Asking for a pay raise can be an overwhelming prospect, but having the conversation is important as it can impact not only, your future career trajectory but your financial well-being.
While we can’t guarantee you’ll get one, we’ve put together a list of the top six things to do to give yourself the best chance of getting a ‘Yes’ when asking for a pay rise.
Prepare what you will say in your pay rise discussion
If you only follow one of our recommendations, it should be this – prepare what you’re going to say before your meeting. Think about your future goals within the company, what you’d like to do over the next 12 months and how that will benefit your employer. By talking about the future, you’re showing commitment and interest in the success of the business. You want to approach your employer with your pay rise request, communicating it clearly, showing that you have given this the appropriate amount of consideration and that it is important to you.
Benchmark your current salary
Thorough preparation is key. You should start by looking at what a reasonable salary is for your role and industry. Resources like the Cpl Salary Guide for Ireland | 2023, and websites such as Indeed.com, and Glassdoor are great for benchmarking salaries. Remember to take your, location, experience, and company size into account.
When trying to make your case that you deserve a higher salary, it’s important to know the facts. Managers will do their own research and will know if the salary you are quoting is reasonable compared to similar roles. There’s strength in knowledge and having your salary correctly benchmarked means you’re armed with the right information to put your case forward.
Years of experience – The more experience you have, the higher salary you can command
Size of the company - Company size has an impact on what it can afford to pay employees. Multi-nationals and larger companies may have deeper pockets than SMEs (Small Medium Enterprises) and typically pay their workers more
Location - Salaries vary based on location primarily. The cost of living plays a significant role in determining salary rates, often leading to higher salaries in urban areas. Areas where demand for particular skills are high. For example, engineering or science hubs, also drive to wages.
Show why you deserve a pay rise
Take the time to evaluate how you have contributed directly to the success of the company. Including professional accomplishments, KPIs (Key performance indicators) and milestones in your discussion can help set yourself up for a pay rise. An easy way to deliver information most optimally is to use the STAR method. For example, you could say, "In the past year, I generated 5,000 leads for the company, which is an increase of 8% from the prior year. The resulting sales equalled €58,000 in new business.”
In short, you want to show your employer that you are having a positive impact on their bottom line and that you are worth the extra investment.
Ask for a pay rise at an appropriate time
Timing can seriously affect your chances of getting a pay rise. Avoid asking when budgets are being cut or the organisation is in a financially challenging position.
Three factors to consider before asking for a pay rise are:
Budget – Did the annual budget recently get released for your organisation? If so, then it’s likely all costs for the year have been signed off and accounted for. Making unaccounted-for salary increases difficult to budget.
Organisation’s financial state – Have there been recent cutbacks or layoffs? If your company is experiencing financial difficulties, consider holding back on your request.
Have you recently asked for a pay rise and if so, when? If you have been in your current role for over 6 months, it’s deemed acceptable to ask for a raise. Indeed recommends submitting requests no more than once a year.
By taking the time to acknowledge these factors before setting a meeting with your manager, you will know if it’s a suitable time to ask for a pay increase.
Organise a meeting with your manager to discuss a pay rise
Speaking with your manager, in person, one-on-one is the best way to discuss your pay raise request. This ensures confidentiality for both parties no matter the outcome. Managers are busy, so don't be surprised if they schedule it for some time in the future. Leave the ball in their court to set up the time and date and be flexible with the schedule that they set for you. But if you put in a request and you don’t hear back from your manager within a reasonable timeframe, reengage with them through email or in person to ensure they haven’t forgotten to respond.
After your meeting, we recommend sending a follow-up email to thank your manager and restate the important points discussed.
Be polite and stay positive during your pay rise negotiations
No matter how you feel about your current salary, you should try to keep things as positive as possible while asking for a pay raise. Remember you’re speaking to your manager with whom you’ve built up a rapport over the time you’ve spent in your current position. You don’t want your pay rise request to impact negatively on your working relationship. Stay polite and make sure to deliver your request in a clear and concise manner.
Taking the first step in asking for a pay rise can be difficult and a situation that can make employees and employers alike uncomfortable, but it’s something that both parties can benefit from. No manager wants to lose a valued team member, hiring for a replacement can cause disruption, it also takes time and further resources. For those looking for more career advice, explore our candidate series. Or visit our live jobs page to discover the current opportunities we have available.
How Often Should You Get a Raise? Indeed.com, December 2022