How to ask for a pay rise
Asking for a pay rise is never easy
Learn how to ask for a pay rise
Learn how to ask for a pay rise from the experts at Hays in this online video. Discover practical tips and advice to further your career in Australia today.
Your six-point plan to prepare for a pay rise request.
1. Prepare your reasoning
Start by considering what you’ve achieved since your last pay increase that warrants a raise today? Prepare a list of recent achievements that exceed your current set objectives. It may help to look back at your last performance review or your original job description. Then list any changed or increased work volumes or duties you’re now undertaking and extra projects you’ve been involved in.
For each accomplishment, align it with how it benefitted the organisation. The aim is to provide strong evidence to justify a pay rise, so focus on outcomes. For example, perhaps you have brought in 22 per cent more business year-on-year, are managing a 25 per cent increase in the overall volume of work or were involved in a project that exceeded objectives.
2. Research comparable salaries
Next, research the salary you feel your performance and results are worth by reviewing recent salary guides. This allows you to back up your request with evidence from the current market and demonstrate that the salary you are asking for is in line with your market value.
Our Hays Salary Checker is a quick and easy tool that helps you understand typical salaries and your potential earnings based on your job title and location.
3. Set a meeting and keep your composure
When it comes time for the meeting, maintain a professional manner. Take control but remain approachable and calm. Avoid becoming emotional and don’t discuss any personal reasons for why you might need extra money. Instead, present the business evidence you’ve gathered to support your pay rise request. If you’ve gathered appropriate proof, your grounds for an increase will be hard to ignore. List your evidence to help keep the meeting on track, and to give yourself notes to refer to so you remember to present all your points.
Don’t expect an answer straight away when asking for a pay rise. In all likelihood, your boss will need to review their budget, talk to HR and draft the necessary documentation before a potential pay increases become official.
At the end of the meeting, let your boss know that you’ll follow up with an email summarising your request. Your email should be a clear, concise and accurate representation of the main points you presented and discussed. This provides a written record of the conversation and ensures there’s no room for confusion or misunderstanding.
4. This is a two-way conversation
Entering the meeting with high expectations of big increases could put your manager on the back foot. You want a positive reaction from your manager when asking for a pay rise, so present your reasons, and then actively listen to their feedback.
You will have your own points you want to get across but be mindful that it is a conversation, and your manager may have valuable feedback for you that can be used to work towards in the future.
5. Be willing to negotiate
Also, consider how much you are willing to compromise – it can help to have a salary range in mind instead of a single figure, with a top and a bottom amount that you think would be fair.
6. Have a contingency plan
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How to ask for a raise with another job offer
Some argue that this tactic is unethical, while others say there’s a time and place for leveraging another offer when your reasonable requests for a pay rise have been repeatedly denied.
Regardless of your view, if your employer won’t budge on your salary despite your best efforts, it may be time to consider your options externally.
What not to say when asking for more money
1. "I need more money to cover my personal expenses."
2. "I've been here for [X] years, so I deserve a raise."
3. "I heard that [colleague's name] is making more than me."
That said, comparing your salary to colleagues in the actual meeting can be seen as unprofessional. Focus on your individual merits and accomplishments to justify the amount your salary research shows you are worth.