How to determine the right price for your profile in the labor market?

Posted January 4, 2023, 7:00 am

Insaff El Hassini is an international finance lawyer. A salary negotiation trainer, she is the voice behind Ma Juste Valeur, a podcast about women’s attitudes to money. She founded the French branch of Lean In, a women’s network founded by Sheryl Sandberg with the goal of moving towards greater equality between men and women.

With Heloise Bolle, a former journalist in the economics and heritage press who founded Oseille & Compagnie, specializing in wealth advice and financial education seminars, “Aux thunes, citoyennes! »*. Her tips for knowing what you’re worth in the job market.

“It is not easy to find the right price for one’s skills, experience and expertise in the labor market. The labor market consists of a mass of information that is difficult to understand and decipher. Therefore, it seemed important to me to create a simple, clear and practical methodology to teach women how to quickly discover the true value of their profiles in the market.

To do this, I was inspired by the legal methodology used by French judges to determine whether a misdemeanor, a crime or a misdemeanor has been committed. This method consists of collecting all the clues, information and relevant facts that will enable the determination of the crime, offense or criminal act. It is this method that I have adapted to compensation negotiations and named the Package of Indexes Method® in homage to my legal studies.

The purpose of the index package method is to discover and determine with maximum certainty all the indices and relevant evidence elements that will allow you to see the value of your profile in the market in three stages. Fair value of your qualification:

Step #1: Get an overview.

Step #2: Cross-check the information.

Step #3: Validate with market players.

Step number 1: Get an overview

The goal is to initially gather broad information about the job market’s assessment of your profile. For him :

– Write your job title or the title of the intended position on the Internet and note the results of the proposed award.

– Review compensation reports published annually by major recruiting firms (Birdeo, Michael Page, Robert Half, Hays, etc.) and available online for free.

– Compare this information with salaries published on

– Scan ads on recruitment sites (Indeed, Monster, Apec, etc.) to check the salary range shown in job offers (if available).

At the end of this first step, you should have a fairly broad overview of the salary range that can be applied to your profile.

Step #2: Cross-check the information

This second stage aims to refine as much as possible the range of compensation determined in the first stage. The idea here is to compare the first figures found with the reality on the ground. The best way to do this is to interview people who generally have the same profile as you and work in the position in question. And the best way to find this type of person is to look for them in your professional network.

Remember that your professional network consists of classmates, former colleagues, LinkedIn contacts, friends, friends of friends, etc. The idea is to survey anyone who can help you gain maximum visibility into the applicable salary range to approximate the salary range found in the first step.

The real challenge in succeeding in this second step is daring to approach people and breaking the omertà that weighs heavily on rewards. I know how complicated it is to talk about money in France. It’s still not entirely socially acceptable to talk about it openly, for fear of intruding, disturbing, and being embarrassed to ask for help and/or vent about it.

I understand these fears, and they are justified. But what I’ve learned after teaching over 5,000 women how to negotiate their compensation is that most of your fears are in your head. Indeed, these fears reflect only one side of reality, because yes, there will always be people who refuse to answer you, but the vast majority remain kind and happy to help you!

How do you want help narrowing your payment gap?

A typical example of an email you can send without hesitation to people in your professional circle:

Hello X,

I hope you are well. I am currently looking for the value of my profile in the job market, especially the fair remuneration that will be attributed to me. I’ve already defined a range from €X to €Y, but I’d like some help fine-tuning it. As long as you practice on the post in question, are you willing to help improve it? Thank you very much in advance!

Step #3: Validate with market players

The first thing I learned when I entered the world of finance was that market-determined pricing is never easy. Rather, they are the result of a combination of data, calculations, and economic, geopolitical, and climate events. This is the reason why we see so many changes in the prices of food products or a liter of petrol, which can vary from 1.53 euros in June 2021 to 2.60 euros in June 2022. the market disagrees on the correct price to apply. That is why there are so-called: market reference players (refer to market makers) responsible for setting the correct price.

This is market experience in finance. Now, if we transfer this to the context of the labor market, we can imagine that the recruiters will be the referent actors of the labor market, since they are actually located at the center of the market and at the intersection of supply and demand. Thus, it can best determine the fair compensation to be applied as appropriate.

Therefore, and continuing with this reasoning, the best way to validate your salary range is to test what you find directly with the major players in the labor market, namely the recruiters.

My Method to confirm the premium range determined during the previous steps with the market players:

– Mark all the ads that catch your attention and match the position you are looking for.

– Call or write to the recruiter to ask about the salary range for a position not listed in the ad.

– Go to interviews for positions that have no interest, in other words, do not interest you, but meet your search criteria. For example: if you are aiming for the same position in the automotive industry, you can go for an interview with a food group to check the fair remuneration that applies to you. »


* This excerpt from “Aux thunes, citoyennes! By Insaff El Hassini and Héloïse Bolle, published on January 11 by Alisio publications. 224 pages, €19.90.

Insaff El Hassini, international finance lawyer, founder of Ma Juste Valeur

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