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8 Steps to help you get that pay rise

By Maureen Lynch, Director of Hays Ireland

During the recession most companies froze any increase on salaries, thankfully that has begun to change. Nowadays when an employee asks for a pay rise, there is a higher chance the employee will get it.

However, it’s important to remember, there is often a nervous feeling when it comes to asking for a pay rise, therefore, your approach needs to be well thought out. Below I’ve outlined the steps to take that will help you feel confident when asking and get you the outcome you’re asking for.

1. Why do you think you should get this pay rise?

If you are expecting a higher pay for doing the same job, you need to be sure you deserve it. Consider the value you bring to your employer and why you merit an increased salary. What have you done since the last time your pay went up to warrant a pay hike? If you have brought in more business, taken on additional responsibilities or gained extra qualifications, or done especially well on a particular project, you already have some evidence to present to your employer. Be specific and don’t just say the cost of living has gone up, or that you think you generally do a good job.

2. Have you researched your market value?

Do you know your value in the market? During your research, use the Hays Salary Checker to understand the salaries in your industry and what you could potentially be earning. Equally, research how pay rises are calculated in your organisation, perhaps by talking to your HR department. Doing both exercises will help you have a stronger case to put to your employer.

3. Choose your timing to ask wisely

Choose your moment carefully. Monday mornings and Friday afternoons, for obvious reasons, are not the best times of the week. Don’t pick a time when your boss is in the middle of something big, or a problem has emerged in the office. Also if you can time your request to coincide with a performance review or the company’s pay round, so much the better.

Book a meeting with them for a time when you know you’ll have their full attention. In your calendar invite, detail what you would like to discuss so that they have time to prepare before the meeting.

4. Art of negotiating

Be ready to negotiate, at length if necessary, and be clear on how much you are willing to compromise and why you deserve the higher salary.

5. Remain professional

During the meeting, it’s important to keep your emotions at bay. Although you may have strong feelings, especially if you feel you have been unfairly treated compared to colleagues, keep emotions firmly out of it.

6. No demands or warnings

Equally, don’t threaten to leave if you don’t get what you want, or mention any personal reasons for needing more money. This will lead your boss to question your commitment to the company and long-term career prospects.

7. Always have a written confirmation

Once the meeting is over, follow up with a clear, concise and accurate email summing up the main points as discussed. That way you have a written record, and there is no room for confusion or misunderstanding.

8. Are you prepared for more responsibilities?

Finally, if the extra money means further responsibilities, be sure you are happy taking them on, and that you have the capacity and capability to do so. If you think you may need extra training, you need to ask for it.

For more information or to discuss your employment needs, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

Maureen joined Hays in 2000 where she specialised in Senior Accounting and Finance recruitment. With over 17 years’ experience, Maureen is the Director for Cork, Limerick and Galway along with over overseeing the Banking and Construction & Property operations in Cork. She also provides training expertise in the area of candidate screening and interviewing.

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