pay rise? Is it worth asking compared to looking for a new job?

I think it is always a good idea to put a case for pay increase before looking for another job. If it is only the salary that is motivating someone to move then they need to organise a meeting with their line manager and go in to this meeting prepared.

Just asking for a pay rise isn’t going to cut it when costs are increasing for employers as well as employees. You need to evidence that the cost of losing you will be higher that the costs of increasing the salary.

I would always go armed with evidence of your achievements and how this has benefited the company. I would also do some salary benchmarking so that you know what someone at your level, in your area can expect to receive in the current market.

What would you say to people having to take on two or more jobs to afford to live?

We are seeing this more and more, working in the hospitality sector, we are seeing more candidates working shifts to increase the income from their main role.

Unfortunately this is something that we have seen before, during the recession in 2008, and is something that will never change when times get tough.

I think work life balance and mental health go hand in hand and I would have a conversation with someone to see if it is 100% necessary to take on the additional work and if the negative impact of working so many hours is worth the additional income.

With the market as it is a lot of people are doing this out of necessity and not to just have some extra cash. It is a difficult time.

What would you say to clients to do to help their staff?

I advise all clients to review their salary and benefits structure. When taking on a new role with a client we are open and honest regarding their offering and whether this is going to attract the right calibre of candidate for their business.

We view ourselves as consultants and always consult with our clients on this issue. We feel that our clients not only pay us to find candidates, but to also provide advice and guidance on how to get the best out of the process and their employees.

We have clients who have offered a cost of living bonus to staff after a qualifying period which I strongly support. If clients don’t want to permanently increase salaries, this is something that they can offer during difficult times. It can also easily be removed when things improve.

We have a lot of clients within the manufacturing and warehouse sector, historically a minimum wage sector. We always ask clients to really think about the financial impact on the business if candidates are always leaving to secure higher paid work and they have to retrain someone new.

We then ask if the money spent on this would make offering a competitive rate more attractive. I think if the majority of clients were to really analyse this information, they would see that offering an increased hourly rate or cost of living bonus would be more cost effective than dealing with a high staff turnover.

Nicole Ramsey MIRP CertRP

How do you think the cost of living will affect people?

With less money readily available to people with the cost-of-living increase, I feel people will have less money to enjoy their lives.

Less dinners out, less holidays, etc. I feel people will be a lot more careful with the money they are spending.

How much do you think it will affect the recruitment market?

Candidates are now looking to earn more money which makes things difficult when filling the low paying positions for example warehouse, manufacturing, and hospitality workers.

With such a shortage of good, qualified candidates these candidates know that they can secure positions paying slightly more than usual. This will obviously have a significant impact on businesses to provide rates of pay that can attract these candidates. Minimum wage just won’t cut it any more.

How would you go about asking for a pay rise? Is it worth asking compared to looking for a new job?

I would always say that being totally honest with your current employer is always the best way to start.

If I were looking for a salary increase, I would always discuss this with my line manager in the first instance so they could offer me some advice and guidance.

What you do need to consider when asking for a pay rise is – Does your input warrant a pay rise? Asking and answering this question honestly will help make sure your conversation with your manager goes well.

What would you say to people having to take on two or more jobs to afford to live?

Don’t burn yourself out, your health is a lot more important than anything else.

I would advise you to contact an agency to get a full-time position. We can help you find a role that gives you the right renumeration and regular working hours.

What would you say to clients to do to help their staff?

Invest in your staff – keep up to date with the salary bandings for your staff and the roles they are doing as these are constantly changing.

Separate yourself from your competitors, what can you offer to your staff that they don’t. It’s not always about the monetary aspect but a good and happy working environment.

Chelsey Burt-Davies

How do you think the cost of living will affect people?  

Yes 100%, with the increase in costs across the board (gas, electric, water, fuel, food, etc) it effects people with commuting to work, energy bills if they are working at home, it is such a tough situation.

How much do you think it will affect the recruitment market? 

It is already having a strong impact, with candidates wanting either a Hybrid role or to work from home.  It has increased candidates’ salary expectations to be able to afford to live, they can play offers off against each other to gain the best deal for their situation.

It is also affecting clients as they are having to increase salaries to attract the right calibre of staff, offer better benefits, hybrid working and the costs of energy prices to run an office are increasing as well.

How would you go about asking for a pay rise? Is it worth asking compared to looking for a new job? 

I think most employers understand everyone’s cost of living has increased and would try to do everything possible to retain their staff. 

I think to request a rate increase you would need to put together a justification to support the increase and ensure that this includes not only your financial struggles but also what you bring to the role and what makes you a valuable employee. 

I think a lot of companies, especially if staff are handing in notices, are counter-offering to get them to stay. If this is the case for you and are looking for work, maybe the honest approach is a good way forward.

What would you say to people having to take on two or more jobs to afford to live?

I think everyone needs to do what they need to do to get by. I take my hat off to anyone that works two roles because that is very difficult to juggle.

Not everyone has the right skill set to be able to find that one specific/dream role that pays what they need to, everyone’s financial situation is different and so those circumstances need to be taken into account.

What would you say to clients to do to help their staff? 

Research the job market and see what your competitors are offering. As yourself what small changes could you make to help your staff? Could the role be Hybrid? Could you introduce some small benefits that don’t cost the earth, i.e., birthday off paid, fruit & snacks in the office, cycle to work scheme etc? 

Maybe change working hours to fit in with childcare or public transport timetables.

Freddie Chirgwin-Bell