What should intranet jobs pay?
In follow up to our last post, what does your intranet job title mean (which you can fill in a survey and let us know), Intranetizen is taking a look at the salaries intranet specialists receive and where they should really be. Here in London, the jobs market certainly seems to be picking up, but it is the same for other cities, countries or even regions? The Financial Times reported last week that a record drop in the availability of permanent candidates, combined with a rise in job vacancies, is pushing up starting salaries.
Yet this doesn’t seem to be the case for intranet jobs. Looking at the data for job ads posted online, salaries remain flat for the third year in a row at an average of £39,500, even as intranets and intranet roles get more complex.
Take, for example, an approach we had recently from a recruiter on LinkedIn. The job asked for experience of Sharepoint 2010 and 2013, a track record delivering an enterprise social network in a large organisation, the ability to lead a team and manage stakeholders, and much else besides. And it was offering pretty much exactly the average intranet salary – £40k.
Do more skills mean more pay?
Looking at the data, intranet salaries compare badly with other digital communications and IT occupations. The salaries for social network manager, social media strategist, Sharepoint expert, Sharepoint specialist, and project manager are all, individually, higher than £40k. So surely someone who combines all of those skills should be paid exponentially more?
The answer, on the face of it, is of course yes but reality says something altogether different. If the intranet community is appropriately paid their worth, then organisations will attract and retain the right people, which will ultimately be better for the bottom line. So how do we make the case for better remuneration for intranet pros?
Intranetizen’s top 5 tips for securing better pay
1) Prove the value of what we do
What businesses are prepared to spend on the people who manage their intranet is directly correlated to how much the value the intranet itself, so if we’re to get the compensation we deserve, we need to prove the value of what we deliver. This means you need to position your intranet from a push communications channel to one delivering tangible, and ideally cashable business benefit. If you don’t already know find out what activities cannot be completed if the intranet is unavailable and really focus on the intranet’s role in business successes.
2) Demonstrate the breadth of your skill-set
Job titles never really capture the skills or range of responsibility (that is why we are doing a survey to find out more) intranet people possess. It is your duty to profile your skills, to keep your job description up to date, and to re-evaluate your job title whenever the scope of your job changes. Never underestimate the power of detailing everything you do in your job description. That little document is more powerful then you think.
Research. Let us say this again – research! Not only do you need to research your market value outside of your organisation but you need to research your value within. When researching internally, locate similarly skilled colleagues who may manage the same size of team, have the same breadth of responsibility, and embody specialist skills and request your salary to be compared, in confidence, to their salary. A smart tactic is to provide HR and your line manager the salary trends for all the skill sets you possess, especially given digital workplace roles need to be so diverse.
4) Be prepared to move jobs
If you’re not getting a good deal in your current role, shop around – your best chance at getting a significant pay rise is usually when you move companies, particularly if you move to a higher-paid industry. A competing job offer can also be a good negotiating tactic with your existing employer, though if you are motivated to move sometimes it is better to look ahead then to stay where you are.
5) Look at future potential
The only reason to be paid more is because you will deliver more in the future. Don’t focus on your past achievements or your personal situation. Focus on what you can do and what your future plans are for your position and the organisation.