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Do you deserve a rate increase?

Careers advice / Thursday 6 Jul 2017 / Peggy McGregor

As a contractor, your professional identity is a strange mix of business and individual. Unfortunately, this can cause confusion when it comes to rates. While businesses are expected to maintain the same rate for the same service, individuals are paid according to skill-level (meaning their pay increases as they improve).

So if you’re both a business and an individual, when is a rate increase a reasonable request?

Since you aren’t an employee, you’re unlikely to get a raise for length of service. (Think about a relationship you have with a freelancer, such as an accountant: it would seem silly if they started charging more simply because they’d provided a good service for two years.) However, there are some perfectly good reasons to bump up your fees – here are our top three:

#1 - Providing different or additional services

Is the scope of your role different to what was originally specified? Perhaps your responsibilities have changed or you’ve taken on more projects? If the nature of your work has changed, it’s entirely reasonable to renegotiate your fees accordingly.

#2 - Increase in demand for your services

The laws of supply and demand apply as much to people as they do to products. So if your skills become increasingly sought-after, it’s only sensible that you charge higher rates. Changes in supply and demand can be brought about by a variety of factors:

  • Industry trends: for example, new ISO standards have created demand for experts in IDMP and HL7
  • Organisations: large, multinational companies can have a big impact on the talent market when making cuts or doing a recruitment drive
  • Your own progression: you can change demand for your services by improving your skills and developing new ones

#3 – Changes to working arrangements

Are your working arrangements as expected? Perhaps you’re having to take fewer homeworking days than originally agreed, or maybe you’re being required to travel frequently all of a sudden. It’s only fair that the client compensates you for lost benefits, or for complying with extra demands.

The next step

If one or more of the above apply to you, then good news! You probably deserve a rate increase. The bad news? Actually securing it is another matter. Don’t panic though – we have a whole article devoted to this. Take a look at our six tips for securing a rate increase.

Need further advice? Contact our recruitment specialists.

Careers advice / Thursday 6 Jul 2017 / Peggy McGregor