How to go about asking for that raise

HEADHUNTER, ROBERT HALF

EMPLOYEES are currently faced with a barrage of contradictory news and opinions about economic and business forecasts and the potential impact of these on their own career prospects. While some companies within the financial services sector may be maintaining a tight hold of their purse strings, others have seen some buoyant remuneration activity in the past twelve months, particularly for those with niche specialist product experience. While recent news has some employers cautious, a talent shortage in some areas persists and highly skilled candidates will continue to be in demand.

In recent months, it has become clear that although many firms have reduced bonuses, there has been an increased focus on salaries, which have increased over the past 12 months. So what should you be doing to ensure your salary is fair and competitive?

...FROM YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER

Over recent months you may have taken on additional responsibilities, been under pressure to work longer hours and not seen any increase to your remuneration. If so, it may be time to negotiate a salary increase. Even if your company says it still has a salary freeze in place it may be possible to negotiate a pay rise if you can demonstrate your value to the company. To improve your chances of success, consider these simple steps:

STEP ONE: Do your homework. Review salary surveys, talk with recruiters and check comparable roles on online job boards.

STEP TWO: Track your successes. Make a solid list of your contributions and have it to hand during the salary negotiation. Consider where you’ve provided return on investment and why you deserve a raise.

STEP THREE: Be flexible. Before you ask your manager about a raise, know specifically what you want and be open to other forms of remuneration. If you ask for a 10 per cent pay increase and you’re told there’s no money in the budget, maybe you can negotiate an extra week of annual leave or more flexitime.

STEP FOUR: Time it right. How’s your company’s business doing? If your organisation has undergone recent budget cuts or redundancies, it’s not the best time to ask.

...FROM A DIFFERENT EMPLOYER

If you have not secured the pay rise you were looking for or if you believe your career would flourish elsewhere, it may be worth moving to another organisation.

Moving company may help you secure a pay rise, with new salaries potentially 10-15 per cent higher than those at the previous job. Below are some steps for securing a fair and competitive salary with a new employer:

STEP ONE: Demonstrate that you are the best person for the job and maintain a positive and committed view towards the new company and the role.

STEP TWO: From day one, be transparent about your long-term career ambitions and remuneration expectations. Establishing an open dialogue with a specialist recruitment consultant will help you land a career, not just a job.

STEP THREE: Don’t just look at salary. The overall career opportunity, including the work environment and your rapport with your manager will highly influence your overall job satisfaction.

STEP FOUR: Read the contract thoroughly. A good recruitment consultant will be able to explain any confusing terminology, and support, you or act on your behalf throughout the negotiation process.
But remember, whether you are seeking a pay rise from your existing employer or moving to another firm, negotiating on remuneration has to be a win-win scenario for both parties. If you are excited and motivated about the role, your employer will receive genuine value from their investment in you.