Insider: How to get a pay rise from your employer

With a report this week warning that the rate of RPI inflation could overtake wage increases later this year, here are some insider tips on persuading your employer to give you a pay rise.

Those in the know share their top tips for securing a pay rise. Picture: John Devlin
Those in the know share their top tips for securing a pay rise. Picture: John Devlin

Do your research

Asking for a pay rise can be daunting for even the most confident of workers, but Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of jobs website CV-Library, says those who feel their salary doesn’t reflect their workload or skills should not be put off.

“Do some research into your role and what the average wage is – if you’re already receiving the average wage but you do work that is above your pay grade, then you need to be prepared to prove yourself,” he says.

Get their attention

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“When approaching your boss, try not to catch them as they fly past your desk,” Biggins advises. “Instead, book a meeting with them where you can sit down and know that you have their full attention. Think about how you’re going to open the discussion and perhaps prepare an opening line, for example: ‘I’ve been thinking about the responsibilities I’ve taken on recently and how they’re reflected in my pay.’ Make sure you lay out a strong case with evidence as to why you think you deserve it.”

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Highlight your achievements

“The best way to improve your chances of getting a pay rise is to demonstrate to your manager – ideally, some months before your pay review – what you have achieved in your current role,” says Louise Powrie, director of financial services at recruitment specialist Core-Asset Consulting.

“This can’t be limited to fulfilling routine tasks already expected you. Highlight the ways you have gone the extra mile and how you stand out from your peers. This could be gaining professional qualifications or completing a project which has made a significant and positive impact on the company. Simply doing what is expected of you or being in a role for a set amount of time is not enough.”

Stand your ground

Another trick suggested by Lee Biggins at CV-Library is to ask for more than you believe you’ll get – this may involve some negotiations, but if you truly believe you deserve it, you should be prepared to fight your corner.

“Do keep in mind though that you don’t want to fall out with your boss,” says Biggins. “Standing your ground is important, but don’t be too aggressive in your pursuit – if you deserve the pay rise, your employer will see that.”

Louise Powrie at Core-Asset also suggests asking your boss what you need to improve on to secure a raise in the future: “Agree objectives, set goals and establish an ongoing constructive dialogue with your manager.”

Time to move on?

Should all your efforts prove unsuccessful in securing a boost to your pay packet – perhaps because of your employer’s budget constraints, or the challenges facing their particular sector – it might be time to start looking elsewhere, says Lynn Fairservice, associate director for business services at Change Recruitment Group.

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“If someone sees there isn’t an opportunity for a pay rise, they may start looking at other employers and sectors,” she says. “Maybe they’ve made the progress but they’re not getting the reward because of the sector they’re in. That’s when they would starting thinking about where else they could go with the experience they’ve built up.”