How to Negotiate a Pay Rise

Posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2022 by Graham Quinn

Receiving a pay rise makes us feel rewarded for our performance. It also increases our job satisfaction by making us feel valued. Ideally, pay-rises should be given as a matter of course when an employee’s performance consistently adds value. However, as the cost of living is sharply rising, many employees are taking the initiative and starting pay negotiations themselves.

Pay can be a sensitive subject and just like preparing for an interview, your chances of success will be much higher if you make the right preparations.

Choose the Right Moment

The right moment to talk about pay will depend on the current situation of the business and  whether leadership are willing and able to offer high-performing employees financial rewards.

If, for example, the costs of the business have recently risen, or competitive pressures have been greater than usual, or there has been a drop in sales, it makes sense to wait until the company is more stable before delivering your pay-rise pitch.

If you feel now is a good time to start negotiations, give consideration to the current workload of your manager. Scheduling a time when their work commitments are lighter increases the chance that you’ll have their full attention. It’s better to ask for something when your boss is likely to be in a good mood!

Be Prepared


Be ready to sell yourself in your pay negotiation meeting. You should be able to justify why the company should award you with an increase in pay.

Elements you should consider including in your pay-rise pitch are:


  • Your key achievements in the role and evidence of how they have benefitted the company. Back your examples up with statistics wherever possible.
  • If you have skills that are in high-demand and low availability , make sure you raise these in the meeting. Also mention any qualifications or training you have undertaken which is relevant to the role, particularly if the skills can help the company reach its goals.
  • If you have taken on any extra responsibilities, delivered training or can demonstrate how you lead performance in your team then also make this clear.
  • You want to be able to present yourself in the best possible light and you need to temper any positives against what you have received as your objectives and/or sales targets to put your achievements in perspective.


Sharpen Your Negotiation Skills


When you have prepared your perfect pay-rise pitch, consider carefully how much you will ask for. In order to make your figure persuasive, do some research on salary ranges for your role and for someone with your responsibilities, experience and qualifications. Your manager is highly likely to want you to explain how you decided on the figure you have chosen. This information will therefore help justify what you are asking for.

Specialist recruiters such as WMIS (Wireless Mobile International Search) can be a good source of information on salary ranges and assessing your market worth.

It’s quite likely that your pay conversation won’t be just a yes or no answer. Your manager might offer your pay-rise in exchange for extra duties, responsibilities, or higher sales targets. Before the meeting, carefully consider what you’d be willing to take on, in order get your pay rise. Also, if your manager looks likely to take some extra persuasion, you can suggest these to gain leverage. Taking time to consider what you are willing to offer in advance will prevent you taking on more obligations that you are comfortable with.

What are Your Options if Your Pay Rise is Denied?

If you can prove your performance directly benefits the company and conditions at the company are favourable, it is always worth starting pay-rise negotiations. However, it’s also good to have a back-up plan should you be unsuccessful.

If your request is denied, try to pave the way for future pay-rise negotiations by asking your manager what actions you can take to make you successful next time. Also, try to obtain agreement on a date, say in a quarter or six months’ time, when a pay-rise will be reconsidered after you have fulfilled these conditions.

Should this not be possible, or further negotiations don’t yield the desired results, consider that, statistically, your chances of getting a pay-rise are more likely through changing jobs.

Forbes reported (in August 2022) that ‘It really does pay to change jobs. During the second year of the pandemic…half of workers who changed jobs saw their pay increase nearly 10%...the worker who stayed put saw an inflation-adjusted loss of almost 2%.’

Expert executive recruiters, such as Graham Quinn at WMIS (Wireless Mobile International Search), have provided a full end-to-end service, in their specialist niche (wireless and mobile networks, systems and connected devices globally) for more than fifteen years. If you are seeking a role in executive sales, sales engineering, marketing, product management, business development or project management contact us now to find out how we can help you attain what you are worth.



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