Asking your employer for a pay rise is by far one of the most daunting scenarios for an employee, with less than 30 per cent of job seekers willing to negotiate pay at the interview stage, and less than 50 per cent of employees having never discussed salary negotiations throughout their career. In today’s society where job security is hard to come by, employees and job seekers are far less likely to discuss pay in favour of appearing less driven by money and more driven by opportunity. This has an adverse effect on employees; by not understanding their worth and what it is they deserve for their labour; many workers are losing thousands in salary just to seem polite.
With that said, when is it best to negotiate pay and how do we ask the question?
There are two key times when to negotiate a salary increase: during the initial job offer, and during performance reviews. They are the most appropriate times to demonstrate your worth as an employee.
When you reach the interview stage for a job, you’re already in a position where the business is considering you as a primary candidate for the role. Negotiating your pay here is ideal, as it will mean you are less likely to lose money that could have otherwise been gained. It also demonstrates that you have researched the industry and the job you are applying for.
Likewise, a performance review is also an ideal time for salary negotiations. Negotiating your pay at this stage will require some additional work to truly sell why you deserve a salary increase.
- Do Your Research. This is vital in both the interview and performance review stage and is considered the most important part of negotiations. If you haven’t already, start researching the average salary rates for your position to better understand your value as an employee. This can be achieved through online searches, or by discussing the matter with a recruiter. This will provide you with a salary range to negotiate within and it will show the employer that you have researched the industry and the job.
- Be Prepared to Sell Yourself. A lot of people are nervous about advertising their skills, especially job seekers, but always remember that your experience and work has value. Be prepared with three-to-five strong examples of your successes and high performance to demonstrate that you have the skills and experience deserving of a pay rise.
- Who Goes First? There’s a lot of dialogue about who initiates the negotiation. While it can be beneficial to let the employer provide an initial offer, be prepared to start the conversation yourself.
- Avoid Risky Statements. During negotiations, try to avoid statements like ‘I have a lot of expenses’ or ‘I am the best there is.’ These statements won’t prove why you’ve earned a pay rise. Stick to the facts and keep it professional.
- Benefits can seem less necessary than your salary, but they’re well worth negotiating. The potential use of a company vehicle, time-in-lieu, or additional annual leave is worth considering as well.