Negotiating a pay-rise. All the advice you need.

January 19, 2016 3 mins read
Negotiating a pay-rise. All the advice you need.

Allow me to describe an extremely common scenario: at the end of the year, you haven't got the raise that you were hoping for, and you feel like your salary is lower than the market standard, so you secretly seek out other opportunities and accept an offer.

Ultimately, however, when you put forth your resignation, your boss proposes a considerable raise that trumps your newly found offer. The main reason why this kind of scenario occurs is that many professionals don't know how to go about discussing a raise or a promotion with their supervisors.

Some people say that this is a fail-proof method, but the truth is that it's extremely risky: surveys have shown that over half of professionals who try this method leave their companies within a year of their bosses persuading them not to leave. This is because, by urging their employees not to leave, supervisors may merely be buying themselves a bit of time to train or recruit someone new. It is also possible that the boss in question has persuaded you not to leave because a particular project is in a key stage and the company is short staffed; however, as soon as that project comes to an end, you may be left with no room to display your abilities. Because of your lack of loyalty, you will be overlooked for any bonuses and promotions and should the company need to downsize, your head will be the first on the chopping block. Therefore, when having a "private chat" with your boss, you must be extremely tactful:

1) You must know how to use statistics to prove your performance When discussing a raise or a promotion with your supervisor, you cannot rely on sheer rhetoric alone; you must back up your point with real statistics. If you work in a department that reaps profits or reduces expenditures, such as Sales or Taxes, you can easily amass a series of statistics that will make your contributions evident to your supervisor; on the other hand, if you work in a support department, then you can summarize the projects that you participated in, as well as the role that you served throughout these projects. Before engaging in a private discussion with your supervisor, you must summarize your work, producing statistics where possible, thus making the fruits of your labour and your objectives easily apparent to your boss.

2) First discuss the growth of the company and your professional development before discussing your salary.

One can only obtain a considerable raise if the company where one works is performing well and is making significant profits. You may ask your boss where you can make use of your skills throughout the development of the company, identifying the areas where your abilities have already improved as well as determining what kind of professional opportunities lay ahead. The only way to ascertain whether you will get a decent raise in the long-term is to analyze the company's growth and your personal professional development. This is because getting a promotion is the best way of obtaining a higher salary. Should your boss merely discuss his or her ambitions while avoiding discussing the company's actual circumstances, that means that you do not have any room for further development at your current company, and that it is time to start looking for opportunities elsewhere.

Tracy Luo's picture
Tracy Luo
Associate Director | Finance & Strategy Recruitment