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How to ask for a pay rise

Asking for a pay rise can be a daunting task. From finding the perfect moment to building up a case to present to your manager, it can be a time-consuming and nerve-wracking experience. Here are some top tips from Talent’s Head of People and Culture, April Marcot, on how you can successfully ask for a pay rise:


1. Come prepared

Think through what you want to say and come prepared. “Your request should be realistic and you should show that you have thought about it carefully”, Marcot says. You also want to make sure that you approach the topic at the right time and place and not catch your manager off guard. Marcot suggests asking them to catch up for a 15 minute meeting where you can put forward your position and make your request.


2. Discuss your achievements

Marcot suggests that you should “discuss your achievements” with your manager, however, during this time it is important to maintain a sense of humility. Now is the time for the #humblebrag. You should demonstrate how you have grown and how your role has changed over the last period and how this warrants an increase in pay. What new tasks have you taken on that have provided increased value to the company? Marcot says to “stick to the facts, use numbers and dollars where possible, and state what you have achieved using clear examples.” Prove, using figures and examples, that the work and value you are providing is worth the pay rise.


3. Do your research and keep it real

You should be equipped with enough knowledge to put forth a logical case as to why you should be granted an increase in pay. “Don’t argue with emotion, use facts to support your position.” Marcot suggests researching similar roles and market trends to demonstrate to your manager that your request is realistic for the market conditions you are operating within. According to Marcot, “asking for a huge increase might only antagonise your manager.” She suggests that you stick to what you have uncovered from your research and ensure that what you are asking for is fair and reasonable.


4. Reach another agreement

Not every company is able to issue pay rises on demand, be it due to company policy or budgetary constraints. Marcot explains that “often company policy prevents managers from being able to remunerate their team as much as they would like.” Your manager may feel that a pay rise is warranted and would like to acknowledge your performance in some way, but does not have the budgetary means to do so. Marcot suggests that your manager may instead work with you to arrive at a different agreement, which may include “more flexibility, a KPI bonus or support for additional study.” So a ‘no’ to a pay rise doesn’t necessarily mean you get nothing.


5. Have the right intentions

You should take heed of Marcot’s advice: ‘don’t make it about what others are getting’. Bringing in the names of co-workers and mentioning their salaries can weaken your case, making it seem as though you are complaining. You should seek a pay rise because you truly believe the value you provide to the company exceeds your current pay grade. You need to be doing it for the right reasons and your case needs to be well thought out and based on facts – yes, look at industry averages, but don’t make comparisons to others who are working in similar, yet different roles. Marcot also warns that you should not be asking for a pay rise because ‘your mortgage has gone up or you need a new car’. Again, it is meant to be about the business and the value you provide, not on external factors. Make sure your intentions for the request are coming from the right place.


At Talent, we are global technology and digital recruitment specialists. To find out what the average salary rate is for someone in your role, check out Talent’s 2020 Salary Guide.